Maine’s welfare money that was intended to be spent on necessities like food is instead being used for lavish vacations in Hawaii and Florida by some of its recipients. Department of Health and Human Service records shows that $2.8 million have been spent by welfare users outside of the state. Although half of this amount was spent in neighboring New Hampshire, some questionable uses of EBT money include a $500 EBT card withdrawal at a Disney World resort in August 2011. Maine welfare recipients also used EBT money in Florida included withdrawals at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando and various spots around Daytona Beach.
Maine welfare cash has turned up in all 50 U.S. states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. However, they aren’t the only state that has this problem. More than $69 million in California welfare cash was spent or withdrawn outside of the state between 2007 and 2010, with Las Vegas receiving approximately $11.8 million of this amount. Welfare cash withdrawals have also been traced to various strip clubs and casinos in Kansas and Washington.
Angry taxpayers are pushing for the welfare recipients who took these vacations to be removed from the system, arguing that they don’t need to be on welfare if they can afford to go to Hawaii or Florida. Some states have also adopted certain preventative measure by disallowing EBT transactions at liquor stores, casinos and other questionable locations.