Food stamp debit cards restored after outage

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Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013

(MGN Online)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Food stamp debit cards are working again after they stopped working due to a systems failure Saturday, according to Xerox Corp.

A spokesperson from the vendor said Xerox's Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system went down following a routine test of back-up systems.

All 17 states that use the system were affected by the outage including Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

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

Xerox released the following statement Saturday night:

"Beneficiary access to programs such as SNAP, TANF, and other programs has been restored to the 17 States where Xerox provides EBT service. Re-starting the EBT system required time to ensure service was back at full functionality. Beneficiaries who required immediate access to their benefits could work with their local merchants who could activate an emergency voucher process where available.

We appreciate our clients' patience while we resolved this issue and apologize for any inconvenience. We realize that access to these benefits is important to families in the states we serve. We continue to investigate the cause of the issue so we can take steps to ensure a similar interruption does not re-occur."

(The Associated Press. 2013.)