WMKY

Kentucky makes applying for child care assistance easier for families

Jan 18, 2018

Credit Childcare Network

It’s now easier for Kentucky families to apply for child care assistance funds. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) has moved eligibility services for its Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) into benefind, the public assistance web portal used by customers to apply for other state assistance programs.

The online service, benefind, is already the single access point for customers to apply for Medicaid, the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food benefits) and the Kentucky Transition Assistance Program (KTAP, also known as welfare).

CHFS Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson said that the transition means that customers will be able to apply for all of their benefits with a single application or add programs as needed.

“Among our CCAP customers, 93 percent are already receiving one type of assistance through benefind,” Secretary Glisson said. “This is much more user-friendly for our customers, as they can apply, recertify and report changes to their child care situation all in one place.”  

Prior to the transition, customers were required to contact their local Child Care Council representative separately to apply for CCAP. And CCAP recipients were required to report changes in their circumstances to both DCBS and the Child Care Council.

Glisson said through benefind, CCAP families now have access to an eligibility worker in every county during business hours, which was not available previously. Families are also able to receive important notices and other correspondence online through their benefind accounts.

DCBS Commissioner Adria Johnson said that there is a significant cost savings to this integrated approach, which eliminates a $7.1 million contract for the CCAP enrollment services.

“Our main benefit is improved and faster customer service, but this cost savings is something we can pass along to the people of Kentucky,” Johnson said.

According to the Commissioner, when caregivers apply for CCAP, DCBS eligibility staff can tell them if they are eligible for other benefits; Child Care Council staff were not able to make those kind of determinations.

The shared data model of benefind will also reduce administrative errors and fraud, Johnson said.

Learn more about benefind at: http://benefind.ky.gov

Learn more about DCBS and its services at: http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs

(provided by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services)