Courthouse Eligibility Technician

2018 NACo Achievement Award Winner

El Paso County, Colo., CO

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About the Program

Category: Human Services (Best in Category)

Year: 2018

The length of time it takes for a court-involved client engaged in a Preliminary Protective Proceeding (PPP) case to go through the eligibility process in order to receive assistance through Health First Colorado (HFC; formerly Medicaid) is significant. It decreases availability to participate in necessary services and puts pressure on County Core Services funding to fill in gaps of service needs until eligibility is achieved. For this reason, The El Paso County Department of Human Services (DHS) and the 4th Judicial District of Colorado decided to co-locate a DHS staff person with the court to assist clients in immediate HFC enrollment. The co-located Eligibility Technician at the courthouse is now able to make sure respondent parents and their children complete enrollment in HFC, if eligible, and is able to assist in seeking qualification for additional assistance as well as coordinate with the Regional Care Collaborative Organization to find providers and schedule immediate appointments. Providing easy access to DHS staff at the courthouse has offered critical aid to those who are most vulnerable in the County. A person who needs services such as medical, dental, behavioral health, etc., can gain access to the appropriate providers on the same day. The first six months of this unique collaboration yielded impressive results: • 57 Food Assistance, Colorado Works and HFC applications were processed for families; 467 other eligibility needs were addressed; information and clarification to judges and magistrates has been consistently provided; and DHS has saved over $150,000 in Core Services monthly By making access to short-term assistance more efficient, DHS is helping families move past crisis situations and linking them to tools and resources so families are able to focus on progress and work towards self-sufficiency.

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