DFCS issues new EBT rules, limits purchases with card - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

DFCS issues new EBT rules, limits purchases with card

Posted: Updated:
© MGN Online © MGN Online

BATON ROUGE (KNOE 8 News) - The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) implemented an emergency rule to further prohibit the use of Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) and Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) benefits at certain types of retailers that include lingerie stores, tattoo shops, nail salons and jewelry stores. FITAP and KCSP provide cash assistance to help pay only for a family's ongoing basic needs, such as food, shelter and clothing.

The rule is aimed at preventing electronic benefit transfer (EBT) transactions at specific types of stores, vendors and establishments which sell goods or provide services determined to be inconsistent with the purpose of the cash assistance programs and not necessary for basic needs.

"We want to ensure that these federal assistance benefits are used appropriately and not at locations that do not help a family meet basic needs," said DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier. "This rule will not affect families who currently use the program as intended, which is to provide food, shelter and clothing for families."

EBT cards can no longer be used at:

Any retail establishment that provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment purposes or adult bookstores or adult paraphernalia and any sexually oriented business

Any nail salon

Any tattoo, piercing, or commercial body art facility

Any jewelry store

Any amusement or video arcade

Any bail bonds company

Any nightclub, bar, tavern, or saloon

Any cruise ship

Any psychic business

Any establishment where persons under age 18 are not permitted

In addition to the emergency rule, State Representative Chris Broadwater is working with DCFS to create new legislation to support the rule and allow DCFS to fine retailers who are not following the proper guidelines.

"My constituents raised some concerns about where cash benefits are being used," said Rep. Broadwater. "By working with DCFS to craft necessary legislation, I hope that we can meet the spirit of intent of the program while also ensuring that state and federal tax dollars are being used appropriately."

In March 2013, DCFS passed a rule which stated that cash benefits can no longer be used in EBT transactions at liquor stores, gaming establishments, or adult entertainment establishments. Benefits could also no longer be used at any store to buy tobacco products, alcohol or lottery tickets.

In February 2014, there were 3,479 households receiving FITAP assistance totaling nearly $670,000. In order to receive FITAP, you must be a single or disabled parent with children. The average payment in Louisiana is $192 per month. There were also 2,437 households receiving $1.02 million in KCSP benefits, with an average payment of $419 a month.

Recipients who violate the rule will have their benefits stopped for 12 months on the first offense, 24 months on the second offense and permanently on the third offense. DCFS will rely on retailers and the public to help report suspected fraud, as well as randomly review monthly transactions for possible use at prohibited locations.

If a member of the public suspects someone is illegally receiving public assistance benefits or is illegally using an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, they should fill out DCFS' online complaint form at www.dcfs.la.gov/ReportFraud or call 1-888-LAHELP-U and select option 7 from the main menu.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Monroe school turf construction hits new delays

    Monroe school turf construction hits new delays

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:27 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:27:14 GMT
    MONROE, La. (AP) - Field turf construction at football stadiums in the Monroe City School District has once again hit a snag.
    MONROE, La. (AP) - Field turf construction at football stadiums in the Monroe City School District has once again hit a snag.
  • Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

    Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 12:14 PM EDT2014-08-20 16:14:25 GMT
    AMSTERDAM (AP) - Twitter is trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers the publicity they crave is also gaining momentum.
    AMSTERDAM (AP) - Twitter is trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers the publicity they crave is also gaining momentum.
  • Mother of Mo'Ne Davis is Proud Parent

    Mother of Mo'Ne Davis is Proud Parent

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:20:34 GMT
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS)- "Wonderful." Lakeisha McLean, Mo'ne Davis' mom, is nearly speechless.
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS)- "Wonderful." Lakeisha McLean, Mo'ne Davis' mom, is nearly speechless.
  • Eric T. Hendrix was arrested on Extortion

    Eric T. Hendrix was arrested on Extortion

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 2:34 PM EDT2014-08-19 18:34:09 GMT
    Bastrop, La. (KNOE & Morehouse Parish Sheriff Department)- Eric T. Hendrix was arrested after a complainant came to Morehouse Parish Sheriff Dept.
    Bastrop, La. (KNOE & Morehouse Parish Sheriff Department)- Eric T. Hendrix was arrested after a complainant came to Morehouse Parish Sheriff Dept.
  • Man high on drugs in church arrested

    Man high on drugs in church arrested

    Monday, August 18 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-08-19 00:09:43 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)- A Monroe man is sitting in jail after showing up to church filled with more than the holy spirit.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)- A Monroe man is sitting in jail after showing up to church filled with more than the holy spirit.
  • Caldwell taking big insurance company to court

    Caldwell taking big insurance company to court

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-08-20 03:05:17 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - In an unprecedented move Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is suing one of the largest insurance companies in the state. On Tuesday, he announced he's taking State Farm to court. State Farm covers 33-percent of Louisiana drivers and Caldwell says it's been deceiving its customers and it's the auto body shop owners who say they are being forced to put savings before safety. 
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - In an unprecedented move Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is suing one of the largest insurance companies in the state. On Tuesday, he announced he's taking State Farm to court. State Farm covers 33-percent of Louisiana drivers and Caldwell says it's been deceiving its customers and it's the auto body shop owners who say they are being forced to put savings before safety. 
  • Mother of Kendrick Johnson writes letter to Michael Brown's mother

    Mother of Kendrick Johnson writes letter to Michael Brown's mother

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:18 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:18:05 GMT
    The mother of Kendrick Johnson, a Georgia teenager found dead in a school gym mat, has written a letter to the parents of Missouri police shooting victim Michael Brown.
    The mother of Kendrick Johnson, a Georgia teenager found dead in a school gym mat, has written a letter to the parents of Missouri police shooting victim Michael Brown.
  • Louisiana Purchase Zoo making strides to regain accreditation while other projects are put on hold

    Louisiana Purchase Zoo making strides to regain accreditation while other projects are put on hold

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:12 PM EDT2014-08-20 00:12:48 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)- The splash pad at the Louisiana Purchase Zoo should be flowing with water, but the money had to flow elsewhere.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)- The splash pad at the Louisiana Purchase Zoo should be flowing with water, but the money had to flow elsewhere.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.