Thousands waiting for benefits as computer woes continue - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Thousands waiting for benefits as computer woes continue

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By: The Associated Press


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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's Health and Human Services secretary has told lawmakers that delays continue for thousands of applicants for state benefits because of problems with its computer system.

Eric Beane told the House Oversight Committee on Thursday that around 4,000 applications remained backlogged at the end of January. The Providence Journal reports that around half of those are for long-term elder care.

Beane says it could take months, perhaps past June, before the $491 million system stabilizes.

The state rolled out the Unified Health Infrastructure Project, or UHIP, in 2016 despite warnings from the federal government that it wasn't ready. It handles applications for food stamps, Medicaid and other benefits.              

A federal court last year appointed a special master to oversee the food stamps system because of delays in processing applications.

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