Comparing EBT data in legislative reports

The state's Department of Transitional Assistance is blocking more ATM's at prohibited locations, but the 22News I-Team questions the coding of other locations that sell prohibited items.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cash assistance for recipients "basic needs." The 22News I-Team requested data on EBT spending from the state's Department of Transitional Assistance, which oversees the state's welfare system.

After going through hundreds of thousands of EBT ATM withdrawals, the I-Team had questions about a report from the department that oversees the state’s welfare system. Specifically for the month of June 2016. The 22News I-Team analyzed EBT ATM Transactions in June 2016 and found EBT withdrawals at what we believe should be considered prohibited locations. Our numbers were higher than what the state reported.

Liquor stores, nail or hair salons, tattoo parlors, casinos, and strip clubs are some of the prohibited locations that EBT dollars can’t be used. We found that EBT dollars were withdrawn at ATM's inside all of those locations.

Is the state doing enough to enforce the EBT rules, and should the legislature consider an overhaul of the current regulations? See part two of 22News I-Team Reporter Ryan Walsh's indepth look at how EBT money is being tracked and spent, Monday, February 27 on the CW Springfield at 10pm.

Read the DTA legislative report "Report on prohibited purchases with direct cash assistance funds – items and locations."

PART 1: EBT cards still being used at ATM's nationwide


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