RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina's health secretary says it will be "extremely difficult" to erase a backlog of outstanding food stamp applications by the end of the month to comply with demands from federal regulators.
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Aldona Wos made the comment Wednesday to a General Assembly oversight committee. WRAL-TV reports Wos told lawmakers that county social service offices and state employees will have to work hard to handle all applications waiting longer than 30 days. That's fewer than 1,700 applications.
The state already met a Feb. 10 deadline from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to handle more than 20,000 applications and renewals pending for more than 90 days. USDA threatened the loss of $88 million to continue administering the program unless the deadline was met.
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