Skip to comments.Maine Welfare Cash Spent in All 50 States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Posted on 01/07/2014 12:28:45 PM PST by raccoonradio
They may be on welfare, but that doesnt stop them from vacationing.
According to an analysis of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, Maine welfare cash has been spent in every other state in the Union, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Department of Health and Human Services records related to TANF, a program intended to provide cash assistance to low-income families, was obtained by The Maine Wire pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request. The data includes three years worth of transactions involving Maine Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, the debit cards that carry benefits for multiple welfare programs. According to DHHS records, cash welfare users from Maine have spent $2.8 million outside of the state over the last three years and not just in neighboring New Hampshire.
According to HHS records, the top recipients of Maines welfare cash are: New Hampshire: $1.4 million; Massachusetts: $360,000; Florida: $206,000; and New York: $100,000.
Measured by transactions, Maine EBT cards have been used 11,328 times in New Hampshire over the past three years. EBT cards have been used 2,918 times in Massachusetts and 1,252 times in Florida during the same period.
Neither Maine nor the federal government places restrictions on the geographical use of TANF welfare cash.
There are possible reasons a household may be using benefits in another state legitimately. It may be more convenient or cost effective to shop in a bordering state; military families receiving benefits in Maine might be transferred to another state; natural disasters, domestic violence, or divorce, may displace people, making it necessary to seek shelter with out-of-state family members or friends; or families may move to find employment.
Although using welfare cash outside of Maine is currently legal, only residents can apply for and receive benefits. In cases where welfare recipients use their benefits outside the state of Maine for an extended period of time, it may be the case that that individual no longer resides in the state and may be improperly receiving benefits. The state does not currently have any formal mechanism in place to identify such recipients and terminate their benefits. Republican Gov. Paul R. LePage has introduced legislation that would place certain geographic restrictions on the use of EBT cards.
Speaker of the House Mark W. Eves (D-North Berwick) has indicated a willingness to consider placing some restrictions on EBT card use, but progressive advocacy groups have said such restrictions are an unnecessary hassle for poor.
The Maine Wires analysis of out-of-state TANF transactions reveals use patterns suggesting that, in many instances, welfare cash is used in ways not likely to achieve the programs goal of encouraging a return to the work force.
disney Disney World Resorts, Florida For example, on Aug. 1, 2011, one or more EBT cards were used within a three-minute timeframe to access nearly $500 in welfare cash at an ATM in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. That particular ATM happens to be located almost on top of the campus of Disney World Resorts.
On March 1, 2011, at 3:20AM, a Maine EBT cardholder accessed an ATM in Cape Canaveral, Florida, twice, withdrawing $400. The address of the ATM corresponds with Ron Jon Cape Caribe Resort.
Additional Sunshine State transactions occur at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, the Family Fun Center of Lakeland, and at North Miami Beach, Miami Beach, Vero Beach, Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach all hotspots for Mainers on vacation.
Spending data from other states also suggests that cash welfare is being used to supplement a vacationing familys budget. Welfare cash recipients have, for example, spent $3,437 in Las Vegas. And, as recently as October, Maine welfare cash was withdrawn from the Four Seasons Resort Aviara in Carlsbad, Calif.
Maine welfare cash has also found its way as far as Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Isles.
According to the data, four transactions occurred in Hawaii in 2011 and 2012, including $300 ATM withdrawals in Waipahu, Wahiawa, and a $140 withdrawal in Honolulu.
In Puerto Rico, Maine EBT cards have been used to access more than $3,400 in welfare cash, in the cities of San Lorenzo, Vieques, and Bayamon.
Welfare cash has also been spent in the Virgin Islands city of St. John, at the Mongoose Junction shopping center.
Although no one can know for sure how much of this cash has been spent or obtained illegally, the volume of cash flowing to popular vacation destinations suggests an abuse of the program. At the minimum, out-of-state spending in places like Florida, Hawaii, California and Las Vegas suggest some cash welfare recipients are not using their taxpayer-funded benefits to help return to work.
HC list ping
All 50 states...
Guess Moochelle is blowing it out in Hawaii.
If they can trace it to these states then they know whose card it is and should have cut them off long time ago.
We had exactly the same thing in Indiana.
Local tv station got the records and did a story.
I wonder if the Nevada brothels have a “we accept TANF” decal on the door?
Why should they spend it in Maine?
My wife and I have pretty much settled on the fact that we will never be able to afford a trip to Disney World for our three kids, with braces, band payments, etc. I get a warm feeling all over that others are for paying these scumbags go there.
Once you give people money, it’s theirs.
Probably plenty of people are collecting welfare benefits in more than one state.
Through the magic of electronics....
I can see spending the money in NH because there is no sales tax in NH.
Yo me llamo Francisco Gomez
But my mom's maiden name was Lopez,
So she is Griselda Lopez de Gomez
her mom's maiden name, Gonzalez
So, she could go by Griselda Lopez y Gonzalez de Lopez,
So I am Francisco Gomez y Lopez
But wait, Granpapá Gonzalez was a red hot tamale .... famous
So I am Francisco Gomez-Lopez y Gonzalez
or Francisco de Gonzalez
or Francisco de Lopez-Gomez .... etc. etc.
BTW, since I also probably have 5 CHristian names, it can really get interestingly lucrative.
And on and on. Do you get the picture? Welfare department dorks might think your "last" name was your last name, right? But, by leaning back on this quaint hispanic tradition, it is quite possible and unfortunately quite common for our latino friends to have multiple identities, multiple SS accounts, multiple passports, multiple EBT Cards, Multiple welfare checks, and what makes them so dear to Democrat Party hearts, lots and lots of perfectly valid-looking voter registrations, one each to go with their multiple driver's licences.
Wait. You claim this is just another Kenny Bunk rant? Ask a hospital admissions clerk. Ask anyone in "Records" who has noticed that multiple checks very often go to the same address. Ask a court clerk when "Gomez" fails to appear. Issue a bench warrant? OK. For whom?
Compounding the problem is the unusual factoid that there are comparatively very few Spanish surnames .... exponentially fewer than in English.
Look in your phonebook under "García." Every García worth his enchiladas has very little trouble coming up with at least 5 other names .... names completely explainable in Spanish culture.
Take that, Pinche Gringo! Y muchísimas Gracias al estado de MAine. Now, let's start on those Somal........
Yet the the crap healthcare being forced on people is local and nontransferable.
Hollywood Hotel and Casino on the Penobscot River is in Bangor, Maine. There is also an Indian casino in western Maine.
According to the Howie Carr Show, broadcast every weekday afternoon from Boston, the welfare cash was also spent at a “gentleman’s club” in Portland, Maine and at “Diamonds,” which claims the hottest girls in Maine, in downtown Bangor.
I guess they can swipe the EBT card between the strippers’ breasts :)
>>Hollywood Hotel and Casino on the Penobscot River is in Bangor, Maine.
btw I went to Portland ME on ML King Day weekend last year. At one point I drove up to Bangor. It was maybe 10 above (like it is now) and subzero windchills. I thought, hey, might be interesting to walk around. After all more than a few Stephen King novels were set in “Derry” aka Bangor and I can get a feel for the city, eh?
Brrrrrr. Froze my butt off...so I got back into my car and drove back to the Portland Motel 6 :)
Transactions at strip clubs too which will certainly help out the children!
Just need to get rid of the cards and have centers that give out rations of basic food staples (flour, rice, beans, milk, etc), and then we’ll see how many people are still trying to get on the program. My guess is if it was restricted to just basic foods, the costs would be cut by more than half.