POSTED: Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 1:47pm
UPDATED: Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 6:43pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — A routine test caused a computer glitch that shut down SNAP EBT card services in 17 states, officials say.
“During a routine test of our back-up systems Saturday morning, Xerox’s Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system experienced a temporary shutdown,” Karen Arean, Vice President of Global Public Relations for Xerox Cooperation, said. “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.”
Louisiana is one of the states impacted by the failure of service. Officials say local retailers have been notified to use the manual system, meaning that SNAP customers can spend up to $50 until the system is back online.
“Technical staff is addressing the issue and expect the system to be restored soon,” Arean said. “Beneficiaries requiring access to their benefits can work with their local retailers who can activate an emergency voucher system where available.
Officials urge that this issue is not related to the shutdown of the federal government and benefits are guaranteed through the end of October.
SNAP recipients should call the 800 number on the back of the card, and Xerox will guide them through the purchase process.