BANGOR, Maine (AP) – Maine is starting to issue welfare benefit cards with photos on them despite a request from the federal government to wait.
A Department of Health and Human Services spokesman said that about 30 new photo electronic benefit transfer cards had been issued at the Bangor office as of midday Monday.
Those receiving new cards have done so voluntarily.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture asked Maine to delay its plan, saying that it risks a loss of federal funding or litigation if it violates regulations in the program.
But DHHS said it will move forward with its plan designed to combat fraud and abuse in the program. It says the one-office launch will identify potential problems before all cards in the state are required to have photos.