WIC EBT/MIS Project Overview
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH)/Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Division will be replacing paper checks with Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. Additionally, CDPH/WIC will be replacing their legacy Management Information System (MIS) with a new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-approved, EBT-ready MIS. EBT and MIS replacement will be implemented statewide concurrently. The successful implementation of EBT for WIC requires a new MIS for use at the state and local WIC agency offices before the EBT service provider can expand EBT from programs such as CalFresh to WIC. California is on track to meet USDA’s WIC EBT implementation deadline of October 1, 2020.
In November 2015, the State of California released a Notification of Intent to Award a contract for EBT services to Fidelity Information Services (FIS), LLC to:
· Transition California Department of Social Services (CDSS) current EBT programs, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/CalFresh) and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs).
· Implement EBT for CDPH/WIC.
· Provide WIC EBT cards to WIC local agencies; WIC local agency staff will issue EBT cards to WIC participants at over 600 WIC local agency sites throughout California.
· Prepare WIC grocers/vendors for EBT, which includes transactions at the store and reimbursing grocers for WIC participant benefits redeemed.
Once the EBT services contract is executed, FIS will first begin transitioning EBT for CDSS. Once this transition is underway statewide, FIS will begin focusing on preparing for the pilot test and statewide implementation of EBT for WIC.
Before EBT can be implemented for WIC, the State will need an MIS contractor to implement a new WIC MIS for California. A Request for Proposal is under development and is scheduled to be released for bidder proposals in 2017. The selected MIS contractor will work in collaboration with FIS to configure a USDA‑approved, EBT‑ready MIS to meet California’s capacity needs, which includes support of WIC local agencies, CDPH/WIC administration, and grocer/vendor management. Statewide implementation of MIS replacement will occur in parallel with EBT starting with pilot testing. Pilot testing will include an evaluation period and is estimated to begin in 2018; this will be followed by a phased statewide implementation.
WIC EBT/MIS Project Timeline
Questions or comments? Please contact us at WICEBT@cdph.ca.gov.
Go to WIC EBT/MIS Project Teams