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SSC


Admin
Louisiana bans use of welfare benefits for tattoos, lingerie, jewelry

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/22/louisiana-bans-use-welfare-benefits-for-tattoos-lingerie-jewelry/?intcmp=latestnews#

Published March 22, 2014
Associated Press .AP

BATON ROUGE, La. Louisiana welfare recipients will be prohibited from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under new limits enacted by state social services officials.

The Department of Children and Family Services announced the emergency regulations late Thursday. They cover the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program commonly known as welfare benefits and the Kinship Care Subsidy Program.

Both programs pay cash assistance to low-income families for items like food, clothing and housing.

DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier said the agency decided to ban the use of electronic benefit cards, which work as debit cards, at stores that don't sell items that are considered basic needs for families.

"This rule will not affect families who currently use the program as intended, which is to provide food, shelter and clothing for families," Sonnier said in a statement.

About 3,500 households in Louisiana receive welfare benefits, and about 2,400 households get kinship care subsidies, according to the department. Average payments are $192 per month for welfare and $419 a month for kinship care.

The emergency regulations come a week after WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge reported that an Ascension Parish lingerie store posted a sign noting that it accepted the welfare benefits card along with most credit cards.

Also barred in the latest restrictions from taking welfare debit cards are video arcades, bail bond companies, cruise ships, psychics, adult-entertainment businesses, nightclubs, bars and any businesses where minors are not allowed.

Violators of the new regulations will stop receiving welfare benefits for a year for a first offense, two years for a second offense and permanently for a third offense, according to the social services department.

The department also said it is seeking to enact the restrictions in law and allow the state to fine retailers who don't follow the guidelines. Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, will sponsor the bill for consideration in the current legislative session.

"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," Broadwater said in a statement.

Last year, the social services agency enacted new regulations that banned the spending of welfare money on cigarettes, alcohol and lottery tickets. Those regulations also included prohibitions on the use of a welfare electronic benefit card at liquor stores, gambling sites and strip clubs, as required under a recently-passed federal law.

Tracking violations may be difficult, however, because the welfare money can be taken off the electronic benefit card as cash through an ATM. Social services officials said they rely on businesses and the public to report suspected violations.

SSC


Admin
We are just one state with abuse, just think of the millions wasted in the other 49...Finally states are getting wise to welfare fraud and misuse and doing something about it. Really don't think Victoria Secret benefits the kids this was intended for.

runawayhorses


Owner
If they give them cash its hard to regulate. If they issue a card like a food stamp card certain idems would not work. I don't know how welfare money is distributed, but a card that you can't withdraw cash from could stop that. But people need cash too, so its hard to stop.

gypsy


Moderator
Mark, they issue cards here in Kentucky, you can only buy food, and only certain kinds of food, no candy or other ,non beneficial foods. you canot recieve cash from the cards.My daughter recieves a disability check, but at end each month, she has to show what it is spent on,I think all welfare recipents have to do this.

runawayhorses


Owner
Welfare is different than disability and food stamps. Yes food stamp cards you can only buy food, but disability is a check (money) or automatic deposit into your account, welfare I don't know if its a check or card.

SSC


Admin
The food stamp card that is issued here also has a monthly allotment of cash, if you have both programs, as far as food the only limitations are pre-cooked items such as deli sandwiches, fast food places, there is no limit on candy, coke, cookies etc. If you have the cash benefits you are allowed to withdraw from the card up to your cash limit each month. Welfare or SSI as it is called here will make you accountable for expenses if they audit you, but that rarely happens unless there has been issues in the past of mismanagement then they will check for receipts.

gypsy


Moderator
I believe also in the welfare program they have to file a yearly expenditure, with receipts of what the monies were used for, this is in most of the states on welfare. this rule does limit the frivolous things like tattoos and such.

SSC


Admin
They run SSI different from state to state, Louisiana does not have a yearly report . You are expected to keep receipts but again rarely are you audited. Food stamps is a 12 month program with reevaluation at the end of your benefit year unless to earn a type of income then you have 10 days to report this. Plus there are several other assistance programs in place to help low income families.

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