Food Assistance:

Reducing Fraud and Abuse in the Food Stamp Program With Electronic Benefit Transfer Technologies

T-RCED-94-125: Published: Feb 2, 1994. Publicly Released: Feb 2, 1994.

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GAO discussed fraud and abuse in the Food Stamp Program, focusing on the use of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) technologies to: (1) reduce fraud and abuse in the Food Stamp Program; and (2) provide cash to program recipients. GAO noted that: (1) although EBT has the potential to reduce Food Stamp program abuses including counterfeiting, mail theft, and trafficking, the total benefits and impact on other program fraud and abuses cannot be determined; (2) results from the EBT demonstration project show that the EBT system will be more costly than the current coupon-based system if it is used solely to distribute food stamp benefits; (3) EBT could be more cost-effective if it is used in conjunction with other federal and state assistance programs to deliver a wide range of benefits; (4) many states are considering combining EBT systems with their existing assistance programs to reduce costs and maximize delivery of food stamp benefits; and (5) the EBT system could be used to deliver multiple program benefits and to restructure the federal welfare system.

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