|Project: The Evaluation of EBT Customer Service Waivers on Recipients
|Award Year: 1998
|Amount of award, fiscal 1998: $647,255.00
|Institution: Abt Associates, Inc.
|Principal Investigator: John Kirlin
|Detailed Objective: The objectives of this project are to:
- characterize client service problems associated with Food Stamp Program electronic
benefit transfer (EBT) system customer service waivers and identify how clients
estimate the occurrence of client service problems associated with EBT customer
Regulations governing implementation and operation of EBT systems include several
customer service standards. As EBT has developed and expanded, the Food and
Nutrition Service has allowed States to try alternative service policies via
waivers. The principal waivers employed by States includes: (1) training recipient
by mail versus training in person; (2) PIN assignment versus PIN selection;
and, (3) alternative procedures for card replacement. Approximately one-half
of the States currently operating an EBT system have implemented some combination
of the three principal waivers. While waivers have generally saved States money,
there are reports by client advocate groups of instances in which some of the
alternative policies create problems for some recipients, especially vulnerable
ones like the elderly and the disabled. This project will provide the Department
with an assessment of the extent to which EBT customer service waivers adversely
affect client services, and particularly their effects on the vulnerable subgroups.
A contract was awarded to Abt Associates, Inc., for a cost of $647,255 in fiscal
1998. The expected completion date is September 2000.
|Topic: Program Operations, SNAP/Food Stamp Program
Kirlin, J., and C. Logan. Effects of EBT Customer Service Waivers on Food Stamp Recipients: Executive Summary, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Report No. 23, USDA, ERS, April 2002.
Kirlin, J., and C. Logan. Effects of EBT Customer Service Waivers on Food Stamp Recipients: Final Report, E-FAN-02-007, UDSA, ERS, June 2002.