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Computer Glitch Knocks Out EBT Cards In Georgia And Nine Other States

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Photo by Jean Ross CBS Radio

Photo by Jean Ross CBS Radio

Jean Ross
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Millions of food stamp recipients in 10 states were unable to use their debit cards for about six hours Friday after an outage at JPMorgan Chase.

Bank spokesman Mike Fusco apologized for the inconvenience and said the technical glitch was resolved around 1 p.m. Friday, but he declined to discuss details of what exactly went wrong.

Bank officials said the outage affected 10 states: Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky, Connecticut, West Virginia, Delaware. It also hit the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“All customers can now use their SNAP, food stamps and other cash benefit cards after we resolved the technical issues,” Fusco told The Associated Press.

Angry users took to social media to express their frustration in the busy grocery shopping days before Thanksgiving.

One woman tweeted, “They have about 50 signs on Publix door saying the (hash)EBT machine is down for Ga!!!”

“Five of these states were severely impacted by superstorm Sandy just weeks ago, causing significant hardship for many low-income families. We are deeply concerned about this outage and will continue monitoring the situation,” said Kevin Concannon, an undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Some stores, including Wal-Mart, agreed to handle manual transactions to accommodate customers.

Fusco stressed the outage did not affect regular debit, credit or other card holders.

—Copyright 2012 Associated Press

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