Test shutdown cause of food stamp EBT card glitch

October 14
9:17 PM 2013

A temporary shutdown which occurred after a system test was the cause of the food stamp glitch over the weekend. The issue caused food stamp debit-style cards to fail. This was revealed by Xerox Corp, the company that operates the Electronics Benefits System that enabled recipients to access their welfare benefits through payment cards.

In Georgia, the outage caused recipients to leave grocery stores empty-handed after their EBT cards failed. Beneficiaries in 17 other states, including Alabama, California, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia were also affected.

In Louisiana, meanwhile, the glitch did just the opposite. Walmart allowed beneficiaries in Springhill and Mansfield to shop for two hours even if their cards did not show spending limits. However, Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services' Spokesman Trey Williams said Walmart would be stuck with the excess bill. Louisina cardholders were limited to USD 50 per cardholder in the event of emergencies. Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd told ABC News he saw a person hauling USD 700 worth of groceries.

However, Walmart told ABC News that it was an isolated incident. The retailer also believed that the case would not have any material impact to its businesses in the US. Although no monetary figures have been released about monetary losses resulting from the glitch, ABC News reported, "The bill could be a sizable one for Walmart."

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