DCFS: Xerox testing EBT system that failed, led to SNAP fraud - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

DCFS: Testing under way on EBT system that failed, led to SNAP fraud last fall

This photo from Oct. 12, 2013 inside the Springhill Walmart store shows carts overflowing with food left abandoned after balances started showing up again on customers' EBT cards. (Source: OJ Evans) This photo from Oct. 12, 2013 inside the Springhill Walmart store shows carts overflowing with food left abandoned after balances started showing up again on customers' EBT cards. (Source: OJ Evans)
This image, posted on Facebook, shows empty shelves at the Springhill Walmart store after a run on meat and other food products one Saturday in October, 2013. This image, posted on Facebook, shows empty shelves at the Springhill Walmart store after a run on meat and other food products one Saturday in October, 2013.
Similar chaos was reported at the Walmart in Many, Louisiana on the same day. Similar chaos was reported at the Walmart in Many, Louisiana on the same day.
Walmart shoppers captured the shopping frenzy on video at the Mansfield, LA Walmart. (Source: Starla Laedawn Allen) Walmart shoppers captured the shopping frenzy on video at the Mansfield, LA Walmart. (Source: Starla Laedawn Allen)
BATON ROUGE, LA (KSLA) -

Xerox, a third party contractor for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), began the first of several tests of its Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system on Saturday since an outage last October that resulted in a multi-state EBT failure.

The tests, which DCFS says will be conducted throughout the month of May, will assess the integrity of the system and will be conducted across the Xerox EBT system, which includes Louisiana.

According to a statement released by DCFS, Xerox has assured the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services that the tests are not expected to impact Louisiana's EBT system.

DCFS contracts with Xerox to distribute benefits through EBT for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), and cash benefit payments through Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) and Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP).

In the event the EBT host is unavailable because of the Xerox tests, DCFS is reminding retailers to follow their established policies and procedures. They say retailers who have questions regarding the tests can call 1-866-880-5264.

There is no word yet on how Saturday's testing went, or when it was expected to be completed.

The planned tests are similar to one completed in October 2013 that resulted in a multi-state EBT failure. DCFS says they have determined that some retailers did not follow guidelines during that event, resulting in SNAP recipients who attempted to intentionally and grossly misuse taxpayer dollars by using their EBT cards to make purchases that exceeded the available balance in their accounts.

To date, 41 SNAP recipients have been disqualified for a period of at least one year because of their actions that day.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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