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UPDATE: EBT System Running Again, 17 States Still Having Connection Issues

The contractor that maintains SNAP EBT services for the state of Louisiana has informed DCFS that some store systems that handle EBT transactions have returned to service.
UPDATE 6:20 p.m. -- The following is a statement from Lindsey deBlieux, Spokesperson for the Department of Children and Family Services:

"The contractor that maintains SNAP EBT services for the state of Louisiana has informed DCFS that some store systems that handle EBT transactions have returned to service. The contractor expects additional stores to do the same in the next few hours. The multi-state system outage began at approximately 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 12."

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UPDATE:

The Department of Children and Family Services says October services have not been affected by the government shutdown.

However, the department says the issue is because the company that maintains SNAP EBT card service for the state of Louisiana is currently experiencing service problems.

Retail SNAP transactions are impacted, but the company is working on the problem

The Department of Children and Family Services did not provide an estimated time of when the service would return.

The following is a statement from Lindsey deBlieux, Spokesperson for the Department of Children and Family Services:

"The company that maintains SNAP EBT card services for the state of Louisiana is currently experiencing multi-state service problems. Retail SNAP transactions are impacted, but the company is working quickly to restore service. This issue is temporary and not related to the federal government shutdown."

The following is a statement from Xerox:

"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."

Xerox is notifying retailers to go to the manual system, meaning SNAP customers can spend up to $50 until the system is back online.

SNAP recipients should call the 800 number on the back of the card, and Xerox will guide them through the purchase process.

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EARLIER:

Karen Arena in Xerox PR wrote back with the following statement:

 
"We are getting updated in real time, but as far as I know right now some of our Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system is experiencing temporarily connectivity issues.  Technical staff is addressing the issue and expect the system to be restored soon. The issue stemmed from a routine check of the system."

Statement from a USDA Spokesperson:

"EBT cards in a number of states have temporarily stopped working today due to a technical issue that the vendor that serves these states is experiencing. The vendor is working to fix this issue and EBT cards will work again once it is resolved. This issue is not related to the government shutdown."

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MONROE -- KTVE/KARD has recieved phone calls about trouble with the EBT system in the area.

Managers at Brookshires in Monroe and West Monroe say the EBT system is down across the state, but they do not know why. NBC News has learned that other cities and states across the country are experiencing similar problems.

Here is a statement given to the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma, KFOR, on the reason behind the nationwide issues:

According to Sheree Powell, Director of Communications for Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the system failure is the result of a power outage at a Xerox facility. Xerox is the vendor for the EBT systems for many states. 

They are aware of the problem and are rebooting the system.

The debit card system is up and running, while the SNAP system is still rebooting.


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