food stamps

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.

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

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.                         

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.

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.

Kathleen Gorman

Hundreds of thousands of Rhode  Islanders receive state assistance like food stamps and Medicaid. The agency that helps connect them with those benefits - the Department of Human Services - is in the midst of a major reorganization. 

Aaron Read / RIPR

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

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

70 employees at the state Department of Human Services have received layoff notices because of a system-wide reorganization. It's part of a shift to online applications for benefits like food stamps.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This September, Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services launches a new online portal for health and social service benefits. It’s the state’s biggest IT project ever. 

Rhode Island Dept. of Human Services

Rhode Islanders seeking medical or food stamp assistance will soon be able to complete their application online, all in one go.

Rhode Island Public Health Institute

A new initiative of the Rhode Island Public Health Institute at Brown University aims to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables into low income neighborhoods. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Conservatives love to say that liberalism and political correctness have led to a `War on Christmas’ RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says the war is actually against Thanksgiving.

The Thanksgiving turkey hasn’t been stuffed yet but the frenzy of Christmas shopping has begun with the annual blizzard of tinsel and glitz. Stroll into your local CVS and you are greeted by shelves festooned with overstuffed Santa Claus figures.

General Assembly Hearing On Food Stamp Bill Today

Mar 5, 2014
Don Boorman / RIPR

A hearing is slated for today in the general assembly on a bill that would require families using food stamps to show photo identification.  The bill has generated critics who say it’s unfair and unnecessary.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Patricia Morgan of West Warwick says the bill would fight fraud within the program.  Scamming the system happens when someone uses the benefits to buy products not covered by the program, such as cigarettes and alcohol, or when someone exchanges their benefits in return for cash.

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