A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Problems with Benefind system won’t interrupt receipt of government benefits, Bevin, Deloitte say

Gov. Matt Bevin, along with officials from Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and technology provider Deloitte, held a news conference Thursday to assure the public that their government benefits administered through the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) will continue through April.

The announcement addressed misinformation and confusion generated by Kentucky’s benefind system. Benefind moves all DCBS services, such as SNAP benefits and Medicaid, into one integrated platform.

“Our primary focus is to ensure we deliver—as safely and efficiently as possible—all benefits Kentuckians expect and need,” said Bevin. “We will take care of our employees by giving them the resources they need to assist the people of the Commonwealth. Our teams are working tirelessly together to fix the benefind system, which was designed and created by the previous administration. I am confident we will come out of this process with a system other states look to emulate.”

The benefind system, engineered entirely during the previous administration, was launched on February 29. Deloitte again confirmed that benefind has not been altered in any way from how it was designed by the previous administration. The system was first designed in 2014. Deloitte also refuted claims that benefind is part of the decision to transition from kynect to healthcare.gov. Benefind is entirely unrelated to the transition away from kynect.

Aggressive strategies have been implemented to ensure benefits are not delayed, the governor said. The cabinet engaged the federal government and has been successful in obtaining an extension of Medicaid and SNAP benefits. Simply put, benefits and coverage will continue for anyone who received Medicaid benefits in March and was at risk of losing those benefits in April.

The recertification timeframe for SNAP benefits has been extended from six months to twelve months which means those cases will continue with a simple review instead of a client interview.

“My motivation is to provide the best environment possible for our workers and the highest level of service to our clients,” said Health and Family Services Cabinet Secretary Vicky Yates Brown Glisson. “The people we serve are not simply numbers on a spreadsheet. Our clients are individuals and families, young and old, of all races and from walks of life, who need help. We are doing everything we can to get them the help they need.”

Officials say the system’s automatic generation of thousands of inaccurate notices telling customers their benefits were terminating is a primary source of confusion. That system function, which was designed to generate notice letters daily, has been stopped.

“In some cases, dealing with erroneous letters generated by the system has accounted for more than 50 percent of the workload for our staff members,” said DCBS Commissioner Adrea Johnson. “We have now put in place a validation workforce team to ensure that all notices issued from the system are accurate.”

Other strategies implemented to minimize long waits at offices and phone centers include the hiring of about 200 additional people, Deloitte-assigned trainers in every county office to help staff deal with issues that might arise and nightly updates designed to make the system operate more efficiently.

The public is encouraged to log on to the benefind self-service portal at https://benefind.ky.gov/ to ease the time required at the processing centers.

Customers can still apply for services by phone, by visiting their local DCBS office or submitting paper applications. Contact the DCBS Family Support Call Center at 1-855-306-8959.

Mail or fax a hardcopy application to:

DCBS Family Support
P.O. Box 2104
Frankfort KY 40602
Fax Number: 502-573-2007

From Governor’s Office Communications

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