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Monroe County Social Services reports increase in theft from EBT benefit accounts

The Monroe County Office Building.
File photo
The Monroe County Office Building.

Monroe County officials say there has been an increase in reports of theft from Social Services clients who use the state-issued EBT, or Electronic Benefit Transfer cards.

The county’s Social Services Department says it has seen an uptick over the last week of those clients who reported their accounts have been compromised and their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits tor Temporary Assistance (TA)benefits stolen.

The county notes that this kind of electronic theft involving EBT cards is not limited to this area, they say it affects public assistance programs nationwide.

The county is recommending that everyone who has an EBT card closely monitor the transactions and immediately seek a replacement card if the account appears compromised.

Clients who have lost EBT benefits through electronic fraud are eligible to have those stolen benefits replaced.

To receive replacement benefits, individuals must visit Monroe County Social Services at 691 St. Paul Street to get a replacement EBT card and PIN, as well as file their application for replacement benefits.

The county recommends applicants download the benefits replacement form (available via fill it out and bring it with them, although forms are also available at the Social Services office.

It will typically take 48 to 72 hours for those benefits to be restored, so Social Services staff are working with the affected clients to make sure that they have alternate ways of getting food in the time before those benefits are restored.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.