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Benefits stolen from EBT cards being withdrawn in other states

EBT Benefits
Posted at 5:54 PM, Jun 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-05 18:18:18-04

BALTIMORE — The theft scheme continues for federal assistance benefits. It's a story we've been covering, people are reporting their benefits were withdrawn from their EBT cards in another state.

And it was just March of this year that these stolen benefits could get reimbursed.

Baltimore residents who rely on their benefits to get by, woke up over the weekend just to see the cash was stolen from their EBT cards.

"I receive my benefits on the third and I went to go get my money off my card and it said decline and I said hold up decline? So I tried it again and it said decline again,” said Shemika Hill whose benefits were stolen over the weekend.

She called the number on the back of her card, that's when she was told the money had been withdrawn in a different state.

"They told me that my benefits had been stolen at 10:48 that morning from Florida. I've never been to Florida a day in my life,” said Hill.

Hill went to the Department of Social Services on East Biddle Street to get a new EBT card, she needs her benefits to pay rent. She also reported identity theft because two months ago her SNAP benefits were also stolen.

"If they can steal my benefits from Florida then they can steal my whole identity and be living my life the whole time and it's not me. Getting stuff in my name, running my credit up,” said Hill.

It's a similar story from others who were outside the BCDSS office.

"Last month all the money was taken off my EBT card,” said Junie Carter, who was issued a new card and pin.

The money was replaced, only to have it happen again this month.

"Then again Friday, I went to get the money off my card, they wiped it out again. Last month was in West Palm Beach Florida, this time was in Hollywood Florida,” said Carter.

It's also a state where he's never been. He filled out a fraud application and received a new card, but was told it'll be 10 to 15 business days before getting the money back.

"It's hard you know, I got a three-year-old, it's a lot," said Carter.

If you have become victim to stolen SNAP or cash assistance benefits, head to the Maryland Department of Human Services to fill out the form.

DHS Spokesperson Brian Schleter said reimbursements for stolen benefits are provided in 15 days or less. He said starting next month DHS will expand the program to reimburse benefits dating back to January 1, 2021 where more than 1,000 additional households will become eligible.