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.

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DaddyO's picture

So Tylers is there any correlation between you title and the color of the majority of EBT users?


debtor of last resort's picture

It's named after Obama's second off record son; Erin Bashar Tyrone.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

11/11/13 bitches - everything goes dark.

DaddyO's picture

WOW, so I guess making a joke at the Tylers expense is verbotten?

No sense of humor!


knukles's picture

I been sayin' for a long long time that if somebody wanted to fuck US over, all they gotta do is freeze/takedown the EBT system and Viol-Fuckin-A you got a lotta hungry pissed off less than civil (some of which, BTW is downright violent) people out there all of a sudden.

And then there's K Sebalius's view of the ObieCareSystem's not working, too (Very funny)

lolmao500's picture

Fuck US over or finally have a goddamn revolution? Patriots could take down the EBT to achieve that aim. The only thing that will force the unwashed masses to revolt is EBT being cut for weeks.

knukles's picture

I'm a thinkin' along the lines of some good olde fashioned Cyber-Warfare to Fuck Things Up

In any case, it'll be blamed on the Republicans at this moment in time... shutting down the gubamint...

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

That's because it's 

George Bush's fault!


Aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

blurble, drool, throws stuff at people...

TruthInSunshine's picture

It’s free! Swipe Yo EBT Free!
Swipe Yo EBT
It’s free! Swipe Yo EBT Free!
Swipe Yo EBT It’s free!
You had me to get it all free
Now yall need to be sitting here now
Let’s go get this money
Man I want some subway
Hot Cheetos
Some Starburst
Fish and French fries
Some Jolly Rancher
A mamma! What? Did they approve us for section 8
don’t want go to Granny’s house anymore, anymore! I want some airheads
Hot Cheetos I want some nachos Oh I want some pizza
Noodles- Ravioli Ohh!
I want a pickle with some Kool-Aid
See that’s just ghetto
You’ll want too much stuff I want everything in the store
It’s free! Swipe Yo EBT Free!
Swipe Yo EBT
You had me to get it all free

Manthong's picture

Only about 15 or 16 million more on the roles since BO first perjured himself to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States".

Youtube of TIS song with nasty lyrics:

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Speaking of dry runs...

An internal memo from the union that represents pilots for US Airways
claims there have been “several cases recently” throughout the airline
industry of what the union believes are “dry-runs” for potential attacks
with or on an aircraft.

GetZeeGold's picture




Glitch my ass.....Obama wants pain.

kaiserhoff's picture

I smell a hit disaster movie:

  We gots no EBT!

Bad Attitude's picture

Didn't you see World War Z?

krispkritter's picture

From a couple years ago, a one-time outage of bennies...imagine a week, two?

Gimme, gimme, gimme...

FEDbuster's picture


Cost of livin' gets so high,
Rich and poor they start to cry:
Now the weak must get strong;
They say, "Oh, what a tribulation!"
Them belly full, but we hungry;
A hungry mob is a angry mob.

Bob Marley, "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)"

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Xerox announced late in the evening that access had been restored for
users in the 17 states affected by the outage, hours after the first
problems were reported.

The Big Ching-aso's picture


Electronic Bubkis Transfer?

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

48 hours... Let the count down begin...

3 days without food means people stop acting rationally.

ebear's picture

Brains!  Must.  Have.  Brains!

MagicHandPuppet's picture

One day in the probable likely future, EBT cards will only work in your friendly, neighborhood FEMA camp.

nmewn's picture

See...this is the problem (among many):

"Reports from around the country began pouring in around 9 a.m. on Saturday that customers’ EBT cards were not working in stores."

They are not a "customer". It implies they have their own money, that they earned and are willing to part with it at a going private concern for a price they agree with, for parting with a grocery store.

Its just bitching about means of payment.

This would NOT BE A PROBLEM...if EBT card users went to a government store for surplus, government subsidized cheese, bought from a private producer.

Would it? ;-)

knukles's picture

A man cannot live by cheese alone.

