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Maine Welfare Cash Spent in All 50 States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
The Maine Wire ^ | 1/7/14 | Steve Robinson

Posted on 01/07/2014 12:28:45 PM PST by raccoonradio

They may be on welfare, but that doesn’t 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 Maine’s 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 Wire’s 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 program’s 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 family’s 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.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: abuse; ebt; tanf; welfare
Now being talked about on Howie Carr radio show
1 posted on 01/07/2014 12:28:45 PM PST by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio; Andonius_99; Andy'smom; Antique Gal; Big Guy and Rusty 99; bitt; Barset; ...

HC list ping


2 posted on 01/07/2014 12:31:06 PM PST by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

All 50 states...

Guess Moochelle is blowing it out in Hawaii.


3 posted on 01/07/2014 12:34:04 PM PST by moovova
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To: raccoonradio

If they can trace it to these states then they know whose card it is and should have cut them off long time ago.


4 posted on 01/07/2014 12:34:42 PM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: raccoonradio

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?


5 posted on 01/07/2014 12:35:50 PM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: raccoonradio

Why should they spend it in Maine?


6 posted on 01/07/2014 12:37:49 PM PST by Diogenesis
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To: raccoonradio

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.


7 posted on 01/07/2014 12:38:12 PM PST by Sybeck1
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To: raccoonradio

Once you give people money, it’s theirs.


8 posted on 01/07/2014 12:38:19 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: raccoonradio
Does Maine have titty bars and casinos?

5.56mm

9 posted on 01/07/2014 12:39:06 PM PST by M Kehoe
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To: raccoonradio

Probably plenty of people are collecting welfare benefits in more than one state.


10 posted on 01/07/2014 12:39:30 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: smokingfrog
Probably plenty of people are collecting welfare benefits in more than one state.

Through the magic of electronics....

11 posted on 01/07/2014 12:41:46 PM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: raccoonradio

I can see spending the money in NH because there is no sales tax in NH.


12 posted on 01/07/2014 12:41:49 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (The War on Drugs has been used as an excuse to steal your rights. Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: raccoonradio
Temporary Assistance
Bwhahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ... temporary like death and taxes.
13 posted on 01/07/2014 12:47:56 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: smokingfrog; raccoonradio; Andonius_99; Andy'smom; Antique Gal; Big Guy and Rusty 99; bitt; ...
Thanks to the quaint magic of the hispanic culture, One may well feel himself entitled to many surnames. Allow me to demonstrate:

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........

14 posted on 01/07/2014 1:37:07 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (This GOP is dead. What do we do now?)
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To: raccoonradio

Yet the the crap healthcare being forced on people is local and nontransferable.


15 posted on 01/07/2014 1:38:31 PM PST by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: M Kehoe

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.


16 posted on 01/07/2014 2:08:32 PM PST by july4thfreedomfoundation (The Second Amendment makes all the other amendments possible)
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To: july4thfreedomfoundation

I guess they can swipe the EBT card between the strippers’ breasts :)


17 posted on 01/07/2014 2:21:51 PM PST by raccoonradio
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To: july4thfreedomfoundation

>>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 :)


18 posted on 01/07/2014 2:25:00 PM PST by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

Transactions at strip clubs too which will certainly help out the children!


19 posted on 01/07/2014 2:42:00 PM PST by golf lover (goingf)
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To: raccoonradio

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.


20 posted on 01/07/2014 2:58:26 PM PST by Svartalfiar
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To: raccoonradio
Instead of bad-mouthing Maine, which Massholes have had a problem with ever since 1820 when they were forced to turn it over, kinda like Sweden did for Norway, why do you not use your enormous blog power to press for our share of Global Warming?

Many of the Democrats here believed our government and sold all their winter clothes. What with Global Warming and a couple hundred thousand useless Somalis hangin' about, maybe they thought Maine was going to get palm-fringed beaches? Now that it is wicked cold as usual, they're cryin' the blues.... maybe 'cause theys blue.

BTW, what is with the weather bein' the lead story nationally? Ayuh. Cold. Winta. Go figure. Ain't like this never happened before.

Some MAsshole on NPR claiming it's due to "too much Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere." Right. All them Turd World babies exhaling like crazy?

21 posted on 01/07/2014 3:57:41 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (This GOP is dead. What do we do now?)
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To: smokingfrog

And they need to check the out of state transactions against the list of “lost or stolen” cards. (Think Craig’s list.) There is no way to tell who is actually using the card.


22 posted on 01/07/2014 4:07:37 PM PST by OldMagazine (You can only do what you can do.)
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