BALTIMORE, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A lawsuit over food stamps in Maryland goes to court Monday, as figures show only about half of eligible state residents are receiving benefits, officials said.
A pregnant Baltimore County woman, Miracyle Thompson, sued the state after failing to receive food and medical benefits for which she applied. Federal law says such emergency benefits must be approved within 30 days, The Baltimore Sun reported Sunday.
Maryland was 41st in the nation in the percentage of eligible families getting food stamps. Only 59 percent of those applying were successful in getting the government assistance, a study by Advocates for Children and Youth reported.
Department of Human Resources officials in Maryland say the figures are outdated and the state has made significant efforts to streamline the food stamp system, the Sun said.
But the advocacy group's executive director doesn't see much improvement.
"Have they made it easier for people to enroll? People are waiting all day," Matthew Joseph said. "They have to wait in long lines, and that's why the lawsuit has been brought."