PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits have been distributed to all Rhode Islanders affected by a statewide computer system outage, the Department of Human Services (DHS) told 12 News on Thursday.
State websites were down for the majority of the day on Wednesday, causing confusion and frustration among SNAP recipients who rely on those benefits.
According to the Department of Administration, welding work being done on the HVAC system at the state’s primary data center produced smoke, which set off the fire alarm. That type of potential threat requires all IT hardware systems to be taken offline as a precaution.
The systems were rebooted by the afternoon, the DOA said, but there was a line of people outside the DHS office wondering why they didn’t get their benefits.
“While some technical issues are inevitable and will certainly get in the way, we need to make sure that any time any of our statewide websites or programs are in danger of glitching that it is not going to impact people in terms of not being able to receive their benefits through Medicaid or SNAP,” state Rep. David Morales said.
The outage also forced the DMV to close early on Wednesday. Anyone who had a reservation has until next Friday to visit any branch for service, but must bring along their original reservation information.