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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=23994
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 25, 2017 12:34 PM
From: Representative Rick Saccone
To: All House members
Subject: Welfare Reform- EBT Card Replacement Policy
 
We have all heard stories or received testimony about fraudulent use of ACCESS cards and how scammers and even welfare recipients themselves sell their ACCESS cards for quick cash. In order to get benefits for the next month, they simply report their card lost and are given another benefit card for a nominal fee of $2.50. Whether you believe this happens or not, you need to ask yourself what you would consider as a reasonable number of times an individual is expected to lose their EBT card and request a replacement. Is 2 times reasonable? How about 10, 20, 30, 50 or over 80 times? Have you lost your credit card 10, 20, 30, 50 or over 80 times? How cumbersome is this for our caseworkers? Chances are if a recipient is reporting their card lost or stolen that many times in a short amount of time they are probably selling their EBT cards for cash.

To address the issue, I am introducing legislation that imposes fees and sanctions on individuals who repeatedly report their ACCESS cards lost or stolen. Upon the first request, the recipient will receive an EBT card with their photograph printed on it and be subject to a fee which is calculated to ensure the cost of the new card with the photograph has a cost neutral impact to the Commonwealth. For the second request, the fee is doubled. Upon the third request within a twelve-month period, the benefits of the recipient are immediately revoked and the recipient is subject to a lifetime ban from receiving public assistance. This will not apply to funds deposited on an EBT card for child support or state blind pension funds or if cards are damaged or defective so long as the card is returned.

The policy of the department to discuss a recipient’s responsibility for keeping their card safe is not working nor is the free replacement or $2.50 replacement fee. Tightening up this matter will provide more time for caseworkers to focus on those who truly need assistance.


Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.



Introduced as HB1538