EBT Card System Restored, Computer Failure To Blame for Saturday’s Outage

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(CNN) — The outage that caused EBT card systems in 17 states to go down Saturday is fixed.

Shoppers who use the government-funded food assistance cards say they were able to use them Saturday morning, but not Saturday afternoon.

The system shutdown began at 10 a.m. central time Saturday and affected 17 states, said a spokeswoman for Xerox — which is a contractor for the program. By Saturday night, the issue had been resolved.

“We realize that access to these benefits is important to families in the states we serve,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer. “We continue to investigate the cause of the issue so we can take steps to ensure a similar interruption does not re-occur.”

Alabama was one of the states affected.

WHNT News 19 spoke with store managers who say the system has gone down before, but usually, it’s on a weekday when more answers are available.

The food stamp program, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, allows many beneficiaries to present a payment card at grocery stores. Some of those transactions were being prevented Saturday in unspecified parts of the country.

The program is administered by the Department of Agriculture. The department’s public affairs staff has been furloughed and its website was not being updated Saturday because of the partial government shutdown. A phone call to the office of the department’s communication director was not answered.

Officials in several states said the computer problem was unrelated to the government shutdown.

CNN affiliate KJRH-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma, quoted Wasmer as saying the shutdown happened during a test of the company’s backup systems.

She said the glitch also affected payments through the Women Infants and Children, or WIC, program.

42 comments

  • Chris

    I’m pretty sure the old system of paper stamps didn’t have this kind of problem. Perhaps the folks who really need food should request them and get away from an EBT card.

    • Tiffany

      Do you know that with the old system you could get money back? So if bought some for 99 cents you give them 1 paper food stamp and you got back a penny!!! It was replaced for a reason.

  • charlotte

    This month when I got my food stamps some was missing! Got a letter a few days later saying my amount was change because of Federally mandated changes in the program!! I lost $143.00!! Hope this doesn’t happen to everybody else!

  • Kimberly

    The ONLY people who should be allowed Food Stamps are the Disabled and the ELDERLY !!!!!!! If you are able bodied get out and work !!! Do NOT BREED what you cannot FEED !!!!

  • Adrian

    Kimberly,i once could give my kids anything they wanted now if not for sstamps my kids would be hungry.You never know when something could happen and you no longer have a job.One day you might need them so you should think about that before making a nasty comment like tgat.

    • GlennNomad

      Internet can be cheap, Wifi is free in public locations, and just having a computer or phone doesn’t make you well-to-do. Many EBT users may not appear to be your dramatized drug-using type; and this is simply because many are those who fell on hard times in one form or another.

      Besides, with so much online banking and bill paying, you practically need internet.

      • Kat

        Glenn, I’m glad you said it the way it is. Yes internet is very inexpensive. And people need to still eat. I don’t understand why people stereotype people on food stamps. I work 40 hours a week And still need assistance with food stamps Having two young daughters. Love and peace to all

    • rin

      try applying for a job without internet. seriously give it a try. Do the old school walking, they all tell you go to such and such web site and fill out an app.

    • Kat

      Yes people have internet and it can be as low a $10.00 and really need food for family and there self. We aren’t living in the dark ages. There are many families working hard and need help because of high bills, gas and rent and other costed of living. Must be nice when people don’t have to worry. you shouldn’t judge you might be living in the same shoes Someday. I understand it happen to me. be kind and pray for one another

    • Brittany Holt

      Me and my boyfriend use it to buy food like most people im so sick of the ppl that are never in need talking smack like they know something about starving for days. Try being 20 having lil job experience but this society expects you to live on 8 dollars an hour 25 days a week. Feed should be free. We are the only creators on the planet who pay for food and shelter because western civilization says its necessary. I wanna grow my own food, on land that no government should own because God gave us this word. Not the government and they dont have the right to just come kill the inhabitants then charge everyone to live on it. This life with is so miserable because you allow a group of greedy, evil men tell you what the world is.

    • Kat

      Fedup, I cannot believe you’re Stereotyping people. There’s only takes a few to ruin The reputation of people on food stamps. I work 7 days a week thank God there’s this system to help with food the high cost of living.I have never sold my food stamps for cash that would be taking food out of my children’s mouth. I have more respect for myself for my children. I’m sure a lot of people feel that way. all of that should be praying for one another.

  • hardworking mom

    im a mother of 2 children, I work full time, and go to school full time. but working a full time job doesn’t always pay the bills and the necessities. food stamps really do help my family. not everyone that is on food stamps do drugs, sell them for cash, or is on welfare. they are to help whenever you need it. and I can honestly say we do, for the people leaving the nasty and rude comments you may not know what it like so don’t be disrespectful to others you never know what the future hold and you may need help someday…..most of the people who are getting government assistance are good hard working people but I don’t believe that you should be sitting around having multiple children if you cant afford it. God bless you all

  • Jamie Garner

    I have worked all my life, and never ask anyone for anything until the day came when I worked so hard that a blood vessel in my brain burst and now I can no longer work ajob not because I don’t want to but because people just don’t hire people with brain damage! I pay 14.99 for my internet that is shared with my son who has to have it for school, and yes I feel that I have to have it to mainly because I have nothing else! I am not a free loader because through my 40 years of working I feel like I paid more then enough to the government for them to send me a card with not even enough on it to make it through 3 weeks, and even though back before my medical problem I was considered upper class,now I am just a poor person definding my life! I think that the people on here who are saying all these things need to have to go from making over 2k a year to BRAIN DAMAGE then after one day lets see, cause it’s not as easy or a wonderful place to be! GOD BE WITH US ALL!!!!!!

