House Bill 5822: AN ACT REQUIRING PHOTO IDENTIFICATION ON ELECTRONIC BENEFIT TRANSFER CARDS is ready to be voted on in the Human Services Committee this week. We need you to call members of the Human Services Committee and tell them to VOTE NO. Putting photos on EBT cards is only a way to limit access to SNAP and other benefits. MA and ME have this in place and it is a disaster.
• Photo EBT can prevent people from getting their benefits through a common misunderstanding of the program
* A household is defined as those who prepare meals together, and may not be related to one another. The “head of the household” is the main point person for the benefit. Therefore, it is quite common, in states that have photo EBT, for household members to be unfairly denied use of their cards because they were not the head of the household whose picture is on the card. We have seen this in Massachusetts and Maine.
• It’s not necessary
* EBT cards use a pin, just like an ATM card making it difficult for someone to steal the card and use it without permission.
*The USDA is able to determine what food has been purchased and can tell if fraud is happening. The selling of EBT benefits are mostly done at small marts or bodegas where a large amount of food purchased by one person on their EBT is a red flag to the USDA which investigates. We have a robust investigative team here in CT. Of course, having a photo EBT card won’t make a dent on this type of fraud, which is the most prevalent, because the store owner is involved.
* Fraud is easy to report
• It doesn’t make sense
*How would we get the pictures on EBT cards? If people have to go to DSS won’t that add to the continued backlog? How much will the cards cost compared to what they currently cost? Is this an effective use of funds?
We need you to contact members and don’t delay. This bill is part a national movement to stop people from accessing benefits under the guise of fraud protection. SNAP has the least amount of fraud of any federal program in the country – less then 1.2%.
For more information: End Hunger Connecticut