N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 18 § 381.2 - General policy

(a) Payment for authorized public assistance in the family assistance and safety net assistance programs must be made by issuance of an unrestricted money payment where practicable, except when the applicant/recipient requests in writing that vendor or protective payments be made or as otherwise provided in Part 370 of this Title or when office regulations require or authorize goods or services to be purchased or otherwise provided or under the special circumstances specified in this Part.
(b) The office may contract with a public or private entity for a statewide electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system for the distribution of public assistance cash grants and allowances, Federal food stamp benefits, State/local food assistance benefits and safety net program benefits to eligible grantees provided:
(1) a proposed plan of operation, in accordance with office requirements, is submitted by the EBT contractor to the office for its approval prior to the implementation of the statewide EBT system;
(2) the EBT contractor is accessible via a toll-free telephone number to the grantees who are to be served by such contractor;
(3) at the time of EBT implementation within each local district or in any political or other geographic subdivision of such district, the office publishes a list of cash access points and solicits comment on the adequacy of the access;
(4) the office works with the EBT contractor to establish cash access points at a broad range of businesses and community facilities including community centers, senior citizen centers, education and job skills training sites and local housing authorities;
(5) the EBT contractor is required to give appropriate notification to the office of unaccessed payments and benefits; and
(6) the office makes available to each recipient, training materials and instructions about the use of the EBT system, which must include:
(i) transactions and services provided through the EBT system and any limitations thereon;
(ii) recipient rights, responsibilities and liabilities under EBT;
(iii) the process for reporting lost or stolen EBT access cards or for reporting unauthorized access to accounts;
(iv) the process for replacement of access cards and procedures to obtain needed benefits until the card is replaced; and
(v) a toll-free telephone procedure by which recipients can obtain account balances and transaction history; and
(7) each social services district is required to convert to the EBT system designated by the office as its electronic benefit distribution mechanism to the degree such system is available as soon as such system is made available by the office to the local district.
(c) A statement to a recipient, explaining the reason for a regular or special payment, is not restrictive when so worded as to establish clearly that the explanation:
(1) is being given in order to show the recipient how the office has arrived at the amount of the payment;
(2) shows no evidence of an intent to restrict the use of the grant; or
(3) does not direct that the assistance payments be applied to specific bills or for the purchase of specific goods or services.


N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 18 § 381.2
Amended New York State Register March 18, 2015/Volume XXXVII, Issue 11, eff. 3/18/2015

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