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EBT software glitch keeps thousands from receiving benefits

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TWC News: EBT software glitch keeps thousands from receiving benefits
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GREENSBORO -- A software glitch in the state's electronic benefits transfer computer system is causing a delay for thousands of people receiving their benefits. The problem is putting a big strain on food banks.

The state has been implementing the new system for the past year.

Recent college grad Portia Holt is frustrated with Social Services. Her EBT card hasn't been reloaded, leaving the mother of two struggling.

"I've been down to Social Services and they said 'we received your information on time and it's a priority case,' and that they'd get a supervisor on it. I've heard nothing,” Holt said.

Holt is now relying on the kindness of Greensboro's Urban Ministry to help her out. Since the software glitch, the organization is serving more than double the number of clients it normally sees.

"The amount of food we've had here is probably the lowest we've ever had,” said Mike Aiken, executive director of the organization.

Guilford County Social Services was the state's pilot site.

"The problems that we're experiencing are being experienced in counties across the state,” said Guilford County Social Services division director Steve Hayes.

Hayes says that the state has added Medicaid benefits to its new EBT software system, which is causing the problems.

If you do find yourself in this situation, Hayes says call your local DSS office to check on your benefits. Another thing you can do is to make sure you've filled out your re-certification form to re-up your EBT benefits. DSS leaders say that's a large majority of the folks they're seeing.

In the meantime, food bank leaders say no donation is too small and they hope folks will step up to help.

"They are complete lifesavers,” Holt said.

Guilford County DSS leaders say they're working overtime to fix the system, and things should be running smoothly in a couple of weeks.

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