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Proposal Would Add Pictures To EBT Cards, To Halt Food Stamp Fraud

Feb 8, 2017

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost
Credit Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

There’s a bill in the legislature that would add the photos of food stamp recipients to their electronic benefit transfer or EBT cards.

The idea behind the legislation is to help curb food stamp fraud. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

State Auditor Dave Yost did a report on food stamp fraud last year, but says he still isn’t sure how much fraud is in the system. That’s why he’s backing this bill.

“We believe this will be helpful to avoid trafficking in cards. We know that there are trafficking in food benefits that are happening around the state and a photograph is a simple straight forward way to deter that.”

The leader of Ohio’s Association of Foodbanks says she’s all for cracking down on fraud. But Lisa Hamler Fugitt questions whether there’s enough of it to warrant this change.

“I think the devil is in the details on how this is going to be implemented.”

Yost says the cost of implementation in Ohio is yet to be determined, but he says Massachusetts paid $1.5 million in start-up costs when it recently put a similar program in place.