Thursday, October 31, 2013

Federal Register Posting on Replacement EBT Cards

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is amending the rules for the SNAP program, sometimes known as food stamps, to give states more power over handing out replacement benefit cards.

The new rules let states deny “excessive” requests to replace an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which authorizes the EBT cardholder to purchase a specific dollar value of food and authorizes him or her to do so. 

The new rules will officially be published on Nov. 1 2013

The purpose of the new regulations is to enable state agencies, which issue the cards, to crack down on fraud, according to USDA.  The department says that the rule will not apply to elderly and homeless people who may often lose their cards. 

To view the new rules, available to the public on Nov. 1 click here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Contingency Planning for the Government Shutdown

We're now in Day 3 of the government shutdown. One of the issues foremost on the minds of advocates, EBT processors, and federal employees is what happens to nutrition programs, especially the EBT driven ones, as the shutdown continues.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service has issued a lengthy memorandum from FNS Administrator Audrey Rowe to Under Secretary Kevin Concannon on the agency's contingency plans for operations. FNS' plans for the shutdown are described there in detail.