DENVER — It’s been three months since the state implemented it’s new Colorado Benefits Management System, and some people still can’t access food and medical benefits.
The computer system was launched in August to improve the state's ability to deliver benefits to 1.3 million Coloradans receiving services.
Glitches with the system started right away. But now, there is an increased workload and counties can’t keep up.
Some people on SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, say they have not received benefits since October, and they are running out of food.
Hunger Free Colorado says they have seen an increase in people with SNAP benefits asking for help. They work with over 1,000 resources across the state like food banks, soup kitchens and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
“You should never been penalized for accessing additional food resources like pantries or soup kitchens, and you also shouldn’t be penalized for access (to) another program that you are qualified for just because you are using SNAP benefits,” Rebecca McWeeny with Hunger Free Colorado said.
The Colorado Office of Information Technology released the following statement about the benefits backlog:
“The economic security, health, and well-being of our residents continue to be our top priority. We realize the timeliness of benefits that some Coloradans depend on has recently been affected. This is obviously a serious concern, and at this time of year with the holidays upon us, no one wants to see a single Coloradan go without their expected benefits. Please be assured that numerous departments are working in collaboration to correct this problem.”
Anyone looking for food assistance can contact Hunger Free Colorado at (855) 855-4626.
Food Bank of the Rockies and Care and Share are additional resources people can reach out to for help.