Senator Kelly Calls on DSS to Expand D-SNAP Audit and Accelerate Modernization of Outdated Computer System

June 5, 2012

Hartford – State Senator Kevin C. Kelly (R-21) today called on Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby of the Department of Social Services (DSS) to widen the agency’s audit to all recipients of the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Aid Program (D-SNAP) benefits and accelerate the installation of a modern computer system to ensure that eligibility standards are met and improve its reliability after a series of major crashes.

“Expanding this audit will undoubtedly uncover additional cases of improperly received program benefits,” said Senator Kevin Kelly. “It is the only responsible choice to restore the public trust in essential programs that genuinely serve people in need.”

A recent news article by Brian Lockhart in The Connecticut Post announced that the DSS concluded an audit of 406 recipients and found that 171 were ineligible to receive program benefits. This equals a 42.5% error rate.

When expanded to all of the 23,750 recipients, this percentage means there were potentially 10,094 recipients who improperly received benefits. Senator Kelly is concerned that this “reduces the actual amount of assistance available for families in need.”

An improved and modernized computer system would detect program error sooner and provide high quality service to state residents who require this assistance. The current system dates to the 1980s and has crashed repeatedly in recent months, leaving new applicants without access to the system.

“We simply must speed up the modernization process for an upgrade that will be almost completely reimbursed by the federal government,” said Senator Kelly. “During these tough times, we must ensure that the eligibility system is open and efficient in processing requests from new qualified applicants and current recipients.”

A former Medicaid investigator for the DSS, Senator Kelly seeks to improve the delivery of essential program benefits to those who genuinely need assistance.

“I want to make sure that my concerns over widespread program error and the outdated computer system are seriously addressed,” continued Senator Kelly.

Senator Kelly concluded the letter by offering his assistance in solving these important issues.