Panel Targets Misuse Of Massachusetts Welfare Benefit Cards

By Bob Salsberg, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — A special commission is recommending new restrictions on the use of electronic benefit transfer cards by recipients of Massachusetts welfare benefits.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports.

The proposed rules endorsed on Thursday would ban the use of so-called EBT cards at several types of establishments including nail salons, tattoo parlors, strip clubs and casinos.

The changes would need approval from the Legislature, which voted last year to prohibit the use of EBT cards to buy alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets.

Panel member Shaunna O’Connell, a Republican state representative from Taunton, said the recommendations don’t go far enough to root out abuses in the system.

The special commission also recommended a financial literacy program for welfare recipients, and that the state’s inspector general study eligibility for cash assistance programs. The panel was formed in December.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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