The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) today announced that the final upgrade of the Kansas Eligibility Enforcement System (KEES) will launch Aug.18. KEES is a computer system that allows Kansans to apply online for medical and social services, including welfare benefits, Medicaid and more. This system upgrade involves DCF welfare benefits programs, such as cash, food and child care assistance, among others.
“This computer system upgrade will allow us to better serve Kansans in need, with more convenience for our clients, and improved coordination across State agencies,” said DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore. “Our staff members have worked diligently to prepare for this upgrade, and an extensive amount of training and testing has been conducted to ensure minimal impact to client services.”
DCF and KDHE are working to prepare clients, stakeholders and staff for this upgrade. Previously-approved benefits will continue without disruption for both welfare benefits and KanCare. To help with processing, those seeking welfare and Medicaid benefits are encouraged to apply and provide all necessary documentation prior to Aug. 18.
KEES, a single system that will replace eight antiquated DCF program systems, offers an online self-service website to clients. This will improve application processing time for both staff and clients. An additional feature of the new system is an online eligibility checker, providing immediate eligibility feedback for those seeking DCF benefits.
In 2013, DCF implemented new business processes that reduced eligibility determination from approximately 30 days to less than 10 days, with many clients now receiving same-day determinations. DCF’s integration into the KEES system is expected to further enhance processing times and accuracy.
The DCF programs that will be integrated into the KEES system include the following:
• Food Assistance/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)\
• Cash Assistance/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
• Child Care Subsidy
• Employment Services (Work Programs and Food Assistance Employment & Training)
• Adoption Support Subsidy
• Youth Independent Living
• Permanent Custodianship
• Automated IV-E Eligibility
• General Family Services for Prevention and Protection Services recipients
DCF will continue accepting new benefit applications and reported changes during the upgrade period, though processing times may be impacted. DCF’s online application for welfare benefits will continue to be available throughout this period. Those needing assistance with DCF services may also visit or call their local DCF service centers.
During this upgrade period, the online application for medical benefits and home and community-based services will not be available. People will still be able to print and fill out a paper application, available online at www.kancare.ks.gov/consumers/apply-for-kancare
Additionally, during the upgrade period, the State will only be able to approve new medical benefits in the case of emergencies.
While the KEES system is being upgraded, the State will be able to continue some Medicaid eligibility operations:
• Accept paper applications, reviews, mail and faxes
• Look at applications and reviews
• Request documentation from consumers and providers
• Process emergency medical cases
• Provide answers to questions and accept changes through the call center, which can be reached at 1-800-792-4884.