New benefits eligibility system still experiencing issues

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Call 12 For Action has learned the state is scrambling to fix part of the new eligibility website – specifically the part that is supposed to be in Spanish.

The system launched on Tuesday – and quickly, problems were reported.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said she expected some issues because the system is so complex. Overall, she said she is happy with how the system is working.

Charitza Dominguez went into the DHS in Providence for help. She says she waited in line for two hours and then was told to go home.

“Talking about they’re going to call me back because of their system,” she said. “Nothing was solved. It was a waste of time, a waste of calling out of work to get nothing done.”

Stephanie Bacon said she didn’t even bother waiting because the line was too long.

The state has only been using its new integrated benefits system for three days.

State officials said it will make it easier for people to apply for and track their benefits – including Healthsource RI, Medicaid and SNAP benefits for food. As we’ve reported, there have been issues with employee logins. Some people were also unable to get their EBT cards.

“The issue that you just said has probably been the most concerning, the major issue so far,” Raimondo said. ‘It hasn’t affected that many people, but as you say it’s food. And you need to be able to buy your food. We have fixed it. The team got right into action and we’ve already addressed the issue.”

The state now has to deal with portions of the Spanish pages being written in English.

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