Computer glitch disrupts food, cash assistance benefit cards

The debit-style cards used by thousands of state residents to access nutrition and cash benefits are not working because of computer problems, according to the state Department of Social Services.

J.P. Morgan Electronic Financial Services, the contractor the state uses to operate the electronic benefit transfer cards, notified the DSS about the problem this morning. The glitch means that public assistance recipients can’t use the cards to access benefits from cash assistance programs or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.

The service disruption also hit New York, Florida, Indiana, South Carolina, West Virginia, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which also use J.P. Morgan as a contractor, according to DSS.

The department said J.P. Morgan is working to restore the system and will update states on its progress.