Glitch Keeps Food Stamp Users Waiting

A state mailing glitch could be keeping an unknown number of residents in Denver, El Paso, Mesa and possibly Pueblo counties from receiving their food stamp benefits for June.

The Colorado Department of Human Services confirmed on Wednesday a series of mail applications that were supposed to go out in April to recipients in a number of counties trying to re-apply for food stamps in June may have been delayed or not sent at all.

On Tuesday, KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs reported Pueblo County’s Department of Social Services confirmed a “higher-than-normal number of food stamp recipients are still waiting on their benefits this month.”

Jessie Granger, a spokesperson with the CDHS, says the agency is currently working to identify how many people were affected by the mailing glitch but maintains it’s likely a small number.

“This is just for folks that needed to re-certify for food assistance. Those that have already been re-certified as of May should see no disruption,” Granger said.

The Governor’s Office of Information Technology houses the state’s benefit management system. Agency spokesperson Tauna Lockhart says recipient data was processed by the OIT but they can’t confirm if the applications to reapply were sent.

“We’re just trying to make sure that A, [the data] made it out of our system. B, did it get to the printing facility. And once it was there, did it get printed and sent out? We’re just trying to follow the process and make sure we’re not missing something on a technical aspect that could have contributed to this.” Lockhart said.

KOAA TV reports that a letter from the Colorado Department of Social Services sent to local social service offices said the state has received several complaints from counties besides Pueblo.

Normally the Pueblo office processes about 1,800 total benefit applications each month, most of which Garcia says are for food benefits. For June, they have received less than 1,000.

In an e-mail, the Colorado Department of Social Services told the local offices that they have received complaints from multiple counties with the same problem.

Lockhart said she expects her agency will be able to track the printing issue starting Thursday and will have a firmer number of residents and counties affected.