The national EBT system stopped payments on Saturday which resulted in 17 states not allowing persons to pay for their purchases at grocery stores and other outlets with the nation’s Food Stamps, according to a variety of sources on Saturday including a report from Web Pro News.
According to postings on social media site Twitter – which surprisingly many persons depending on public assistance are apparently on – Food Stamps users thought that their governmental benefit of having the program was gone until the shutdown in Washington, D.C. had ended. Many were quick to blame those "damn Republicans" even though their anger was severely misdirected. The government shutdown - regardless of who one wants to blame - wasn’t the blame for the EBT card's system at all. Much like the horrendous first week of Obamacare with its multiple technical glitches, the EBT system - which pays for persons with that type of government aid –had a glitch of its own.
Customers throughout the 17 states who were affected by the system’s outage had to leave their groceries at the register and go home without them – unless they had another way to pay for their purchases. Some store owners chose to close in areas where many or most of their customers pay with the government assistance.
A USDA spokesperson said that the EBT cards in a number of states had temporarily stopped working on Saturday due to a technical issue that the vendor that serves many states is experiencing. The statement said that the vendor was working to fix the issue and EBT cards will only be accepted when the issue is resolved. The statement specifically stated that the issue had nothing to do with the government shutdown.
The report claims that Food Stamps would be good up to a year if the government’s shut down were to last that long.
Though the glitch has been corrected, the exact time when EBT users may use their funds again is not known. Xerox – the company that services the system – apologized for the inconvenience people are experiencing.