To be an organization which promotes self-sufficiency and assures the protection of vulnerable individuals. We strive to have an organization which values the needs of our customers, the contributions of our staff, and the participation of our community. This vision shall be achieved through a culture which encourages continuous improvement.
Welcome to the Broome County Department of Social Services!
Interested in a job as a Caseworker Trainee, Caseworker, Social Services Examiner or Support Investigator? Currently, no civil service exam is needed for these positions.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Broome County Department of Social Services has detected dozens of applications submitted by Broome County residents that their benefits were stolen due to Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) “skimming.” This illegal process involves a device (skimmer) placed on top of a store’s card reading machine. The skimmer copies card and personal identification number (PIN) information from EBT cardholders. The stolen data is then used to access an individual’s EBT account and spend their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance (TA) cash benefits.
All EBT cardholders should take these steps to protect their benefits.
Change their PIN immediately and remember to change it frequently.
Remember to protect their EBT card and PIN information.
Monitor their EBT account regularly to watch for unauthorized transactions.
If someone believes their benefits have been stolen, please immediately report the card stolen by calling 888-328-6399, visiting www.connectEBT.com, or through the connectEBT mobile app. For more information, please visit the website:
Or contact the Broome County Case Integrity Unit at 607 778-2519.
New Common Benefit Identification Card (CBIC) Card Lock Feature
The purpose of this GIS (General Information System) message is to inform social services districts (districts) of the availability of a new feature which allows households to lock their Common Benefit Identification Card, or CBIC, commonly referred to as the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Households will now have the ability to lock their EBT card, which prevents their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance (TA) cash benefits, or Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) benefits issued as cash to a household, from being accessed. Cardholders must then unlock the locked card to make a purchase using their SNAP or cash benefits. This new feature is intended to be used as a tool to help prevent theft of benefits through skimming or other fraudulent methods. Locking and unlocking the EBT card has no impact on Medicaid or other benefits issuances, including restricted payments directly to a landlord, utility, or other vendor. The card lock feature will roll out in multiple phases over the course of the next three months as described below.
The locking feature cannot prevent card information from being skimmed if a household’s card is used on a compromised device. However, if a card remains locked, remote fraudulent use of stolen information would be greatly restricted, limiting vulnerability to theft only at the time during which a household’s card is unlocked for purchasing.
Phase 1: Beginning February 20, 2024, households will have the ability to lock and unlock their cards via the ConnectEBT mobile application (available on the: Google Play Store and Apple App Store). Cardholders must have a ConnectEBT account. If they have not already created an account, they can set one up using the mobile app. The cardholder must have activated their EBT card to access the lock/unlock feature. On the ConnectEBT mobile app home screen, a radio button will allow the cardholder to lock or unlock the card with one click. During this initial phase of the card lock rollout, the only option available to households will be to completely lock the card, preventing purchases, balance inquiries and most other transactions until the card is unlocked. Cardholders will receive an email immediately upon locking or unlocking their card, confirming the action they took.
Phase 1 will also allow cardholders to call the ConnectEBT helpline at 1-888-328-6399 to check the lock/unlock status and speak to a representative to unlock the card (only the unlock function is available through the helpline).
Phase 2: The complete card lock functionality will be expanded to the web-based ConnectEBT New York EBT client portal. In addition to the ConnectEBT mobile application, households will have the ability to perform the same locking and unlocking functions via their internet browser at www.connectebt.com/nyebtclient/. Phase 2 is expected to be completed within three months of phase 1 and districts will be notified when it becomes available.
Phase 3: An additional, and separate, locking feature to both the mobile application and the web-based client portal will be available, allowing households the option to lock their card for out-of-state transactions. Selecting this option will block all out-of-state transactions but continue to allow in-state transactions. Phase 3 is also expected to be completed within three months of phase 1.
When a new card is ordered, the system does not retain the locked status of the previous card and all new cards are issued unlocked. Households will therefore need to relock any new cards they receive. OTDA advises districts to inform households that whenever a new card is ordered, it is delivered unlocked, regardless of whether the prior card was locked or not. If the cardholder would like the new card locked, they must lock it. Households should be encouraged to lock their new cards immediately after selecting a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The EBT card carrier, included in new card mailings, will contain information about the card lock feature.
