ID=5859331The state Department of Human Services has laid off 121 workers responsible for administering food stamp and welfare payments in Tennessee.

The department said Monday that the workers were let go Friday as part of an effort to rethink how the state administers its Temporary Family Assistance programs. Officials also said in a press release that case loads had decreased.

All of the workers who were laid off were probationary employees, meaning they had been in their positions less than 12 months. They were given 10 days severance pay.

DHS said it also had eliminated 256 vacant positions. The 2014-2015 budget approved earlier this year by the General Assembly calls for eliminating 154 vacant positions in the Department of Human Services and none that were filled.

DHS officials said they plan more layoffs but had not yet determined what positions would be cut.

Under Gov. Bill Haslam, the state has cut more than 4,000 positions from its payrolls, bringing the total work force down to about 43,000 workers.