I just witnessed Food Food Stamp Abuse! WTF!

I just watched the clerk at the local Bodega sell someone two
20 oz. beers. The person used the EBT Benefits card; this
is the electronic version of Food Stamps.

Fist of all, I couldn’t believe the blatancy of this clerk doing
that right in front of me. You think he would have waited till no one else
was at the counter.

Secondly, since Food Samp Program is now electronic (Electronic Benefits Transfer aka EBT ), the retailers are given a swipe machine for the cards and entry of the
recpients PIN. So you would think the system would not even allow this
kind of purchase. Shame on you governemt officials …WTF.

I’ve decided that I’m definatly going to report it. Though I messed up a little.
After the person buying the beer left; I couldn’t help but make a comment to the clerk that I couldn’t believe the system allowed that. He actually said to
me … they do that because they want to make money! Yea, Duh! I tried to cover
my tracks by saying I don’t blame them, if the machine lets
them OK. But the transaction should be rejected through the EBT.
I don’t want them knowing I repoted them.

I also saw on the On the NYS EBT site http://www.otda.state.ny.us/otda%20internet%20search/ebt/howto.htm
How to Use Your Benefit Card at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) A little
more the halfway down the page!

Aww come on now … so now we’re just giving them money to use as they
please with no restrictions. This makes me so hopping mad!! F@*k You
government officals!!

I’m not sure about the beer buying, but I think the ATM use is for people getting cash assistance as well as Food Assistance. It’s just instead of issuing a check to be cashed, that’s all. I don’t think you can withdraw money from your Food Assistance account.

Actually come to think of it, since it’s the same card (but different accounts) that has both disability benefits and food benefits on it, he may have been using his disability funds. There’s no rule against that, AFAIK. It used to just be a check that you can use for whatever you need- beer, rent, doctor’s bills, etc. That’s not new.

IMHO, with todays technology we shouldn’t be giving straing cash! Too,
much abuse.

In a grocery store, mini mart, bodage or whatever, they should be able to
access only the Food Stamp account, and that should have the necessary

I don’t needs see the need to for a cash account! Send the land lords rent
money directly, and allow card account to buy food, medicine ect.

Alcohol is definitly a no no! 3/4 the way down on this page

On the flip side the above links say buying soap in not allowed … only food iteams.
Soap should be allowed!

But soap is not food for most people. Money for soap comes from somewhere else.

Yeah, it’s called “welfare”. It’s been around for a while, I’m surprised you haven’t noticed.

From here:

My guess is that this guy was buying the beer with his cash assistance rather than his food stamps. According to things I’ve heard from cashiers at grocery stores, people often do things like this - buy the bread, milk, cheerios, and vegetables with the food stamp account and then switch to the cash portion to pay for ice cream or some sort of sugary cereal or something else not allowed.

Really, while it would be theoretically good to make sure people didn’t spend welfare or disability money on frivolous or unhealthy things… who’s going to decide whether each particular product that can possibly be purchased is allowed? What about the exceptions, how are you going to deal with those? If you forbid, say, ice cream, you’ll probably want to make an exception for the family whose kid just got his tonsils out. If you say that people can’t buy tvs, what about those who want to watch the news, or the weather, or job-training videos? If you don’t make exceptions, you encourage people to find ways to cheat the system - either by finding a place that’ll sell them the forbidden items on their food stamp cards or working for cash under the table… and occupations that pay in cash under the table are often ones that the local government wishes to discourage, if you know what I mean. If you do make exceptions, you’ll have to put a system in place to investigate and deal with all the requests for exceptions… and employing all of those people is going to cost you a significant amount of money.

I’d also like to ask… have you ever been poor or so disabled you couldn’t work? It sucks. Unless you have some evidence that this guy is squandering all his money on alcohol when it should be going to feed his kids or something, let the poor bastard have a beer once in a while!

Up until the end of June I got food stamps as part of the Families First program.
I had the EBT card.
I received a certain amount of food stamps and a certain amount of cash. I used the card at the grocery store, usually used the cash allotment for diapers and wipes, toilet paper, that sort of thing. If I’d wanted a beer (I don’t drink) I could use the cash portion of the EBT card.
I don’t see how it’s any different than if I had a welfare check cashed and walked over to the register to buy a beer.

