Many people who use EBT cards are finding they can’t in at least 17 states, Alabama being one of them.
Shoppers who use the cards say they were able to use them Saturday morning, but not Saturday afternoon.
WHNT News 19 spoke with store managers who say the system has been down since around ten o’clock Saturday morning. They say this isn’t the first time this has happened.
Business owners say they are able to take EBT cards from other states, but not cards from Alabama.
Star Market store director Doug Owens says he’s been trying to get answers. “I tried calling the 800 number for EBT Alabama and there was nothing but an automated thing where you could go in and check your account,” says Owens.
Owens says the system has been down in the past, but never for this long. “Typically when it’s gone down it’s only been for two or three hours, then it’s gone back up,” he says.
He says last time it went down, he got notification from the state telling him the problem, and when it would be back up again.
This time though, Owens says he hasn’t heard anything. He also points out the last time the system was down was a week day, and not a weekend when the offices are closed.
As for a plan B, Owens says that’s hard to say. “It’s down everywhere. You’re simply not going to be able to use them,” he says.
Our news partner, The Huntsville Times/Al.com report Jimmy Sharp, the store manager at Lucky’s Supermarket in Decatur, said at least 100 customers have been affected, but he is unsure of the cause of the outage, which began around 9 a.m.
“All of our sister stores have called and are down,” Sharp told Al.com. “They won’t even let us do offline vouchers anymore. Customers have been upset. We’re guessing it’s because of the government shutdown, but I don’t know.”
Sharp and other store employees have tried calling the EBT hotline but can’t get through.
We’ll have more information on this as it becomes available.