Most New Yorkers will know CBIC’s (pictured below) as their benefits or food stamps cards.
The Human Resources Administration (HRA) has undergone a policy change allowing them to issue CBIC’s (Common Benefit Identification Cards) without gender markers on them. CBIC’s are commonly used to access services like (TANF) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, and (SNAP) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
For many in the community, the CBIC is their primary form of identification. An ID card with an incorrect gender marker can, and often does, cause embarrassment, humiliation, trauma, and an inability to access life sustaining resources. Offering genderless ID cards is a step toward making sure that all New Yorkers, particularly trans, gender non-conforming, and intersex folks, can access services without being explicitly misgendered on their identification cards.
The process to update your CBIC is as follows:
Step 1) Bring your old CBIC and one other form of picture identification (if available) to an HRA CBIC office.
Step 2) Let the service provider know that you would like a new CBIC. All new CBIC’s come without a gender marker. The new HRA policy allows only for updated cards without a gender and therefore does not allow for gender to be switched from female to male, or male to female on the card.
The service provider should be able to provide you with a new Benefits card the same day.
Because this is a new policy, there may be HRA providers who are unfamiliar with the updated policy. As is true with any change in law, regulation, or policy we do not expect this transition to be without complications. If you have any issues getting a new, genderless CBIC, please call SRLP for help.
If, as a result of this new policy you would like to change the name on your card, you must first get a legal name change. Following your name change just bring the legal name change order to your Public Assistance office, Job Center, or HASA case worker. They are required under their own policy to update your name on your card, and give you a new photo if you would like one.
PLEASE NOTE: securing a genderless Benefits card does not mean that your gender will be correct or updated within the HRA system. It simply means that there will be no gender noted on the face of the card.
It is our hope that this new policy provides some relief to individuals who have been forced to use ID that does not affirm their gender. We recognize that there is still so much work to be done. The struggle continues.