Covering Louisiana

Nov 6, 2013 6:16 PM by AP

State to cut food stamp benefits for overspending

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The state social services department is going to strip food stamp benefits from people who are found to have deliberately overspent their balance when the electronic food stamp service was down last month.

The Department of Children and Family Services announced Wednesday that it would seek to disqualify food stamp recipients through the state's administrative hearing process.

Several Louisiana retailers, including Wal-Mart stores in Mansfield and Springhill, allowed food stamp recipients to make unlimited purchases on Oct. 12, when the electronic card system was down and balances couldn't be checked.

DCFS says about 12,000 insufficient funds were conducted when the system was down, though not all are assumed to be fraudulent.

The department's response comes after U.S. Sen. David Vitter complained that state officials weren't aggressively pursuing food stamp fraud.

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