Calif. benefits program to see $20 million in cost avoidance annually

California and the federal government stand to realize a combined cost avoidance of more than $20 million dollars annually through the implementation of a state electronic benefit transfer (EBT) program, officials said Monday. According to the program’s vendor, Affiliated Computer Services, the seven-year contract will also include a number data and call center services.

Through the “Golden State Advantage” card, 1.3 million Californians receive benefits from public assistance programs such as the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the California Food Assistance Program, and cash benefit programs such as California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Refugee Cash Assistance, General Assistance/General Relief, and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants.

The card can be used at more than 21,000 retailer locations or 50,000 ATMs, company officials said.

“With this on-time, on-budget implementation, ACS has again shown its ability to successfully manage complex programs,” said Joseph Doherty, executive vice president and group president of ACS Government Solutions, in a statement.

Other services in the contract include transaction processing, data center services, training, reconciliation and settlement, and reporting. An automated call center response unit, as well as live customer support will also be provided by ACS, who has similar operations in twenty-four other states.

“We’ll now work equally as hard to continuously improve the program to provide the best possible experience for both the state and its citizens,” Mr. Doherty added.

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