- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A judge has granted class-action status to a lawsuit alleging that Nebraska consistently failed to process food-benefit applications and renewals in a timely manner.

The ruling this week allows all recipients affected by delays to challenge the state’s practices.

The 2014 lawsuit was filed on behalf of Tami Leiting-Hall, a single, working mother in Lincoln. Leiting-Hall is represented by the Lincoln-based Nebraska Appleseed and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice in New York.

The plaintiffs allege the Department of Health and Human Services created unlawful delays for low-income residents who requested benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Department officials have said they don’t comment on pending lawsuits.

Molly McCleery, a Nebraska Appleseed staff attorney, says the ruling recognizes that the problem isn’t isolated to a few cases.

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