Food stamps and EBT cards stopped working in 17 different states and the blame was immediately put on the government shutdown, but that wasn't the case. As the Inquisitr reported on Oct. 13, 2013, a computer glitch is what actually brought a halt to the food stamp benefits of many and work is being done to fix it.
The glitch in the national EBT system brought payments to a screeching halt in 17 states and prevented people from having any funds to buy food and groceries. So many got scared thinking they may have to do without until the government shutdown was over.
“When we went to go use them today after 12 o’clock–no food stamps,” said Lakendra Washington, a Maryland resident. Washington said her sister called to let her know about the issue after having to leave her groceries at the checkout counter. “She was like, ‘I went to CVS and the machines were down there, went to 7-11 and machines were down there.’”
“So we decided to call the card, and it says that you can’t get your balance,” Washington said. “You can’t do anything until further notice. We have four children that live in our home. It’s us two adults and there’s only one income right now, and food is expensive.”
Grocery stores have given reports of numerous angry people due to not having funds and doing what they could to get some food at all. Others were angry when they'd have all their groceries and get to the register, only to be declined.
The USDA has issued a statement saying that the government shutdown was not the reason food stamps payments were halted, but a computer glitch.
“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,” a USDA spokesperson said. “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.”
Funding for food stamps should be available for at least a year, if the shutdown lasts that long.
In the meantime, those that are dealing with the food stamps glitch are doing without. Reports state that benefits will be restored very soon, and they are working as fast as they can. The computer glitch has been restored, but there is no set time frame for when EBT users can expect funds back on their cards.