  • September Shelley

    If the government takes away foodstamps then It’s only hurting It’s own people. Y would the government do that? If u think of everything that has been taken away recently how much longer do u think we are going to be a free country…everybody should start thinking about the future because things are only going to get worse.

  • Tiffany

    I have a degree and low paying job can’t find work in the healthcare field and get food stamps and yes I have internet. Dumbasses don’t know that the internet is just as important as food today. Can’t tell you how many times I have heard you can do the application online. So get out with all of that we don’t need internet because we qualify for food stamps.

  • lisa blankenship

    I work hard at my job in which I really enjoy and am very glad to have, and I need food stamps, but that don’t make me a bad person. I work just as hard if not harder then most well to do people that’s had everything handed to them. Prices are just to high for me to be able to feed my family without any help, and that’s not my fault. Some people just think they are better then other people, and just for that and I might sound mean, but so are they so I hope that one day they will need food stamps because life is not perfect, and they are not perfect, and I am not perfect. The only perfect person I ever knew about was God.

  • T. M. HANDY

    GET A JOB PEOPLE AND THEN YOU WONT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THIS KIND OF STUFF HAPPENING TO YOU!!!!!!! PEOPLE SAY WELL I CANT WORK BECAUSE OF THIS OR THAT…ANYBODY AND ANSWER A PHONE OR FLIP A FREAKN BURGER….PEOPLE DO IT EVERYDAY…….GET OFF YOUR LAZY BUTT AND STOP TAKING HANDOUTS FROM US WHO DO WORK!!!!!!!

    • rin

      Does flipping burgers onto the floor, then back onto your bun at 2 jobs every day, while looking for better work and taking 1 class pay enough for your family. A family of 2 kids 1 who has many problems and the wife who is disabled b/c of hit and run??? What do you think. Im educated yet I cant pay for all the medical bills and repairs, insurance, toys for kids(no electronics) and so on. Not all of us were born with a silver spoon up our tight ass, make us think that everyone got the happy upbringing you did, with all the loving parents, money, friends and advantages. Some of us had to and do work, we didnt get lots of cash for higher education, or nice car…or whatever.
      Although I ok with no more food stamps, just let me hunt anywhere I want to so I can kill and clean food for my family, all the time. I’ll do that over this any day. I m just talking food no violence people. Let me know when you have made that a reality and I think the US will be better as a whole. Stupid crackers…oh and I be a white boy too

      —–oh I could sell drugs and make lots more, yet I chose to go the honest route, which includes using food stamps to eat. Should take your wise words and change jobs and become a hustler of…..what do you think?

  • Just me

    I have a family member who is a veteran and has cancer, he can’t have his PET SCAN due to the government shut down, so stop complaining about food stamps and get a job like the rest of us do, Oh and yes the cancer is related to his over seas tour!!!

  • jessica

    That’s right there are people out here who work and get food stamps, that’s because no one wants to hire full time employees. Do you think I want to be on FOODSTAMPS !!!

  • Traci Moore

    People complain about their food stamps not working why can’t you get a job and you wouldn’t have to worry?

    • Kat

      There are a lot of people that work hard and need food help. Became of high rent and utility bills. Don’t judge until you are in there shoes.

    • Kat

      Traci, Do you believe that most people that get food stamps don’t work?Its proven that most people that get food stamps work really hard and 40 hours a week. maybe you live in this state that has low prices on houses or low rent. in the state I live housing is high, utilities are high and gas. I work 7 days a week. I have two young daughters and I’m grateful to God the assistance is there. we should pray for one another and not judge.

  • lee

    There are people(like myself) that work and bust there behinds everyday to provide for their families. But,because of the economy in most states it becomes hard to survive. If the government would stop taking so much in taxes and make it easier on businesses to be able to pay people more then we would not have to rely on EBT. Not everyone on EBT is an unemployed leech trying to suck the life from the system.

  • misswells

    I have food stamps and I make 16.30 an hour and i get WIC. Just because I work two jobs and get paid good money does not mean I dont need them I still have a family and the food stamps are there for those low income families. I am sorry we can not all be republicians nor from wealthy families but there are people who need help regardless of if they work or not and trust me I see people in my everyday job who go from making 400,000 and more a year to homelessness due to unforseen circumstances so you guys down talking the low-income need to rethink what you think becauae none of you are above anyone. God can take it from you just like he have goven it too you.

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