As we all learn to navigate through the ongoing public health and economic crises, the magnitude of challenges we are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “won’t be resolved with piecemeal investments in social services.”
These words from the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) underscore why it’s important for federal leaders to come together with bipartisan solutions to help human services agencies better address the growing needs of families and communities.
We applaud the calls for renewed congressional action. As the coronavirus pandemic has upended lives and livelihoods, it has disrupted employment, health and access to food, housing and other necessities for tens of millions of people. Federal, state and local government agencies administering lifeline programs such as unemployment insurance or SNAP, for examples, have received enormous volumes of new applications. Meanwhile, federal aid offered such as increased unemployment payments and stimulus checks provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act have or will soon expire.
Throughout 2020, we have been working hard to help our government clients keep up with overwhelming social service demands. The Social Security Administration’s decision to renew its Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) with Conduent is just the latest example. This award reaffirms our company’s commitment to supporting federal services. Conduent efficiently scans, reviews and processes an average of 570,000 pages every day, processing disability claims for beneficiaries and applicants.
Indeed, across government, we provide a range of administrative and other business processing services. To that end, we have:
- Assisted ten states in providing critical unemployment insurance benefits -- an area of unprecedented need amid the COVID-19 crisis. Across the nation, Conduent has issued unemployment benefit payments to approximately 1.5 million recipients, about 19 times more than what was distributed in 2019.
- Provided digital payment solutions to approximately 25 million U.S. cardholders, including more than 40 percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payments on behalf of government agencies. Using prepaid Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) and other payment cards, Conduent helps disburse benefits under SNAP, as well as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
- Delivered government assistance on behalf of state agencies through the end of June, which has served approximately 5 million benefit recipients who participate in the Pandemic EBT program. State agencies utilize the P-EBT program to provide benefits to families with children who otherwise would receive free or reduced-priced meals in school lunchrooms. States also utilize the program to increase SNAP benefits to households in need.
- Distributed EBT card benefits to nearly 16 million recipients across the U.S., which represents an approximate 26 percent increase since April.
- Processed online SNAP benefits in 23 states. We continue to work with the USDA to expand our capabilities so more recipients across the nation can take advantage of the safety and convenience of secure online shopping during the pandemic.
Conduent stands ready to help state government agencies as they strive to meet their constituents’ rising social service demands. Already-vulnerable populations, such as WIC participants, have been particularly hard-hit by the crisis. However long the disruptions caused by COVID-19 last, we will continue to support our state and local government partners.
As a leader in the government payments industry, for example, we have more than 20 years of EBT experience and support nearly 10 million cases every month. Currently, more than 500 government entities depend on us to manage their essential interactions every day. Our solutions and services help social services agencies to automate workflows, improve efficiencies, reduce costs, and keep up with the pace of demand for health and human services.
About the AuthorMore Content by Paul Gates