The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has sued the state over the troubled rollout of a new $364-million benefits system, which has caused thousands of delays in giving residents food stamp benefits.
The class-action lawsuit filed on Friday says the state is failing to process food stamp applications and issue benefits within the time frames mandated under federal laws and regulations. It blames the state's inadequate and faulty implementation of the Unified Health Infrastructure Project, also known as UHIP.
The ACLU says clients have endured what it calls a "Kafkaesque" food stamp application process created by the new system that causes multiple delays.
A spokeswoman for the state says it is doing everything it can to meet the needs of the people the system serves.