EBT reform overview

With a bipartisan group of legislators, the House is the leader in fighting EBT abuse.


We banned the use of EBT cards for such uses as tattoo parlors, nail salons, casinos, and strip clubs.


We expanded the scope of prohibited transactions to include the sale of alcohol, lottery tickets, tobacco, firearms, professional services, admission to performances, travel services, health clubs, jewelry, rental of goods or property, payment of taxes or bail.

This reform also banned the use of direct cash assistance outside of the Commonwealth except for emergencies. Can you believe someone would use an EBT card to buy a gun or go to a strip club?

We also made it a crime for a person knowingly transferring, acquiring, altering or possessing an electronic benefit transfer card or access device in any manner not authorized by state or federal law. Penalties include fines and jail time based upon the cash value of benefits being trafficked. The state lottery commission and the alcoholic beverages control commission may suspend or revoke the license of any person who is found to have knowingly violated this statute.

2013 - THIS YEAR

Our plan this year goes even further.

We create a system whereby all EBT cards would require a photo ID. Photos on EBT cards would help stem fraud and make sure state funds go to those most in need.
We will also create an Eligibility Verification Task Force to make sure the people who are receiving benefits, across state government, are the truly needy. This institutionalizes a permanent and ongoing involvement of government watchdogs, such as the Auditor, the IG, and the AG.
Lastly, our plan establishes a bureau of program integrity. This new office, to be headed by an appointee of the Inspector General, will help develop and oversee regulations to improve the process of determining who is eligible to receive an EBT card.

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Rep. Josh S. Cutler
State House, Room 167
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-2810

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