The Kansas Department for Children and Families has announced a new initiative to cut down on and detect illegal use of state welfare benefits.
DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore says her department has hired additional staff to root-out fraud.
“We now have a director, full-time, devoted to anti-fraud efforts," she said. "There’s a chief investigator, two hotline administrative assistants and 16 fraud special investigators across the state.”
In addition, the agency has introduced a new electronic benefits transfer card to eventually replace the one now known as the Vision Card.
The new Kansas Benefits Card bears a printed message saying the card shouldn’t be used in liquor stores, gambling establishments or adult-oriented businesses, and that selling the card is unlawful.
A recent investigation by a blog called Kansas Watchdog turned up numerous examples of benefits cards being used at ATMs located in those types of businesses. There was no indication, though, how the cash was ultimately spent.