The most common transactions that are rejected when a card is locked include: all purchases, balance inquiries, ATM withdrawals (TA cash benefits) and in-person returns/credits that require a card to be swiped.
The most common transactions that are still allowable when a card is locked include: returns/credits made online, and changes to an existing PIN.
The OTDA website (www.otda.ny.gov/EBT-cardlock) includes information on the card lock feature. OTDA will also release an outreach flyer instructing cardholders how to use the new card lock feature. This flyer will be available in English and Spanish and made available on the OTDA website for districts to print, post and/or distribute to individuals receiving SNAP and/or TA cash benefits. As noted above, households receiving a new card will see information about the card lock feature on the EBT card carrier. Later this Spring, OTDA plans to notify households about this feature using text messages. Districts are encouraged to supplement this outreach with their own activities.
Conversion to New EBT Contractor
OTDA is in the process of converting from the current EBT contractor, Conduent, to Fidelity National Information Systems (FIS). Once FIS assumes control of EBT processing for New York State, the card lock feature will remain available to households. However, when conversion occurs, households will need to create a new online FIS cardholder account, and if they choose, download the FIS mobile application. There will be some minor differences in the card locking feature, which will be addressed in future guidance and outreach materials accordingly. Conversion to the new FIS EBT system is expected in summer of 2024.
While card locking cannot completely prevent theft of information via skimming devices or other fraudulent methods, households whose EBT cards remain locked when not in use have a significantly lower chance of having their benefits stolen. OTDA encourages districts to explain to households (e.g., during eligibility interviews) the advantages of locking EBT cards when not in use.
Requests for replacement of stolen benefits, as defined in 23-ADM-07: Replacement Procedure for SNAP and/or TA Benefits Stolen via Skimming, Cloning, Phishing, or Other Fraudulent Methods, is not affected by a household’s use, or non-use, of the card lock feature. Replacement requests should continue to be evaluated consistent with the criteria set forth in the ADM, without regard to whether a household used the card lock feature or not.
As stated above, the card lock feature does not impact Medicaid.
Districts may contact the EBT Bureau with any questions by emailing: email@example.com.
SNAP- LDSS-5186 (Rev. 8/21) ATTENTION: PARENTS
Notice to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) & Temporary Assistance Households with Children Eligible for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Food Benefits. Find information at the link- https://otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19/
Access mybenefits.gov to:
- Apply for SNAP,
- Apply for Temporary Assistance,
- Apply for HEAP,
- Check to see if you are eligible for Temporary Assistance, Medicaid or tax credits,
- There is an application for Child Support Services that can be completed and mailed in or brought to the office.
- You can create an account to:
- Change Pin,
- Check your transaction history or get account balances,
- Report your EBT card lost or stolen.
- Recertify your SNAP or HEAP case.
- Report changes or view case details.
- Continue to complete a SNAP or HEAP Application and track its progress as well as submit verification and documentation
- You can also be directed to the Social Security Administration website to complete and online application
- There is a form section where you are able to download forms for Recertification form for Public Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid and SNAP, and Medicaid and Public Assistance
- You can also report fraud directly from the website.
To apply for Temporary Assistance or Emergency Assistance, please apply on line at mybenefits.gov, or visit our office.
Are you mailing in or dropping off an application for assistance? Then you must ensure that there is a good, working telephone number is on the application. Eligibility staff will be calling the phone number given on the application to set-up a follow-up appointment. If you are dropping off an application at the Front desk, the staff there will do a brief screening of your application.
If you have an active case and are trying to reach a worker in Temporary Assistance, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Medicaid or HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program)? Please call 607.778.1100.
Need a Medicaid Nursing Home application? Please call, 607.778.2793.
Link to: NYS Child Support website.
Phone numbers for Social Services Programs are located in the "Contact Us" portion of the website.
Child Abuse/Neglect 24 Hour State Hotline: Toll free dial '1' & then... 800-342-3720