State department’s databases to shut down for upgrades

Some of the state Department of Human Services databases that maintain medical, food assistance and financial case information will be shut down between Thursday and Sept. 30 for upgrades.

All DHS services will be restored Oct. 1.

Current DHS clients will not experience interruption of services.

The temporary shutdown will impact only first-time applicants for financial assistance, Med-QUEST health insurance coverage and food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Applicants newly eligible for benefits during the three-day upgrade period will begin receiving their benefits Oct. 1.

During the upgrade period, DHS Processing Centers across the state will be open for business as usual. DHS staff will continue to accept applications, schedule and conduct interviews and assist clients as needed.

DHS has mailed letters to its current clients explaining the temporary shutdown and notifying them that they will not experience any interruption of service. A public notice also is posted on the DHS website,, and the federal Food and Nutrition Service has been notified.

Additionally, the DHS has informed food pantries and other food banks about a possible increase in food assistance between Thursday and Sept. 30.

The current DHS databases are 25 years old and do not meet mandates of the federal Affordable Care Act. As part of the systems upgrade, department engineers also are integrating the Kauhale On-Line Eligibility Assistance, the online Med-QUEST eligibility system.