UPDATE: EBT Service Restored After Nationwide Outages

By: Rahel Solomon Email
By: Rahel Solomon Email

SOUTH POINT, OHIO- (WSAZ) Shopper Chassidy Dickson says every dollar of every paycheck is accounted for and her government funded food assistance helps her stretch each paycheck.

“I couldn't afford it if i didn't have it,” Dickson told WSAZ.com.

Saturday she was forced to go without the benefit because the Electronic Benefits Transfer system, or EBT, was down.

“It's very scary,” Dickson added.

The disruption impacted at least 16 other states, including Kentucky.

While some questioned if the issue was a result of the government shut down- Benjamin Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family services, says Xerox, a company that handles the card's transactions, is to blame.

In a statement, a spokeswoman from Xerox said the shutdown occurred during a routine test of their backup systems.

Saturday’s outages also impacted retailers who say sales were down because of the interruption.

“Probably about $5000,” said Nathaniel Thacker who helps manage a Save a Lot store in South Point, Ohio. “We do a lot of business and that's where a lot of our business comes from,” Thacker said referring to EBT transactions.

Officials tell WSAZ.com the system is now back up and running.

In a statement, Xerox’s Vice President of Corporate Communications Kevin Lightfoot said, “We continue to investigate the cause of the issue so we can take steps to ensure a similar interruption does not re-occur.”

OHIO (AP) -- People in Ohio, Michigan and several other states found themselves unable to use their food stamp debit cards on Saturday, after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure.

Shoppers from Maine to Oklahoma had to abandon baskets of groceries because they couldn't access their benefits.

Ohio's cash and food assistance card payment systems went down at 11 a.m., said Benjamin Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Ohio's cash system has been fixed, however its electronic benefits transfer card system is still down.

All states that use Xerox systems are affected by the outage.

Xerox spokeswoman Karen Arena confirmed via email Saturday afternoon that some EBT systems are experiencing temporary connectivity issues.

She said technical staff is addressing the issue and expects the system to be restored soon.

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