SNAP, TANF recipients warned of blackout to EBT cards this weekend

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 25, 2015) -- More than 800,000 Hoosiers who are on food stamps or welfare will see a disruption in service this weekend.

EBT cards used for SNAP benefits and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, will not be working between 11 p.m. Saturday night and 12:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

"We’re trying to communicate as much as possible," said Marni Lemons, Deputy Director of Communications for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

FSSA sent postcards to EBT cardholders and posted signs in grocery stores to try and warn people about the outage.

During that time period, the cards will not work for purchases or withdrawals at ATMs.

"We worked very hard to make sure that it was at a time of low usage, overnight on a weekend at the end of the month," Lemons said.

The outage is due to a change in service from JP Morgan Chase to Xerox. Lemons said the former company will no longer provide services for the cards and the state had to move to a new provider. During the outage, data will be moved between the two companies.

"It requires transferring millions of bits of data and so in order to do that, we determined that there had to be an outage," Lemons said.

If you need emergency assistance during the outage, you should call 211 for help. You can also monitor FSSA's Twitter page for an exact time the cards will reactivate, as the outage may end earlier than 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.