44:10-75 Implementation of electronic benefit distribution system.
5. a. The department shall implement the electronic benefit distribution system established pursuant to P.L.1985, C. 501 (C. 44:10-5.1 et seq.) in every county of the State.
b. All cash assistance and food stamp benefits shall be provided through the issuance of a single benefit card utilizing the electronic benefit distribution system. The commissioner may include additional programs in this system at his discretion.
C. No charge, including a fee imposed by a terminal owner, shall be imposed upon a person receiving cash assistance, food stamp or other benefits for participating in the electronic benefit transfer system, except as follows:
(1) after three free cash automatic teller machine withdrawals in a month, the department may deduct a transaction fee from a recipient’s account for each subsequent withdrawal;
(2) a recipient shall be required to pay a fee for a replacement benefit card in an amount to be determined by the commissioner, which may be deducted from the recipient’s account as determined by the commissioner, in accordance with federal law; and
(3) in the case of a recipient who elects to receive benefits at a point-of-sale location licensed by the Department of Banking and Insurance pursuant to P.L.1993, C. 383 (C. 17:15A-30 et seq.), the State shall pay the licensee the difference between the contracted base transaction fee and $1.00. The provisions of this paragraph shall expire two years after the effective date of the single Statewide electronic benefits distribution contract that is let pursuant to Phamplet Law 1997, Chapter 37 (44:10-71. Definitions relative to Work First New Jersey program et al.).
d. A retail establishment currently authorized to participate in the federal food stamp program, or the New Jersey Supplementary Food Stamp Program established pursuant to Phamplet Law 1998, Chapter 32 (44:10-79 Short title. et al.), shall be afforded the opportunity to participate in the electronic benefit distribution system.
e. The department shall cycle the issuance of cash assistance and food stamp benefits over multiple dates throughout the month in a manner that best serves cash assistance and food stamp recipients within the framework of the electronic benefit distribution system in each county.
f. The commissioner shall have the discretion to determine the need for appropriate benefit card security measures, as well as whatever personal identification technology is included on the benefit card, to access cash assistance, food stamp or other benefits under the electronic benefit distribution system.
g. A county agency shall issue a photo-identification card to each adult recipient as a condition of receiving benefits until implementation of the electronic benefit distribution system in that county agency. Once a county begins to implement the electronic benefit distribution system, the county agency shall no longer be required to issue a photo-identification card to each adult recipient but may continue the issuance of photo-identification cards separate from the benefit cardS.
h. Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, until such time as the electronic benefit distribution system is implemented Statewide, contracts for the provision of food stamp coupons are not subject to the requirements of the “Local Public Contracts Law,” P.L.1971, C. 198 (40A:11-1. Short title; citation et seq.).
L.1997,C. 37,S.5; amended 1998, C. 32, S.10.
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