WASHINGTON (AP) - A computer problem is delaying disability payments to nearly 19,000 people who receive Supplemental Security Income.

WASHINGTON (AP) A computer problem is delaying disability payments to nearly 19,000 people who receive Supplemental Security Income.

Payments to more than 8.3 million people are usually made on the first of the month, which was Tuesday. But the Social Security Administration says a coding problem with an electronic payment file is delaying payments for a few days to 18,770 people.

The agency says most of the people live in the West and southeastern United States.

Social Security says the 17,900 people who receive payments through direct deposit will get those payments on Thursday. The agency says the 870 people who get paper checks will get those checks next week.

"Social Security is aware that this delay will cause hardships for some people and has procedures in place to provide help," the agency said in a statement. "People who are in need of an immediate payment of their SSI benefits should contact their local Social Security office."

SSI is a disability program for the poor. The average monthly payment is $541.

The Social Security Administration runs the program. The Treasury Department makes the payments.

The Social Security Administration said 18,770 people were inadvertently omitted from the payment file the agency sent to Treasury.

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