State SSI payment delayed for 33,000 people

Fred Greades depends on his supplemental security income from the government.

"It's not much money, but for me it's a bundle," he said. "I make a list out every month. I have a budget."

What he gets he uses to buy the things he needs.

"My haircut, a little shopping to do. I have to get my cat some food, normal living things," Greades said.

But Thursday when Greades was expecting to receive his monthly income, he realized it was short. He received his direct deposit benefit from the federal government but not the state.

Greades wasn't alone. It happened to more than 33,000 Rhode Islanders.

"There was a technology glitch that caused a file not to be transferred as it normally would be," said Frederick Sneesby of the Department of Human Services.

Sneesby said the problem has been diagnosed and fixed.

"We feel very badly. These are people on fixed income, so we feel badly because they count every dollar and they depend on every dollar. So we feel badly it didn't happen as it normally does and made people anxious," he said.

For most recipients, the state supplement is $39.92.

Sneesby said the majority of recipients will receive the funds by Friday morning with the remainder receiving the payment Saturday.

Greades said he was glad to hear he can expect his money soon but wished he had been able to get through to someone on the phone who could have helped him.

"I would suggest in the future, on pay days or any day that you have someone manning that station or telephone. Not voice mail please, and menus and extensions we don't have access to," he said.