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Bug Government HP The Almighty Buck IT

HP Software Update Cancels Food Stamps 240

Spy Handler writes "A software update of the California welfare computer system (CalWIN) caused 37,000 Food Stamp recipients to lose their EBT (a credit card paid for by the government) benefits last weekend. According to the article, Hewlett Packard was responsible for the failed update of CalWIN, but at 8:00 a.m. today Xerox (who administers another state welfare system called CalFresh) issued a patch that reactivated the EBT cards."
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HP Software Update Cancels Food Stamps

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  • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Informative)

    by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:34PM (#42526269) [] []

    Those are both CBS affiliates. I've seen 60 minutes also do an expose on food stamp fraud a few years back. They videotaped people exchanging food stamps for drugs at a store in Chicago. It's so common no one even blinks about it anymore. If you haven't seen news about it on even the left wing tv affiliates then you just don't watch the news or you selectively listen to it.

  • by powerspike ( 729889 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:35PM (#42526279)

    If HP Issued the patches, and xerox pushed a fix, then who's fault is it really?

    One of the biggest gripes about the patch release cycles is that they are slow. Companies like HP state this is for people to be able to do full testing etc to make sure nothing goes wrong. So the real question here is who didn't do their testing on the systems before the patches go live?

    It's obvious there has been mistakes made, but blaming the wrong company/person never helps the situation. There are people who currently rely on the welfare payments to make ends meet, and ensuring this type of stuff doesn't happen is critical. Regardless if you agree or not to the payments themselves, while they are valid they need to make sure they are delivered on time and correctly.

  • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:40PM (#42526337) Journal

    I remember when food assistance programs meant you got your monthly allotment of government welfare cheese and other staples delivered to your door. im all for taking it back to that time. The 'modern' method of distributing benefits definitely opens the way to fraud, especially when you can get cash from the ebt card at casinos. It has made fraud so easy now many of the benefits are not going to their intended purpose. However, there are not too many crack dealers that will trade a block of cheese for drugs. That is the way it should be. Keep the benefits, just change the method of delivery. i think that would help more than anything. im tired of working hard to fund some other's drug or gambling habit with this kind of abuse.

    You have no idea what a EBT is do you?

    EBT have 2 uses. 1 use if for food stamps. That money on the card for food stamps can ONLY be used to purchase food. You can NOT use it to take money out of your food part.

    The other use of EBT is putting on money from services like DSHS.

    For example, before I was on disability I got $330 a month to live on from DSHS, and $190 in Food stamps (food credit really). I was able to take out $330 using an ATM, but the $190 was just for Food.

    That money I got monthly doesn't matter if I got it on the EBT card, or if I got it in a check, it was my money to spend. And it has nothing to do with Food Stamps.

    So, if you saw a person using a EBT to take out money, he/she was doing what they are allowed to. They are NOT using their Food Stamps to get money from an ATM. That is NOT even possible.

    So before you start spouting off about what you saw, trying learning a bit about it first before you make accusations that are NOT true.

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @08:47PM (#42526421) Journal

    Okay, since most of you probably never been on it, I will give you some info.

    Back before EBT was thought up, we had Food Stamps. They were basicly like paper money, but food stamps, only could be spend on food, but you got real change back. So this was abused. People would purposedly by cheap stuff to get change back to spend on drugs/alcohol.

    In the 90's they decided to go to a debit like card. This had a few purposes. One was about giving people actually real money change for the food stamps, the other it was cheaper to get digital.

    So they decided to go with EBT cards. The Food Stamp part of the card is only for buying Food. You can NOT use it to take money out, you can NOT use it to buy Alcohol. Only food.

    They also decided to put DSHS monthly payments on it, which is why you might see using one in an ATM machine, but they are NOT using the Food Stamp part of it.

  • Re:Nice! (Score:4, Informative)

    by djl4570 ( 801529 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @09:24PM (#42526773) Journal
    And a lot of people abuse the EBT cards for non essential goods and services. I had someone in front of a Wal Mart offer me an EBT card with over one hundred on it for sixty cash. Welfare recipients take out cash at strip clubs, liquor stores and X-rated shops []
  • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:12PM (#42527209)

    To say that "People can use EBT cards to buy legit things and then trade them for other goods" and that's a problem is leaving out the part where SNAP != EBT which also includes disability payments. SNAP, aka food stamps, can only purchase food - you must be able to ingest it to bill it against a SNAP account. If you see someone using an EBT card to pay for non-food items then they are on the "cash side" of the card. You see the state uses the same financial network (EBT - Electronic Benefits Transfer) to handle cash disbursement for other social programs such as disability. Rest assured you must be extremely fucked to get cash distribution via EBT.

    If you see someone using an EBT card to purchse tide you should perhaps feel sorry for their condition instead of feeling like you need to put a stop to it. Does a disabled person not get to enjoy other perks of life such as video games? Who gets to decide what they can and can not purchase with their income (remember: this is not food stamps, this is their revenue source).

  • Re:Nice! (Score:4, Informative)

    by dasunt ( 249686 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:13PM (#42527213)

    I know which cars in my own neighborhood belong to residents, because I live here and have a set of eyes that let me learn shit like that. I assume the person you are responding to has a set of eyes as well.

    In the US at least, some apartment complexes have a mixture of subsidized and unsubsidized apartments.

    A previous coworker of mine lived in one, and while he wasn't on federal assistance, he did buy a nicer BMW. I used to joke that when people saw his car pull into his apartment building, they'd bitch and moan about welfare leaches.

  • Re:Nice! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:30AM (#42528177)

    I came out of high school, worked 6 years as an apprentice got my license as an electrician and have since been out of work.

    Really? And you've never considered going to Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfieland, or Nova Scotia and be working within a week. Though you could go to Alberta and be working within two days.

    Demand is high in all of those provinces for skilled trades, electricians included.

Truth is free, but information costs.