food stamps

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.

We’re learning more about how recently enacted cuts in the food stamp program will affect Rhode Island. It will hit virtually every Rhode Islander who receives food stamp benefits.

Cuts in the food stamp program enacted November 1st will affect 181,000 Rhode Islanders, or 17 percent of the state’s population.  The cuts will reduce the monthly food stamp benefit by $11 for an individual, $20 for a household of two, $29 for a household of three and $36 for a household of four. 

Governor Lincoln Chafee Defends Report Secrecy

Mar 12, 2013
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee
Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee is trying to explain why he’s withholding a report that details waste, fraud and abuse in the state’s Medicaid and food stamp programs. The report was done by former Moderate Party gubernatorial candidate Ken Block.  Chafee says he asked Block to conduct the investigation about a year ago. But now that it’s done, the governor is refusing to release it.