Where be da Twinkies, yo?

krispkritter's picture

Dey's got that spray cheez...hmmm, spray cheez on a Twinkie....

nmewn's picture

Exactly, to you both.

How does one describe reality to...someone living and being taught, in an alternate universe?

You can't.

All I can say is, sorry for their luck and I understand their compliance to their masters desires but their masters desires are at complete variance to mine. 

So they...and their masters...will have to fight me.

There is no turning back now.

The Big Ching-aso's picture

Imagine when the Soylent Green runs out.

mrdenis's picture

yo mean World war ETB .....

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

And the food riots will be televised as entertainment

Bread+Ciruses - Bread = Circuses squared

TruthInSunshine's picture

Even prominent black Americans are basically calling Obama & his supporters Wall Street whores & Uncle Toms.

Cornel West Attacks Al Sharpton: ‘Bonafide House Negro of the Obama Plantation’

by Andrew Kirell | 4:14 pm, August 30th, 2013

Cornel West tore into many of this week’s speeches surrounding the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s “I Have a Dream” speech, accusing everyone from President Obama to Rev. Al Sharpton of “sanitizing” Dr. King’s vision.

“Brother Martin himself, I think, would’ve been turning over in his grave,” West said of the event. “[King would have wanted] people to talk about Wall Street criminality, he wants people to talk about war crimes, or drones dropping bombs on innocent people,” he asserted.

“Instead,” he lamented, “we saw the coronation of the bonafide house negro of the Barack Obama plantation, our dear brother Al Sharpton.” West went further declaring that Sharpton’s decline was “supported by [MSNBC analyst] Michael Dyson and others who’ve prostituted themselves in a very ugly and vicious way.”

Dugald's picture

Waul first there was mind control, it ain't panned out too good....but Stomach control....the new ploy...Obey your masters or you will feel prolonged real  gut wrenching lead? eat it......

The Heart's picture

"..but Stomach control.."

Howdy Dugald.

You are close.

Some people's god is money. Some people's God is Love.

When both are no where to be found, and the food is gone, the stomach will become the god of the future.



superflex's picture

WalMart without the FSA.


screw face's picture

..don't taze our severs dude.


Abracadabra.....EBT becomes ..........rationing cards.


Xerox...what bank owns them.

Agent P's picture

At least now we know the true value of Twitter.  If it wasn't for them, how would we know the PPLs, folks and Motha Fuckas was going all cra-cra ats the Walmarts?


rbg81's picture

Yeah, that was my first thought.  Not so much as a dry run though--more like a test to say what would actually happen when the cards stop working.  But, to be a real test, you'd have to go at least 48 hours (6 meals) without them working.

NoDebt's picture

"after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure."

Xerox, huh?  Well that explains it.  Hand the reins of a huge nationwide payment system over to a bunch of copier jockeys and nobody should be surprised at the result.

.....Heading to the basement to double check that everything is loaded and ready for action. 

tbone654's picture

dito...  loading more shotgun shells tonight, drinking jack, playing a little guitar...  ready, check!

FEDbuster's picture

You might want to make a few "waxers" to fend off the Zombies.

max2205's picture

Barry: Fuck Boener...Jamie it's time to kill switch EBT

Jamie: Yasser Master

Nikao7's picture

A super bank CEO referring to Obama as Master???  Surely you jest lmao

fonzannoon's picture

the market is open Monday right? Leave this system off until Monday morning and they wil get the crash they want. That is assured.

knukles's picture

And these people want more money to do what?
Create more broken systems, waste and sow mass confusion far and wide?
Hi I'm from the Government and I'm here to Fuck Things Up

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

increasingly complex systems become increasingly susceptible to collapse

But then, the Eastern Roman Empire - a.k.a. Byzantine survived the western Roman Empire by 1000 years

invest accordingly?

rbg81's picture

For most of that time, the Byzantine "empire" wasn't much of an empire.  It waas more like a city state.