PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island has been slow to send out social-service benefits to thousands of recipients this month, which state officials attribute to a heightened workload caused by a recent shift in federal policy.

The R.I. Department of Human Services confirmed Thursday roughly 2,000 households are receiving cash and food assistance late this month, as state workers are sorting through eligibility changes caused by COVID-era emergency policies that ended in June.

The programs — known as Rhode Island Works and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — are typically sent out on the first of each month.

As of Thursday afternoon, state spokesperson Jim Beardsworth said the issue had been resolved for about 900 of the 2,000 outstanding recipients. The remaining 1,100 households would receive benefits “by the end of the day today or tomorrow at the latest,” he added.

“We understand the difficulty and inconvenience associated with this issue and regret the delay,” he said in a statement.

Rhode Island processes SNAP and RIW benefits for about 85,000 households each month.

Eli Sherman ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.