§ 1005.15 Electronic fund transfer of government benefits.
(a) Government agency subject to regulation.
(1) A government agency is deemed to be a financial institution for purposes of the Act and this part if directly or indirectly it issues an access device to a consumer for use in initiating an electronic fund transfer of government benefits from an account, other than needs-tested benefits in a program established under state or local law or administered by a state or local agency. The agency shall comply with all applicable requirements of the Act and this part, except as provided in this section.
(2) For purposes of this section, the term “account” means an account established by a government agency for distributing government benefits to a consumer electronically, such as through automated teller machines or point-of-sale terminals, but does not include an account for distributing needs-tested benefits in a program established under state or local law or administered by a state or local agency.
(b) Issuance of access devices. For purposes of this section, a consumer is deemed to request an access device when the consumer applies for government benefits that the agency disburses or will disburse by means of an electronic fund transfer. The agency shall verify the identity of the consumer receiving the device by reasonable means before the device is activated.
(c) Alternative to periodic statement. A government agency need not furnish the periodic statement required by § 1005.9(b) if the agency makes available to the consumer:
(1) The consumer's account balance, through a readily available telephone line and at a terminal (such as by providing balance information at a balance-inquiry terminal or providing it, routinely or upon request, on a terminal receipt at the time of an electronic fund transfer); and
(2) A written history of the consumer's account transactions that is provided promptly in response to an oral or written request and that covers at least 60 days preceding the date of a request by the consumer.
(d) Modified requirements. A government agency that does not furnish periodic statements, in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section, shall comply with the following special rules:
(1) Initial disclosures. The agency shall modify the disclosures under § 1005.7(b) by disclosing:
(i) Account balance. The means by which the consumer may obtain information concerning the account balance, including a telephone number. The agency provides a notice substantially similar to the notice contained in paragraph A-5 in appendix A of this part.
(ii) Written account history. A summary of the consumer's right to receive a written account history upon request, in place of the periodic statement required by § 1005.7(b)(6), and the telephone number to call to request an account history. This disclosure may be made by providing a notice substantially similar to the notice contained in paragraph A-5 in appendix A of this part.
(iii) Error resolution. A notice concerning error resolution that is substantially similar to the notice contained in paragraph A-5 in appendix A of this part, in place of the notice required by § 1005.7(b)(10).
(2) Annual error resolution notice. The agency shall provide an annual notice concerning error resolution that is substantially similar to the notice contained in paragraph A-5 in appendix A, in place of the notice required by § 1005.8(b).
(3) Limitations on liability. For purposes of § 1005.6(b)(3), regarding a 60-day period for reporting any unauthorized transfer that appears on a periodic statement, the 60-day period shall begin with transmittal of a written account history or other account information provided to the consumer under paragraph (c) of this section.
(4) Error resolution. The agency shall comply with the requirements of § 1005.11 of this part in response to an oral or written notice of an error from the consumer that is received no later than 60 days after the consumer obtains the written account history or other account information, under paragraph (c) of this section, in which the error is first reflected.