SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The state is taking steps to crack down on welfare abuse. There is a new initiative that takes aim at EBT cards with high balances.
Many people today live paycheck to paycheck - unable to save money, while there are others racking up thousands of your tax dollars while on public assistance.
"I think there has to be a little oversight in terms of where the money goes and how the money is spent," said Springfield's David Ciampi.
The state is now implementing new measures to crack down on any potential abuse.
They'll be calling all recipients with EBT cash balances exceeding $1,500 dollars to see if the assistance is still necessary. Any accounts with balances exceeding $2,500 will be shut down.
According to state data, 99 percent of households on EBT keep a balance of under $1,000 but there are a few homes who are at or above that 15-25 hundred dollar mark.
The balance checks may present an opportunity for recipients to pay down their accounts frivolously to stay off the radar but some people think it's worth the risk.
"I think there's always room for some form of fraud but I think checking people with a high balance is a good idea, it's a start," said Springfield's Marcos Burwell.
In just one month, the state hands out about $32.5 million dollars in cash benefits.
After numerous investigations into abuse and fraud, the state wants to know only the people who need it are getting it.
"There's plenty of people out there who really need the benefits that are hurting for money and don't have jobs, you know everyone is working hard," said Springfield's Nicholas Abair.
DTA Commissioner Stacey Monahan says they'll be conducting similar checks on recipients of SNAP, or the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.