EBT Card: Fraud or Confusion?

Can someone cheat Minnesota’s welfare system as described in a recent Minnesota House hearing?

No says Angel Buechner of the Welfare rights committee. “It’s such a myth. There’s no way a person can have more than one EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card”

Buechner says “It was a cop who brought this up (to the legislature), saying he’s arrested people and found more than one EBT card on a person and he figures that a potential for fraud.”

There are already safeguards in place preventing a person from being issued more than one card. The card is issued by the county and it is a replacement for the old paper food stamps and the monthly welfare check. The card is issued by the county upon proper determination of eligibility and the monthly amount is set in the central computer record. This includes the monthly “food stamp” allowance and a cash amount if appropriate. The recipient does nothing to renew the monthly benefits, they are posted to the computer record.

Buechner says one person might have more than one card in possession if he or she were shopping for other members of the household.

“Poor bashing” bills

The original Welfare Reform Bill as introduced in the House had many severe cutbacks including reusing eligibility from five years to three years and lowering the exit point from 115% of poverty to 100% of poverty. Both of these provisions were removed in the final bill. The Welfare Rights Committee had strenuous objections to a number of aspects of the bill and they interrupted the first hearing with a “Mic Check,” a device from the occupy movement. In a later hearing Chairman Abeler warned the committee that armed guards were present to protect the legislators from intimidation.

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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