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Website allows users to access important account information
Trenton - The Christie Administration today announced the availability of an online Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Portal that provides users with basic account information and member activity previously available only at Quest logo ATMs, by phone or when making purchases. The website, is accessible from any computer or mobile device.“The goal of the EBT portal, called Families First,  is to provide an easy and convenient way for the state’s card users to access their account information, which can help them better manage their benefits,” said Jennifer Velez, Commissioner of the Department of Human Services (DHS), which administers General Assistance (GA) welfare , Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) welfare and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through its Division of Family Development (DFD). “The availability of enhanced technology really allows us to offer users a helpful tool they can take on the go.”

With just a login and password, Families First users now can check their balance, see their transaction history, change their pin or cancel a lost or stolen card. The website also has a section with frequently asked questions about where and how the EBT card can be used.

“We continue to consider new and innovative ways to help our clients , many of whom  are elderly, have a disability or are employed  and so may be , unable to always get to a place where they can review their account status,” said Director of DFD, Jeanette Page-Hawkins.

Just last month, DFD launched a child support mobile application (app) to help custodial and non-custodial parents keep tabs on their cases while on the go.  Nearly 4,500 people have downloaded it to their Apple or Android devices. The app allows users to check payment status, track disbursements, monitor enforcement actions and schedule hearings.

As of April 2014, there was an estimated 400,000 child support cases, TANF had 34,308 enrollees, GA had 32,671 enrollees and SNAP had 439,000 enrollees.

A January 2014 Pew Research study showed that 58% of American adults have a smartphone and 42% of American adults own a tablet computer.

“This research confirms many of our clients use a smart phone or computer and that it would be good customer service to make information about their benefits available to them in this way.” Page-Hawkins added.

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