The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-15-2010, 09:08 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
What Happens When You Quit Food Stamps

I went to the grocer this morning and there was a woman outside the store. She was trying to get people to give her money and she'd use her EBT (food stamps) to buy their groceries.

She told me that she just got a job and that she had over $500 left on the card and if she didn't spend it quick the food stamp people would just take it back. And she wanted to use it up but couldn't buy $500 worth of groceries for herself.

Now I'll have to give her credit, that's a new angle. I often run across people trying to sell their food stamps, but usually they claim they need money to buy medicine.

But regardless of whether or not this woman was truthful, it got me to thinking.

What happens to your balance. So if you have $100 or so left on your card and you call up the food stamp office and say "I got a job, I don't need them anymore," what happens. Do they just zap off all the money right away? Or what?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-15-2010, 10:15 AM
elbows elbows is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 9,203
But why couldn't she spend the $500 on herself? Lots of dried pasta, tinned food, stuff that would keep well. Maybe all the things she hasn't had in a while, like expensive steaks or other cuts of meats.

I fail to see how she couldn't just spend it on herself. It might take her a few trips, but it could be done, it seems to me.

I vote scam. Also I have no idea what happens to your food card when you report you have a job, sorry.

Last edited by elbows; 04-15-2010 at 10:16 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-15-2010, 10:21 AM
srzss05 srzss05 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
Now I'll have to give her credit, that's a new angle. I often run across people trying to sell their food stamps, but usually they claim they need money to buy medicine.
Booze is medicine?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-15-2010, 10:34 AM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 8,203
Quote:
Originally Posted by srzss05 View Post
Booze is medicine?
[Beverly Hillbillies flashback] Rumatiz medicine. [/Beverly Hillbillies flashback]
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-15-2010, 10:53 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
She was running a typical illegal scam to get booze or cigarette money from benefits meant to feed her family. Purchasing food for anybody not authorized for that account is fraud and subject to permanent cancellation of the benefit. I'd tell the store so they don't let her pull that crap, and if they can get proof they can turn her in.

For people not kicked off for fraud the unused amount rolls over to the next month. After your benefits end you have a year to use money you didn't spend.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-15-2010, 11:14 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
She was running a typical illegal scam to get booze or cigarette money from benefits meant to feed her family. Purchasing food for anybody not authorized for that account is fraud and subject to permanent cancellation of the benefit. I'd tell the store so they don't let her pull that crap, and if they can get proof they can turn her in.

For people not kicked off for fraud the unused amount rolls over to the next month. After your benefits end you have a year to use money you didn't spend.
Yeah, I'll agree. If she was really in a hurry to use up her money, she could buy a years' supply of any foodstuffs that keep (what doesn't, nowadays?). Then she would recoup her money in reduced grocery bills over the next year.

She's just trying to scam cash from benefits.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-15-2010, 11:33 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
In college, I knew girls that would hang out at the local Texaco station, and offer folks pulling in to pay for $20 worth of gas on their daddy's gas card, in exchange for $10 cash. They needed shopping money and daddy had only given them a gas card.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-15-2010, 11:49 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
Well I kind of figure she was running a scam, in her defense though, I live in a small studio and there is no way I can stock up on food. First of all, I don't have the means to carry $500 worth of food. I have a small fridge that can only hold one or two things. City people usually shop everyday. I can't buy things in bulk as there isn't no where to store it anyway.

You have to imagine Ralph Kramden's flat. My flat looks like that, except it doesn't have a bedroom. Now try to imagine storing food in something that small.

Anyway, as I said, I think it was a scam, but you know with homeless people getting food stamps anyway, I was more interested in, what happens when you quit food stamps.

Let's say she was legit. If she calls and tells the food stamp people she has a job, do they just cut her off and she loses whatever money is on the EBT card?

I was wondering, 'cause I know starting this year, at least in Illinois, you have to work for your food stamps. You have to either do community service, or participate in a rehab program or study in class to get your GED. And you work off the food stamps at a rate of minimum wage, which is $8/hr in Illinois.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-15-2010, 12:07 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
I already answered that.

Quote:
For people not kicked off for fraud the unused amount rolls over to the next month. After your benefits end you have a year to use money you didn't spend.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-15-2010, 12:07 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Howdy
Posts: 14,861
They turn it into a movie.

Brokebank Mountain
I can't quit you
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-15-2010, 12:12 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Lethbridge, AB.
Posts: 48,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
But why couldn't she spend the $500 on herself? Lots of dried pasta, tinned food, stuff that would keep well. Maybe all the things she hasn't had in a while, like expensive steaks or other cuts of meats.

I fail to see how she couldn't just spend it on herself. It might take her a few trips, but it could be done, it seems to me.<snip>.
I spent $125 on a few bags of groceries yesterday - it wouldn't take much for me to put $500 worth of non-perishables on my shelves. It's good to know my scam-meter is still accurate, because that's immediately what I thought, too.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-15-2010, 12:14 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Lethbridge, AB.
Posts: 48,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
They turn it into a movie.

Brokebank Mountain
I can't quit you
I think this is turning into one of those common mis-quotes - the actual line from the movie was, "I wish I knew how to quit you." But yours works for this joke (come to think of it, the accurate line works even better).
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-15-2010, 07:13 PM
Cillasi Cillasi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
If you don't use your allowance, your allowance gets cut - permanently. You've effectively told the agency that you don't need that much money for food.

It's easy to assign ill motives to people just trying to make it through the day, and it is illegal to sell your foodstamps. If she is getting $500 a month in foodstamps, she's supposed to be feeding a few people. Sounds like she wanted the money for other reasons, but those reasons don't have to be nefarious. She may have needed it for carfare to get to her new job or for a new outfit or shoes for work, figuring she'll buy food with her first paycheck.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
I went to the grocer this morning and there was a woman outside the store. She was trying to get people to give her money and she'd use her EBT (food stamps) to buy their groceries.

She told me that she just got a job and that she had over $500 left on the card and if she didn't spend it quick the food stamp people would just take it back. And she wanted to use it up but couldn't buy $500 worth of groceries for herself.

Now I'll have to give her credit, that's a new angle. I often run across people trying to sell their food stamps, but usually they claim they need money to buy medicine.

But regardless of whether or not this woman was truthful, it got me to thinking.

What happens to your balance. So if you have $100 or so left on your card and you call up the food stamp office and say "I got a job, I don't need them anymore," what happens. Do they just zap off all the money right away? Or what?
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.