NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Caseworkers across the state are burning through hours of overtime to complete thousands of overdue applications and recertifications for food stamps in North Carolina, but some are more difficult to process than others.
As of this report, New Hanover County Department of Social Services has less than 20 cases to finish, according to a county spokesperson.
But the paperwork for Richard Lonzson had to be forwarded to the state's 24-hour help desk, according to the county.
Lonzson, currently working toward two Associate Degrees at Cape Fear Community College, said his benefits are nearly three weeks behind.
"I'm just very discouraged," he said. "What am I going to wake up to tomorrow? What am I going to wake up to Friday?"
Waking up these days comes with a phone call that's continued to disappoint Lonzson. Punching a card number into the phone to check his balance, Lonzson hears the recording on the other end say $1.59.
"It's in my sleep now," said Lonzson. "I've been getting the same message going on three weeks now and I don't even want to wake up now, what's the point."
Overdue cases are supposed to be caught up as of Monday February 10, according to a deadline set by the Food and Drug Administration. Lonzson said he hopes to have his benefits before that.
"Sooner or later they've got to feed me," he said.
Lonzson said he's open to food banks, but they're not always accessible for him. He said he's in class most of the day and he does not have a car to help.
322 Shipyard Boulevard