UPDATE 9:25pm 10/12/13

Chicago (KMOX) Xerox reports the system is back up and running.

CHICAGO (AP) 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.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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