New EBT Restrictions Affecting Retailers
Friendly Bookmark: http://www.mass.gov/dta/retailers
Effective July 27, 2012, M.G.L. c.18 s. 5J, as amended by Chapter 161 of the Acts of 2012, makes it unlawful for some types of establishments to accept DTA cash assistance used in any Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) transaction. Direct cash assistance includes Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children (EAEDC).
Retailers must comply with the laws of the Commonwealth, including this new law. A store owner who knowingly violates this law may be subject to fines of $500 for a first offense, $500 to $2500 for second offenses, and $2500 or more for third or subsequent offenses. Store owners may also face disciplinary action in connection with their license to sell alcoholic beverages and/or their license to sell lottery tickets, if applicable.
The prohibitions apply to the following establishments:
- Ammunitions dealers
- Casinos, gambling casinos or gaming establishments
- Cruise ships
- Firearms dealers
- Jewelry stores
- Liquor stores
- Manicure shops or aesthetic shops
- Rent-to-own stores
- Tattoo parlors
- Adult bookstores, or adult paraphernalia stores, or pornographic performance establishments.
The new law also made it unlawful to use or accept DTA cash assistance funds held on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards or devices to purchase or sell the following services or products at all establishments:
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Tobacco products
- Lottery tickets
- Firearms and ammunition
- Vacation services
- Tattoos or body piercings
- Court-ordered fees, fines, bail or bail bonds, or
- Pornographic material or performances
Clients face penalties for knowingly violating the law up to including permanent disqualification from receiving cash assistance.
The law also requires businesses that accept EBT cards to post a sign with DTA’s fraud hotline in a conspicuous area and to maintain a list of categories of prohibited products at each cash register.
EBT Card Restrictions: What You Cannot Buy (with Fraud Hotline to be maintained at each cash register)
- Retailer - EBT Card Restrictions:What You Cannot Buy Register Flyer
- Retailer - EBT Card Restrictions: What You Cannot Buy Register Flyer-Color
- Retailer - EBT Card Restrictions:What You Cannot Buy Register Flyer Spanish
- Retailer - EBT Card Restrictions: What You Cannot Buy Register Flyer Spanish-Color
Where You Cannot Shop with Your EBT Card
- Retailer - Where You Cannot Shop with Your EBT Card
- Retailer - Where You Cannot Shop with Your EBT Card-Color
- Retailer - Where You Cannot Shop with Your EBT Card Spanish
- Retailer - Where You Cannot Shop with Your EBT Card Spanish-Color
To report a prohibited purchase, call 1-800-FRAUD-99.
For more information, the legislation (Chapter 161 of the Acts of 2012) can be found here: http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2012/Chapter161.
This information is provided by the Department of Transitional Assistance.