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This entry was published on 2023-01-13
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SECTION 21-A
Electronic benefit transfer system
Social Services (SOS) CHAPTER 55, ARTICLE 2
§ 21-a. Electronic benefit transfer system. Any electronic benefit
transfer system shall be implemented by the department on a statewide
basis and shall be administered pursuant to the provisions of this
section. For purposes of such electronic benefit transfer system, the
term "electronic benefit transfer" includes the use of a credit or debit
card service, automated teller machine, point-of-sale terminal, or
access to an online system for the withdrawal of funds or the processing
of a payment for merchandise or a service.

1. (a) Any contract entered into on behalf of local social services
districts for electronic benefit transfer services shall ensure that
there are a sufficient number of access points in each local social
services district to ensure an adequate distribution of such services.
Upon implementation of an electronic benefit transfer system in a local
social services district or in any political or other geographic
subdivision of such district, the department shall publish a list
identifying the number and location of access points within such
district or subdivision, and shall seek and accept public comment on the
adequacy of recipient access to electronic benefit transfer services
within such district or subdivision. The department shall seek to
maximize recipient access to electronic benefit transfer services by
working with the contractor to establish access points at a broad range
of businesses and community facilities including, but not limited to,
community centers, senior citizen centers, educational and job skills
training sites, and local housing authorities.

(b) Any electronic benefit transfer services for supplemental
nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits shall ensure that two
electronic benefit transfer credit or debit cards are issued for use by
any recipient household having more than one parent or guardian residing
in the household on a full-time basis, provided that at least two
parents or guardians residing in the household, or a combination
thereof, qualify for benefits pursuant to this chapter. No card shall be
issued to any person under the age of eighteen unless such person is a
parent or guardian of a minor child. The issuance of a second card shall
be consistent with federal requirements and is subject to the request
and approval by the head of household and shall not entitle the
recipients to any additional benefits. Benefit recipients shall not be
required to accept or utilize both cards. The department shall notify
existing and future benefit recipients of the availability of multiple
cards.

2. The department or the designated agent thereof shall utilize
appropriate materials and training to provide each recipient with
adequate instruction on the use of the electronic benefit transfer
system, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) the types of transactions and services provided by means of an
electronic benefit transfer system, and any limitations thereon;

(b) the rights, responsibilities and liabilities applicable to
recipients that receive benefits by means of an electronic benefit
transfer system;

(c) the procedure for reporting the loss or theft of a system access
device, or any unauthorized transaction;

(d) the process for the replacement of a lost or stolen system access
device, and the procedure to access benefits, if needed, until such time
as such device can be replaced; and

(e) the procedure by which participants can access information about
their benefit account or accounts including, but not limited to, a
toll-free telephone number which would provide recipients with account
balances and transaction history.