Xerox is now operating the computerized system that allows hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians to use electronic cards to spend $3-billion a year in welfare and food stamps benefits.
Department of Public Welfare spokeswoman Anne Bale said Thursday that Xerox took over the "electronic benefit transfer" system on Sunday. Bale says the change in vendors will save $700,000 a month in administrative costs, while recipients can get benefits sooner and replace lost cards 24/7. Last year, the state paid out $2.8-billion in food stamps and $318-million in cash assistance.
The cards also are used for identification by people enrolled in the state's Medical Assistance program. Xerox's five-year contract is worth $21.3-million. Spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer says Xerox also handles EBT cards in 15 other states.
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