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Electronic Benefit Transfer Cards Will Be Unavailable For Several Hours March 23-24

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Public Welfare is alerting all Electronic Benefit Transfer card users that they will be unable to use their card beginning 11 p.m. March 23 through noon on March 24. 

The planned temporary outage, carefully selected to minimize impact to cardholders due to transaction volume, is a result of information technology changes occurring during a change of card vendors. Cardholders will not be able to make any purchases with their card or access their account for information while the transfer is taking place.

The Electronic Benefit Transfer card, often referred to as the EBT card, is a blue card with yellow wording spelling out "ACCESS." The EBT card may contain any of the following benefits: Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Medical Assistance. 

Clients should be advised that after the transfer:

  • Their benefits will not change;
  • They can still use the same EBT card they have now;
  • They will be able to shop at the same grocery stores and use the same ATM if they are eligible for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit; and
  • The recipient hotline number located on the back of the card will remain the same. 

Beginning at noon on March 24, cardholders will be able to go to www.ebt.acs-inc.com to access their benefit information.

The new vendor will be more convenient for the cardholder, who will now be able to get their benefits sooner, order replacement cards at any time, and more easily replace their pin number.   

The Department of Public Welfare has conducted outreach and provided information to legislators, retailers, county assistance offices and other stakeholders to notify them of the temporary outage.

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