DTA is partnering with law enforcement

BOSTON (WWLP) — Massachusetts is ramping up efforts to round out welfare fraud, making it more difficult to use EBT cards to buy prohibited items.

The state's welfare agency, the Department of Transitional Assistance , is partnering up with law enforcement to share data and ensure welfare recipients are obeying the law.

DTA makes bi-weekly checks on ATM machines to identify cash withdrawals and purchases at prohibited establishments, like liquor stores. By sharing this information with law enforcement, state officials hope police officers will be able to better investigate and prevent prohibited Electronic Benefit Transfer card purchases.

DTA is also in the process of blocking EBT cards from working at certain retailers.

According to John Polanowicz the Secretary of Health and Human Services, "We know that the vast majority of clients use their benefits as intended, working with local law enforcement will help DTA protect the vital services for our clients who truly need them."

DTA has notified more than 78,000 welfare recipients and 22,000 retailers about the penalties and prohibited EBT purchases, which include jewelry, tobacco and guns.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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