ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Department of Human Resources is seeking to dismiss a court order requiring the agency to speed up its processing of applications for food stamps and medical benefits.

The department says in November, it processed more than 97 percent of welfare claims within the federally required 30-day window. That’s compared to only 81 percent of claims processed in that time frame in January.

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Brian Wilbon, the department’s interim secretary, says the improvements are the result of policy changes, technology enhancements and hard work by department employees.

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Last December, Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams ordered the state to follow a corrective action plan that called for at least 96 percent of claims to be processed within 30 days.

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