The Slatest

Kansas Plans to Limit Welfare Recipients to $25 in Daily ATM Withdrawals

Kansas’ ATM limits for welfare recipients are scheduled to become effective July 1. (Photo is a stock image.)

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Bad news for Kansans who receive money through the federally funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, from the Washington Post:

The legislature placed a daily cap of $25 on cash withdrawals beginning July 1, which will force beneficiaries to make more frequent trips to the ATM to withdraw money from the debit cards used to pay public assistance benefits. … A single mother with two children seeking to withdraw just $200 in cash could incur $30 or more in fees, which is a big chunk of the roughly $400 such a family would receive under the program in Kansas.


Whatever your opinion of welfare programs, sucking out more than 10 percent of their benefits via ATM fees doesn’t make a ton of sense, does it?

The restriction is part of the same bill that prohibits TANF recipients from using benefits at movie theaters and on cruise ships (!) and is meant to “discourage converting the benefits to cash.”


The sort-of-good news, from McClatchy:

A first-of-its-kind provision that prevents welfare recipients in Kansas from withdrawing more than $25 a day from an ATM might violate federal law, and could jeopardize the state’s federal funding if not amended.

The Social Security Act requires states to ensure that recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, “have adequate access to their cash assistance” and can withdraw money “with minimal fees or charges.”

That’s good news in the sense that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says he is “open to raising the limit if necessary to comply with federal policies.”