department of human services

ACLU Settles With State Over Food Stamp Delays

Feb 24, 2017
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The ACLU of Rhode Island has reached a settlement with the state over the state’s failure to provide food stamps on time. The suit argued the rocky rollout of a new public benefits system caused thousands of households to be denied or face lengthy waits for their benefits.  

Laying The Blame, Then Plotting A Course, For UHIP

Feb 15, 2017
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR


Problems with the state’s new online public assistance system, UHIP, are much more significant than anyone realized. 

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island, Feb. 7

Feb 7, 2017
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

What’s happening in health care in Rhode Island, Feb. 7:

Raimondo Ponders Staff Changes To Fix UHIP

Jan 9, 2017
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo may announce some changes in leadership in the state’s office of health and human services this week. The Governor is frustrated with ongoing problems with the state’s new online benefits system, UHIP.

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island, Dec. 13

Dec 13, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here what’s happening in health in Rhode Island, Dec. 13:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

UPDATE: Gov. Gina Raimondo has appointed Tom Guthlein Acting Associate Director of Program Operations at DHS to oversee the customer service team. Director Melba Depeña-Affigne’s role has not changed. 

DHS Submits UHIP Fix-It Plan To Feds

Nov 23, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services has submitted its corrective action plan to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service. That’s what the federal agency required when it discovered a number of problems with Rhode Island’s new online benefits system, UHIP.

Excessive wait times and overcrowding in DHS field offices. Computer glitches. A lack of staff training on the new system. The problems got so bad with the state’s new system for food stamps and other benefits that the federal agency asked them to draw up an emergency plan to fix the problems.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State Health and human services officials say they’re preparing a response to the warning they’ve received from the federal government. Aa federal agency has threatened to decrease administrative funding for food stamps.

The U.S. Food and Nutrition Service sent a letter asking the state for a corrective action plan to fix its glitch new benefits system, UHIP . Health and human services director Melba Depena Affigne says one of the biggest problems they have to address is the number of people who are waiting too long for benefits.

Lawmakers Demand Answers On UHIP's Rocky Rollout

Oct 21, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State lawmakers grilled staff from the Departments of Human Services and Administration about what they deemed the “botched” rollout of a new state benefits system Thursday afternoon.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

  Governor Gina Raimondo is trying to curb long wait times and system problems after the roll out of a new human services computer system.

Raimondo has directed Department of Human Services field offices to remain open longer two days a week to deal with long wait times.

She has also asked the consulting firm that helped build the new human services computer system, Deloitte, to send additional staff to help troubleshoot – at no additional cost.

DHS Responds To Critics Of "Botched" System Roll Out

Oct 14, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Department of Human Services officials say they’re working with federal agencies to address concerns about the rocky roll out of a new computer system called UHIP. The system enrolls Rhode Islanders in programs like food stamps and Medicaid and replaces decades-old technology. But some Federal officials said it wasn’t ready to go live when it did.                         

Feds Predicted Problems With New DHS System

Oct 12, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State officials have yet to comment on warnings from a federal agency that said Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services computer system wasn’t ready for prime time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted problems with the new system.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State officials are responding to problems with the state’s brand new health and human services computer system. The multi-million dollar system has experienced technical problems that are affecting services and causing long wait times at field offices.

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island (9/13/16)

Sep 13, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island:

New State Benefits System Goes Live Tuesday

Sep 12, 2016
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

As of Tuesday there’s a new way of applying for state benefits like Medicaid and food stamps, or SNAP. It's an online application for all Department of Human Services benefits, all in one place - Rhode Island's biggest information technology project ever. But some advocates for the poor fear there won’t be enough support to help clients make the transition.

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