Food Stamp Debit Cards Not Working in Illinois

Saturday, Oct 12, 2013  |  Updated 3:33 PM CDT
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Food Stamp Debit Cards Not Working in Illinois

AP

In this photo taken Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, a sign announcing the acceptance of electronic Benefit Transfer cards is seen at a farmers market in Roseville, Calif. Currently food stamp recipients have had problems purchasing food at farmer's markets because many of them do not accept the EBT cards that food stamp recipients use to buy groceries. A bill currently in the legislature would change that by helping farmers markets overcome bureaucratic hurdles to obtain the equipment needed to read the benefit cards.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

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Shoppers in Illinois and other states have been unable to use their food stamp debit cards because of an outage at the vendor that processes the payments.

Xerox Corp. spokeswoman Karen Arena confirmed Saturday that some Electronic Benefits Transfer systems are experiencing temporary connectivity issues. She says technical staff is addressing the issue and expects the system to be restored soon.

Januari Smith is spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services.

She says people began reporting problems using their LINK cards Saturday morning.

Smith says it "really is a bad situation." She says typically when cards aren't working retailers may call a number to find out how much money a customer has in their account. But that information also was unavailable, so customers couldn't access their benefits.

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