Software & Policy Changes Coming To Fulton County JFS

Metz-Simon WEBBy: James Pruitt

Ohio is celebrating Child Support Awareness month in August and the Fulton County JFS office has been seeing a surge in business all summer.

Director Amy Metz-Simon reported to the Board of County Commissioners there were 32,479 incoming and outgoing calls for the second quarter, a lot higher than the first quarter (19,000). Child support has been doing most of the calls. This includes collection and getting money coming in.

Child support collections for the second quarter were $1,698,427, down from the first quarter, but up slightly over the same period last year.

In other news, the agency is in the process of software and policy conversion to meet new requirements for the aged, blind and disabled.

The old policy, known as 209, allowed states to make standards more restrictive and Ohio has done that in the past. Now Ohio is moving to a 1634 state which uses SSI income levels for eligibility for assistance.

The new standards raise income and resource caps. Most states in the nation are 1634 states.

The switch will mean fewer people will have to spend down to meet the income criteria ($750 as compared to $634). The resource cap goes from $1,500 to $2,000.

– The county received extra cash from the state by making more visits with children in its care and with non-custodial parents. The total was a little more than $3,600.

– Staff is going through the process of updating the agency’s website. Commissioners Paul Barnaby and Bill Rufenacht will be part of the beta testing to see if older users can navigate the site.

– Commissioners learned the unemployment is determined nationally the week of the 12th of every month and then trickles down to the states.

– The state has eliminated the Medicaid managed care sales tax. From 2005-09 the state levied a 5.5 tax on nursing home franchises, such as Medicaid managed care organizations. This was replaced by a sales tax on the Medicaid services rendered at these facilities. The state could have placed the sales tax on the franchisees, but opted not to.

This was deemed inappropriate and repealed. The county collected $495,000 in 2015, but this source will be completely eliminated by 2017.

Fraud claims established in the quarter were $39,553.99, mostly in June ($19,000 in Medicaid fraud. The county will receive 22 percent of that amount from the state.)

A look at the second quarter numbers for Fulton County JFS:
Food Assistance – $993,369
OWF Cash – $56,373
Children services
Reported allegations – 216
Kids in custody – 13
Board and care – $103,027
Child support – $1,698,427
Child care – $176,730
Fraud – $39,553.99 – 18
Medicaid recipients
2015 – 8137, 8160
2016 – 7882, 7824 (4th straight quarterly decline)
Medicaid dollars
2016 – $13,947,877, $9,225,297 (lowest amount since 1Q 2012)
Food recipients
2015 – 3474, 3343
2016 – 3222, 3136 (5-year low)
Child abuse allegations
2015 – 230, 271
2016 – 243, 216
Children in custody
2015 – 9.7, 10.3
2016 – 11.3, 13.0 (highest since 3Q 2014)
Board and Care dollars
2015 – $140,234, $116,901
2016 – $113,224, $103,027
Child support collections
2015 – $1,651,670, $1,688,904
2016 – $1,730,206, $1,698,427

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