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New DHHS system failing Michiganders in need

The Department of Health and Human Services office in Cheboygan.
Owen Goslin
The Department of Health and Human Services office in Cheboygan.

Last fall the state changed the way it processes benefits like food stamps and emergency heating assistance.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services created a new system called the “universal caseload.” State officials said it would be quicker and more efficient, but that hasn't been the case.

In the new edition of the Northern Express, reporter Patrick Sullivan writes the system has quote “caused processing times to lag, or come to a screeching halt.”

Sullivan says the in the old system, people applying for benefits would be assigned a specific case worker. 

"It was supposed to streamline things and make things more efficient," says Sullivan.

But, as the program was rolled-out, the opposite happened. Qualified applicants have faced backlog and recurring beaurocratic error — and that has left them seeking help from others.

Dan Wanschura is the Host and Executive Producer of Points North.