(NEW YORK) -- Around the country, some customers attempting to use their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards were being turned down due to what appears to be a system error. EBT cards are the way that many state governments deliver cash and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to recipients.
The United States Department of Agriculture spokesperson Courtney Rowe said that the issue was not related to the federal government shutdown and was not a nation-wide problem.
Xerox, the company that runs the electronic systems for the EBT cards released a statement Saturday afternoon acknowledging the issues, pointing to a "temporary shutdown" that occurred during a "routine test" of back-up systems. Xerox said that while the system was now up and running, beneficiaries in the 17 affected states were still experiencing connectivity problems.
The company added that anyone in need of access to their benefits can work with their local retailers who can activate an "emergency voucher system."
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