Amid a surge of food benefits fraud in the state, Maryland became the first state in the country to receive approval for a plan to repay victims with federal funds, Danielle Gaines reports for Maryland Matters. Gov. Wes Moore allocated funding for the plan in a supplemental budget presented to the General Assembly on Friday.
What are the details of the plan?
The Maryland Department of Human Services announced last week that the plan aims to repay more than $2.5 million to the approximately 3,800 victims of stolen Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in the state. The department expects victims will be able to file for reimbursement later this month through the myMDTHINK Consumer Portal, and is working on a plan that would allow those seeking reimbursement to call a hotline or visit their local department of social services for assistance.
Maryland has seen a sharp increase in stolen SNAP benefits in the past year. More than $1 million in SNAP benefits were stolen in the state last year, up from $92,000 in 2021.
Anything else I should know?
The federal nutrition program previously only permitted state agencies to use state funding to reimburse victims until last year, when a provision in the $1.7 trillion federal Consolidated Appropriations Act allowed states to use federal funds to repay benefits stolen by card skimming between Oct. 1, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2024.
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