News Details

EBT change puts food stamps offline for a day

September 10, 2009

The electronic system that allows CalWORKs and Food Stamp program participants to receive their benefits will be offline for 24 hours starting Saturday, Sept. 19 at 11 p.m.

The Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system will be down statewide from Sept. 19 at 11 p.m. to Sept. 20 at 11 p.m. due to a vendor change.  The State is changing the EBT contractor from J.P. Morgan Chase to Affiliated Computer Services. Once the new vendor is in place, EBT cardholders will have access to benefits as usual using the same card and pin number.  

"We want to get the word out to our clients and their grocers so they can adjust their schedules and avoid any inconveniences caused by the vendor change," said Christiana Smith, Solano County Health and Social Services deputy director for employment and eligibility services.

EBT cards are similar to debit cards, and can be used at participating grocery stores, markets, gas stations and ATMs throughout the state.

After the vendor change, there will be lower transaction fees and a new client website, www.ebt.ca.gov. The transaction fee will go from 85 cents to 80 cents after the first four free cash withdrawals per month.  Any bank surcharges will still apply.

The CalWORKs and Food Stamp programs generate more than benefits for the recipients.  According to a March 2009 study by Beacon Economics, every dollar of benefits issued generates $1.47 in local economic activity.  In July 2009, there were 14,723 Solano families receiving $6.8 million in Food Stamps and 7,549 receiving $3.4 million in cash assistance.  Collectively, this generated $15.1 million in local spending for that month. 

More information about on EBT, CalWORKs and Food Stamp programs is available at www.solanocounty.com/ees.

Posted: Sept. 10, 2009