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Former DSS call center employee speaks out

ABC 17 on Thursday spoke to a woman who was employed at YoungWilliam’s, the company that runs the Department of Social Services call center for more than a year.

The woman quit her job and took a pay cut just to get away from all of the stress at the call center.

She told ABC 17 she couldn’t handle the environment at the call center anymore.

She said she would get death threats, people would call in cursing at her and even had people threaten to commit suicide if she didn’t help them.

Still, despite the pressure the call center is under, she said they are only doing what they were told.

The former employee did not want to be identified.

The woman said call takers were expected to deal with upset Medicaid recipients and they had scripted answers for those questions.

She said the call center is not to blame for people not getting signed up for Medicaid.

“You’re not there to help anybody. We tell you that we’re there to help them, but you’re really not. You’re sending e-mails, you’re answering calls and sending e-mails and answering calls. You’re basically a receptionist,” said the woman.

She said if anyone should be blamed it should be the Department of Social Services.

“They are the ones that have to process it and make the decisions on what’s going on… They aren’t even able to update your phone number we have to e-mail and it could be up to ten business days before it’s in the system.”

The call center doesn’t deal with any of the paperwork, they don’t make eligibility decisions and are not adding information to the cases.

ABC 17 asked the woman if she thinks the call center needs to be in existence.

“I think the idea at first was a good idea because again it was to answer the calls so that the workers could spend more time working on the cases, but if the workers aren’t working on the cases it’s not really doing anything.”

ABC 17 checked in with Social Services for an update on the call center.

The department said the rate of abandoned calls is decreasing, but the information they sent was only good through October 15th.

The director, Brian Kinkade, personally told ABC 17 he expects the kinks to be worked out December 1st.

The call center, located in Jefferson City, is also in an unknown building.

They said the reason is because of the threats the nearly 70 employees get on an almost daily basis.

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