Foodstamp Nation In Turmoil: EBT System Goes Dark, "Glitch" Blamed

Tyler Durden's picture

In the past five years it has become apparent that America can survive a near-fatal financial system collapse, an economy teetering on the edge and kept ticking only thanks to the Fed's now perpetual QE, a collapsing standard of living for everyone but the wealthiest 0.1%, declining wages, zero interest rates, surging food, energy, rent, tuition and welfare costs, and pretty much everything else, as long as the welfare state keeps humming along. Any be welfare state we mostly mean providing the daily bread to the nearly 50 million Americans living in poverty and surviving only thanks to the only thing to have exploded to epic record highs under Obama (in addition to the Fed's balance sheet of course): foodstamp usage. However, the true stability of the US may be tested very soon following reports that due to a "possible computer glitch" the Electronic Benefits Transfer System, aka EBT, ala Foodstamps, is offline. Cue mass panic among the best-weaponized population in the world. Naturally, this latest fiasco involving a country that has grown accustomed to sucking on the government's teat was immediately blamed on a "glitch" - just like everything else that is slowly but surely breaking in the New Normal.

CBS reports:

Reports from around the country began pouring in around 9 a.m. on Saturday that customers’ EBT cards were not working in stores. The glitch, however, did not appear to be part of the government shutdown. At 2 p.m., an EBT customer service representative told CBS Boston that the system was currently down for a computer system upgrade.

 

The representative said the glitch is affecting people nationwide. She could not say when officials expected the system to be restored.

 

People calling the customer service line were being told to call back later.

 

State officials said they were preparing a statement to further explain the issue.

 

The federal EBT website was unavailable due to the government shutdown.

AP adds:

People in Ohio, Michigan and several other states found themselves unable to use their food stamp debit cards on Saturday, after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure. Shoppers from Maine to Oklahoma had to abandon baskets of groceries because they couldn't access their benefits.

 

Ohio's cash and food assistance card payment systems went down at 11 a.m., said Benjamin Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Ohio's cash system has been fixed, however its electronic benefits transfer card system is still down. All states that use Xerox systems are affected by the outage.

 

Xerox spokeswoman Karen Arena confirmed via email Saturday afternoon that some EBT systems are experiencing temporary connectivity issues. She said technical staff is addressing the issue and expects the system to be restored soon.

As a reminder, this is how many Americans and households were on foodstamps as of the most recent monthly update (hint: a record).

 

And now, it's time for the sequel to @MrEBT's hit masterpiece: "My EBT... has been rejected."

 

 

Xerox Statement on Temporary EBT Systems Outage

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.

 

In short: Cue panic, because while the Nasdaq may be down for 3 hours and only a few vacuum tubes would notice, take down EBT, and you will have a full-fledged revolution in no time.

 

Via Twitchy,

EBT cards in many states aren’t working today, and as you might expect, some Walmart shoppers aren’t very happy.

Then again, every cloud has its silver lining:

Welcome to the Obama economy.