Welfare cash spent out of state

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts E.B.T. recipients spent close to 50 million taxpayer dollars outside of the Commonwealth over the course of ten months.

The 22News I-Team discovered where that money’s being spent and why some people are okay with it.

Money was taken out in all 50 states, but with the cash system that’s used, it’s unclear how that money is spent.

Welfare money is meant for basic needs and we pay for it. The I-Team discovered that more than half a million ($518,504) E.B.T. dollars were taken out at ATM’s outside of Massachusetts in November 2013.  The Boston Herald reported that a Department of Transitional Assistance Report revealed that from July 2013 to April 2014 close to $50 million E.B.T. dollars were spent out of state.

“It’s their money it’s given to them to do with what they like,” said Springfield’s Gary Flynn.

Most of the out of state money was taken out in neighboring states like Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, but we found dozens of withdrawals across the country and even some that were made out of the country.

In Florida $37,882 was taken out at ATM’s in November.  $43,963 in New York and $4920 in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Roy Martin of Northampton told 22News his daughter lives in Maine and receives cash assistance.

“My daughter gets E.B.T. money and when she’s here she has to get stuff for the kids,” said Martin.

Back in April, the 22News I-Team interviewed the D.T.A. Commissioner Stacey Monahan.  She told 22News they do monitor all transactions, but they have started working directly with other states to make sure no one is double dipping.

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