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Statement from Auditor Yost on House Passage of Legislation to Help Curb Fraud in Food Stamp Program
Columbus – Auditor Yost issued this statement regarding the passage of House Bill 50 by the Ohio House:
“The food stamp program is a lifesaver for thousands of Ohioans, and we must do all we can to ensure the integrity of the program so the truly needy get the assistance they need. By requiring photos on these cards, we’ll deter the abuse of these cards by the unscrupulous – including drug dealers, and put food on the table of our financially troubled neighbors.”
Auditor Yost joined Rep. Tim Schaffer (Lancaster) and Sen. Matt Huffman (Lima) in announcing this effort to curb abuse in Ohio’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through legislation that requires photos of many recipients on the state’s SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.
In June 2016, an audit of Ohio’s $2.5 billion SNAP program, commonly known as the food stamp program, found system weaknesses that allow for benefits of a deceased person to be claimed, excessive account balances, questionable out-of-state transactions and other instances of potential fraud.
Photo identification: On the front of each EBT card, a color photograph of at least one member of the household to whom the card is issued;
Telephone number and website: On the back of the card, a telephone number and website where suspected fraud can be reported;
Exemptions: The new requirements will not apply to adult household members who are age 60 or older; are blind; have a disability; are a victim of domestic violence, have religious objections to being photographed or if the household does not include any adult members.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.