July 6, 2015

States with Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card Restrictions

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has compiled a table showing how states are imposing a federal restriction on where certain EBT transactions can take place. The restriction is part of a 2012 federal law that requires states to maintain policies or practices that prevent EBT transactions funded through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants from taking place at (1) liquor stores, (2) casinos or gambling establishments, and (3) any retail establishments that provide adult-oriented entertainment (PL 112-96). The NCSL table only includes those states that have addressed the issue in statute.

Last year, Connecticut’s Department of Social Services adopted regulations to implement the restriction. The regulations prohibit recipients of cash assistance under the Connecticut’s TANF-funded cash assistance program (i.e., Temporary Family Assistance) from conducting EBT transactions in prohibited locations and impose penalties for violations. The penalties are as follows:
  • first violation: a warning
  • second violation: a penalty in the amount of the EBT transaction
  • third violation: a one-month suspension and a penalty in the amount of the EBT transaction
  • fourth violation: at DSS’s discretion, benefit suspension for any length of time or termination.