EBT card system down in 17 states, chaos ensues

The system that processes Electronic Benefit Transfer cards – known as EBT cards – was down Saturday in 17 states, preventing cash and food assistance.

Xerox, the vendor handling the transactions, was quick to point out that the problem was not due to the partial government shutdown.

The Norwalk, Conn.-based company posted this statement on its website:

During a routine test of our back-up systems Saturday morning, Xerox’s Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system experienced a temporary shutdown. While the system is now up and running, beneficiaries in the 17 affected states continue to experience connectivity issues to access their benefits. This disruption impacts EBT beneficiaries who rely on the system for SNAP and WIC. Technical staff is addressing the issue and expect the system to be restored soon. 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.

As with any modern-day crisis, people took to Twitter to offer wisdom, criticism and a little comedy:

EBT tweet 1

 EBT tweet 3

EBT tweet 2

A laugh at Walmart’s expense:

EBT tweet 4.5

And these offered up from Twitchy:

EBT tweet 4

 EBT tweet 5 w pic

UPDATE: Xerox announced late in the evening that access had been restored and service was back at full functionality for users in all 17 states affected, according to The Blaze.

H/T: NBC Washington


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