Millions in Mass Welfare Spent Out of State

A state food stamp card.
A state food stamp card. –Mass. Department of Transitional Assistance

Millions of dollars in Massachusetts Transitional Assistance funding is spent out of state, according to a CBS Boston I-Team investigation.

The report found $4.5 million in assistance spent in Florida in 2013. The money was used with massachusetts Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, commonly called EBT cards.

Transitional Assistance Commissioner Stacey Monahan told CBS Boston that the department tracks spending closely and cracks down on fraud when detected, but out-of-state spending is allowed under current law.

From the report:

According to Stacey Monahan, the Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance, this out-of-state spending is a very small percentage of the overall benefits. "This is something that's totally permissible, you are allowed to use your benefits out of state," she said.

State Representative Shaunna O’Connell has filed legislation to restrict EBT spending to Massachusetts and border states only, but that effort failed last year, according to CBS Boston. She intends to file the legislation again.


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