Changes to electronic benefits theft replacement form and policy

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued a new form EBT 2259 for reporting benefits stolen by electronic theft.

CDSS has also changed its policy about electronic theft.  People reporting electronic theft no longer need to contact the electronic benefits transfer vendor prior to submitting the form EBT 2259 to the county.  People no longer are required to file a police report to submit the form EBT 2259 and get replacement benefits.

Counties review the form EBT 2259 to ensure that the form is complete prior to submitting it to CDSS.  If the claim is for scamming benefits (people being tricked to give out the PIN to their EBT card), the county decides if the claim is consistent with typical scamming practices.  If it is not, the claim should be referred for investigation.

If the theft report is made timely (which is within 10 days of the theft, and submitting the EBT 2259 within 90 days), the county has 10 business days to issue benefit replacement.   The county has a duty to assist persons with the report within 10 business days.  If the county cannot process the form within 10 business days, it must issue replacement benefits.

If the county refers the case for investigation, the case can be pended for up to 25 calendar days.  (ACL 23-13, January 27, 2023.)