Food Stamp Debit Cards Not Working In Many States


foodstampedPeople in Ohio, Michigan and 15 other states found themselves temporarily unable to use their food stamp debit-style cards over the weekend, after a routine test of backup systems by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure. Xerox announced late last night that access has been restored for users in the 17 states affected by the outage, hours after the first problems were reported.

“Restarting the EBT system required time to ensure service was back at full functionality,” spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said in an email. An emergency voucher process was available in some of the areas while the problems were occurring, she said.

U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Courtney Rowe underscored that the outage was not related to the government shutdown. Read more here.

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  1. Xerox spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer released further details later in the afternoon in an emailed statement.

    “While the electronic benefits system is now up and running, beneficiaries in the 17 affected states continue to experience connectivity issues to access their benefits. Technical staff is addressing the issue and expect the system to be restored soon,” Wasmer said. “Beneficiaries requiring access to their benefits can work with their local retailers who can activate an emergency voucher system where available. We appreciate our clients’ patience while we work through this outage as quickly as possible.”

    Wasmer said the affected states also included Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.