Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

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Apollo
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Joined: 08/19/2004 - 12:01am
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

I want to pass on a story that a friend of mine that works in a retail store told me, because I find something very fishy here.

She said that sometimes customers come in and use a Food Stamp card, which she also referred to as an "EBT" card or an "AFDC" card. She said that the people will use it to buy food, etc., no problem there.

However, she said that there is something called a "Cash Back" option on the card, and essentially, the card acts like an ordinary Debit card. She told me that sometimes (though not too often) the customer will ask to get cash back on the card. They will do this to get around the food stamp rules, and will use the cash more than likely to buy beer or cigarettes.

Apparently, the government doesn't issue actual paper food stamps anymore, and I can understand that. But it seems like people are using the cards to get cash back, and that doesn't seem right. Anyone have any other info on this? I'm wondering if the card is really a food stamp card or if it is a welfare card of some kind, which would allow a cash back option.

gopcollegestudent
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Joined: 10/16/2005 - 5:38pm
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

I actually think they have a built in limit at $20.00 a month cash back option...

MsMitchell
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Joined: 08/29/2006 - 8:20am
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

I am unaware of people using their foodstamp card to get cash back. If that is happening, then it's the stores themselves that are allowing it, which means they too, are in violation of the food stamp laws. I work for DHHS

Anonymous
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

I have not heard of people getting "cash back" directly. However it can work indirectly by the person first purchasing canned/packaged/bottled foods, and then returning them for a cash refund. Unless things have changed, the receipt they produce (if the store even asks for it) would not identify that the recipient purchased the food via food stamps.

rklindell
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Joined: 08/05/2003 - 12:01am
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

Maybe it was a Dirigo rebate card. They are used to give people the "discount" or subsidy on the Dirigo Choice insurance premiums. The cards look just like the welfare EBT cards, except they can be used for cash, food, cigarettes - anything.

Thomas O
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Joined: 09/20/2003 - 12:01am
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

It's all explained right here:
[url]http://www.mejp.org/ebt.htm[/url]

The Distributist
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Joined: 05/15/2005 - 12:01am
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

Perhaps the doctor, paid for through MaineCare, suggests more green in the layabouts diet?

Apollo
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Joined: 08/19/2004 - 12:01am
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

That explains it very well, thanks Thomas. It looks like it allows cash back on non food stamp benefits, but they use the same type of card.

UsuallyConcerned
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Joined: 07/18/2005 - 12:01am
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

It works just like a debit card. You can access benifits (TANF and Food Stamps) just like my debit card allows access to either my savings or checking accounts. It actually saves a lot of money (not printing and sending food stamps and TANF checks each month) and helps cut down on fraud (the cards actually recognize if something is a legit purchase.

My assumption would bethat the cash is from a TANF benefit (as historically that is a cash, use as needed benefit) rather than food stamp money (which must be used for certain purchases).

Apollo
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Joined: 08/19/2004 - 12:01am
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

What does TANF stand for? What program is that?

Mike Beardsley
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Joined: 01/26/2005 - 1:01am
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

I don't like the fact they moved away from the paper food stamps to a slick credit card looking debit card. It takes away from the shame factor. Food stamps are a great short term stop gap emergency measure but people should feel a little twinge when using them - perhaps to encourage only short term use.

I also understand the arguments about cards leading to improved efficiency. Are we sure making it more efficient for people to be on the dole is the way we want to go here. :(

(So much for me being a "compassionate conservative" :?)

UsuallyConcerned
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Joined: 07/18/2005 - 12:01am
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

[quote="Apollo"]What does TANF stand for? What program is that?[/quote]

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families it is the old AFDC program. It used to be a check for a certain amount mailed to you each month you qualified, now they do it like the food stamps over the same card - that is why you will see people taking cash off the cards some times it is from TANF.

UsuallyConcerned
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Joined: 07/18/2005 - 12:01am
Food Stamp Debit Card Used to Get Cash?

[quote="Mike Beardsley"]I don't like the fact they moved away from the paper food stamps to a slick credit card looking debit card. It takes away from the shame factor. Food stamps are a great short term stop gap emergency measure but people should feel a little twinge when using them - perhaps to encourage only short term use.

I also understand the arguments about cards leading to improved efficiency. Are we sure making it more efficient for people to be on the dole is the way we want to go here. :(

(So much for me being a "compassionate conservative" huh :?[/quote]

If you check out both programs, you find there is no evidence that people stay on either one longer with the card than paper.

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