Mich. caseworkers afraid for lives due to delays

LANSING, MI – Desperate state caseworkers who have been assaulted inside Michigan welfare offices say they are afraid for their lives because they are behind addressing bulging caseloads caused by the ailing economy.

Seven Department of Human Services employees told lawmakers on Wednesday that residents who need help are waiting up to four hours in county DHS offices. The workers say nerves are frayed and people getting state aid are taking out their frustration on state employees.

The lobbies in branch offices are packed. DHS workers are being attacked.

Caseworkers say they do not have enough staff and a new computer system is faulty. One caseworker in Wayne County says she has more than 800 cases and handles 100 phone calls a day.