Sugary cereal is allowed. Any food except prepared deli food is allowed.

Nope, it’s not called “welfare” anymore. It’s called TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. (sorry for the nitpick, elfbabe. You’re dead right with the rest of your post. The world needs more people like you.)

Well, let’s see now. Beer was recommended to me by a doctor, my daughter’s pediatrician and a board certified lactation consultant as a very effective, cheap and no side-effect medication to increase my breast milk supply. One beer a day. Without it, women like me would be wasting your precious tax dollars on expensive and unneeded baby formula instead of feeding my baby free breastmilk.

Red wine has been shown effective in reducing cardiac disease, as well as a host of over health problems which cause those poor sick bastards to spend your money in Medicare.

(Struggling to keep this MPSIMS safe). Might I suggest you reevaluate an overly moralistic stance and mind your own damn business. Alcohol is not forbidden on a cash assistance account. Really, even if it had no health benefits, why should beer be any different than Coke, as far as you’re concerned? In some stores, malt liquor is cheaper than Coke.

We can have another discussion about the economic, social and safety issues which prevent cheap grocery stores opperating in economically depressed areas, thus forcing poor people to spend your tax dollars at overpriced convienence stores, but that’s really a separate issue.

Were they issued by the Bureau Department for Redunduncy Department?

In New York State, yes, the specific program is called TANF. Generally, the concept is still generally referred to as welfare. Note http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/applicant_recipients/facts_E.htm, where it says “Receiving welfare or other public assistance payments;”
Also, Rushgeekgirl, I believe those restrictions differ significantly from state to state.

In New York State, yes, the specific program is called TANF. Generally, the concept is still generally referred to as welfare. Note http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/applicant_recipients/facts_E.htm, where it says “Receiving welfare or other public assistance payments;”


I’ll be. You are correct. Disregard my nitpick, then.

Disregard my horrid coding, too. How embarrassing.

FYI only:

According to the a paper posted at the NIH, the practice of drinking beer to enhance lactation is no longer recommended.

I am not a Doctor, this is not medical advice, etc. etc.

I would be surprised – no, stunned – if the NIH or any other medical institution had conducted double-blind, clinical studies in which nursing mothers consumed variable quantities of alcohol so the researchers could see what effect it had on the babies. I’d be interested to see the actual studies alluded to in that NIH link.

I had no idea. What states don’t allow people to use food stamps for sugary cereal?

Then you should run for elected office, so you can change the system to meet your standards. Then everyone can have soap.

I think she was referring to the “prepared deli items”. In the state of Florida, you can use your EBT food card to purchase items prepared in-store provided those items are not served warm. Deli potato salad? A-OK. Hot fried chicken? Not so much. Fried chicken prepared in-store and then chilled? EBT food eligible. Kind of a strange system, but it works pretty well.

You can also use EBT to buy Bakery items, such as FULL SHEET CAKES complete with picture of the little one (who, along with Mom, is completely decked out in FUBU gear). Mom sometimes has a hard time swiping her card because her custom done nails are still wet, or the card is at the bottom of the Louis Vuitton purse, underneath a huge roll of cash (usually 20s and 50s). One cart is devoted to the cake, the other to the rest of the party food, which includes: lobster, steak, crab legs, etc.

Yes, I have actually seen this. Wish I could get the government to fund all the extras I would like to have in my life.

Before someone comes out and says “You don’t know what it’s like to be poor.” Yes, I do. My Mom (who has been totally and permanently disabled due to a work related injury for my entire life and was not awarded child support when my parents divorced-my Dad never gave me a red cent) applied for assistance after both of us had some sky high medical bills and she had to pay for my Grandma’s funeral. She was so honest and was told she was TWO DOLLARS over the limit for food stamps or other assistance (there were other people in the office that were obviously lying but were rewarded benefits anyway). To her credit, I didn’t know this until later (I was around 8 at the time, and I’m 32 now). I knew things weren’t great (we went to the scratch and dent store for groceries; I never owned “brand name” clothes, unless you consider KMart brand “brand name”), but I literally thought the food baskets we were getting from the church were a perk of church membership.

So, abuse really p*sses me off.