EBT Card Issues Cause Problems for Local Families

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

STUARTS DRAFT, Va. (WHSV) -- People in 17 states haven't been able to get food they need if they have a food stamp debit card.

Xerox corporation said it happened because of a routine computer check.

The system is up and running, but some cards may still not work because of a connectivity issue.

The O'Neils rely on their EBT Debit card to feed themselves and their son Micah.

"People were looking at me I asked if there was anything else if she could if she could run it again and it wasn't working," said Terry O'Neil.

The card has $153 to support three people for the remaining weeks in October.

When their EBT card was denied today at the Waynesboro Walmart, Kristen O'Neil was embarrassed and frustrated.

"We didn't have any food in the pantry so we needed food today," said Kristen O'Neil.

If Kristen O'Neil hadn't called her grandparents to come pay for the groceries, they may not have had dinner.

"If not, I don't know what we would have done," said Kristen O'Neil.

Kristen called the number on the card, and she was told "access denied."

"We rely on that because after our bills are paid and our rent's paid we have nothing left for food," said Kristen O'Neil.

Other people in the Shenandoah Valley couldn't use their cards either.

On Facebook, people wrote dozens of comments.

Becky Ryman said, "Mine still isn't and neither is the card we get our child support on. Guess next we will all be homeless because disability can't pay."

"We depend on EBT especially since our national parks are shut down and hurting [businesses].. come on government, get it together," said Kathryn Frazier.

"It's not that we're lazy, you know there are people out there that do abuse the system, it's hard to find those people but there are people that legitimately need it and myself and my family are one of them," said Terry Frazier.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a statement stating that the EBT issues have nothing to do with the government shutdown.

"EBT cards in a number of states have temporarily stopped working today due to a technical issue that the vendor that serves these states is experiencing. The vendor is working to fix this issue and EBT cards will work again once it is resolved. This issue is not related to the Government Shutdown."

Terry O'Neil isn't totally convinced.

"I think that it's awful suspect that government assistance has now shut down as the government has," said Terry O'Neil.

But for now, the O'Neils are just grateful to be able to eat a meal together.

"I myself I do work and I make decent money but government assistance is what's keeping us above water right now," said O'Neil.

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