June 7, 2018

Statewide and local efforts launched to disseminate information to EBT cardholders

LOS ANGELES – Due to a change in vendor operations, the state’s Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) System will not be available for cardholders to make cash withdrawals or food purchases from 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, through 11:01 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) announced this week.

DPSS is strongly urging EBT cardholders to withdraw the funds needed to purchase food prior to the 24-hour shutdown period to ensure that benefits are issued and made available to those who need it. DPSS customers use the state-issued card to receive CalFresh food assistance and cash benefits. For many in the county, CalFresh serves as the first line of defense against food insecurity.

In early June, the California Department of Social Services will send notices throughout the state to EBT cardholders, informing them that Florida-based Fidelity Information Services (FIS) will replace Conduent (formerly Xerox) as the EBT card services operator.

The decision to switch was made to improve the current card system, offering more surcharge-free ATMs and point-of-sale markets to utilize EBT benefits. FIS has also committed to providing free, unlimited in-network cash withdrawals and balance inquiries.

Locally, DPSS has initiated a community outreach plan to broaden the dessimination of information needed to minimize any impacts the changeover will have on customers during the 24-hour down period. The department is currently using its main website, social media platforms and outreach to local media outlets to inform and prepare cardholders for the shutdown.

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