Computer glitch stops SNAP benefits

By Anthony Antoine |

Published 02/10 2014 11:21AM

Updated 02/10 2014 11:25AM

CHAMPAIGN -- A mother of four says she went without food stamps for her family for nearly 45 days. A computer glitch is costing people around the state their SNAP benefits. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine spoke to one family.

Colleen Dorsla has four kids. Feeding them can be difficult, especially without the food stamps she needs. But, the reason behind it would surprise you.

More than two million people in Illinois rely on SNAP benefits or food stamps. To get them, people like Dorsla have to update paperwork every six months.

"Usually you just fill it out and go and turn it back in and normally, it just goes through the system and it's re-certified."

This time, things were different. Her paperwork didn't go through.

"I called my caseworker every single day."

Dorsla says it took a month for her to get an answer.

"We switched over to a new system for eligibility for services from the Department of Human Services in October."

IDHS says the Affordable Care Act has also played a role in the delays.

"We also received a lot of applications from the federal marketplace that began being processed in October, but we didn't start receiving that until January, so it was a backlog of applications."

"That kind of aggravates me because, how long have we known that the Affordable Care Act was coming?"

It's not the reason Dorsla wanted to hear, but her persistence paid off.

"It's very frustrating. I try not to yell at the people or get aggravated because I know it's not their fault, but it's frustrating."

Dorsla did receive her benefits this weekend. DHS is trying to fix the problem. Employees are working overtime and new employees are being hired.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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