News about ATM Fees Charged to CalWORKs recipients

ATM Fees Drag Down People on Public Assistance Thankfully, some banks voluntarily waive ATM withdrawal fees for EBT card users. Banc of California is among only fourteen banks in our state that has made the decision to forgo this relatively small amount of fee revenue. We need other banks in the Golden State and elsewhere to do the right thing and waive EBT card surcharge fees. Op-Ed by Banc of California CEO Steven Sugarman. American Banker. August 24, 2015.

Kansas ends $25 cap on welfare cash benefits from ATMs  A regional HHS official’s May 7 e-mail asked what Kansas would do to ensure poor families had enough places at which to withdraw benefits “with minimal fees or charges,” expressing concern about a potential dearth of rural locations. The Wichita Eagle. Bryan Lowry. August 4, 2015.

Survey: Bank surcharges hurt finances for social assistance recipients statewide The new survey is cited in this article and includes interviews with Alameda County Social Services and Jessica Jones, a student impacted by ATM fees. Oakland Tribune. Chris De Benedetti. May 6, 2015.

New Kansas welfare spending law is ‘tax on the poor’ CRC’s $19 million ATM fee report is cited in this article about Kansas’ new law requiring public assistance recipients to only withdraw $25 a day. This new requirement has been likened to a 20% “poor tax.” ALJAZEERA. April 16, 2015.

Alameda County to install no-fee ATMs for families in need Andrea Luquetta comments on Alameda County installing ATM machines so that CalWORKs recipients can withdrawal their benefits without incurring ATM fees. A report released in March 2014 by CRC found that $19.4 million in ATM fees were paid by recipients of CalWORKs and other public assistance programs, and these machines will allow families to get their benefits without paying fees.Contra Costa Times. Chris De Benedetti. January 16, 2015.

California Law Addresses ATM Charges This article focuses on AB 1614, the EBT Protection and Empowerment Act, legislation that was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The law requires that CalWORKs recipients receive information about options to avoid being charged ATM fees when accessing their benefits. The law also locks in best practices for the EBT vendors, including a 1-800 number and an online dashboard.  Future vendors will also be required to inform recipients and retailers if the EBT system has an outage lasting longer than one hour. Evan Nemeroff.American Banker. September 29, 2014.

How Big Banks Swipe Millions From Welfare Recipients A Wells Fargo customer explains how she is charged $3 at Wells Fargo ATMs to access her CalWORKs benefits because her CalWORKs EBT card is considered “out of network” at Wells Fargo ATMs. Kevin Short.HuffingtonPost Business, also cited by Ebony.com, and Chicago Defender. April 3, 2014.

State Helps Banks Make Millions off Welfare Recipients The $19.4 million in ATM fees charged to recipients of CalWORKs and other public assistance programs in 2012 is cited. Ken Broder. AllGov California. April 1, 2014.

As state benefits go digital, banks cash in (Editorial) The report on $19.4 million in ATM fees is cited in this editorial by The Press-Enterprise. March 30, 2014.

Welfare recipients using ATMs with EBT cards cost taxpayers millions in fees The report on $19.4 million in ATM fees is cited. Nela Lichtscheidl. ABC 23, Kero Bakersfield. March 28, 2014.

Welfare ATM Fees Skim Benefits From Needy at Taxpayers’ Expense The $19.4 million in ATM fees paid by recipients of CalWORKs and other public assistance is cited. Nick Sanchez. Newsmax.com. March 28, 2014.

California Taxpayers Got Hit With A $19 Million ATM Fee – Again CRC’s new report on ATM fees is cited. Greg Zeman. Politix. March 27, 2014.

How much do you spend on ATM fees? CRC’s new report on ATM fees is cited. Mark Huffman. ConsumerAffairs. March 26, 2014.

Money for Nothing: Big Banks Skim Millions From California’s Poor The new report on $19.4 million in ATM fees is cited. Joshua De Leon. Ring of Fire. March 26, 2014.

California’s Welfare Recipients Lose Millions In Fees Just To Access Their Benefits CRC’s new report on ATM fees is cited. Bryce Covert. ThinkProgress. March 26, 2014.

Banks profit from fees paid by California welfare recipients Article cites CRC’s new report on the $19.4 million in ATM fees paid by people receiving public assistance in California in 2012. Chris Megerian. Los Angeles Times. March 25, 2014. Cited as a “must read” by East Bay Express, and cited by KCRW radio station in Santa Monica, World News Network, Capital & Main, and more.

Big banks’ ATM fees rip off $19 million from welfare recipients Article cites new report by CRC focused on the $19.4 million in ATM fees paid by people receiving CalWORKs and other public assistance programs in 2012. Gloria Shur Bilchik. Daily Kos, Occasional Planet blogs and San Diego Free Press. March 25, 2014.

How Big Banks Rake in Millions on the Backs of California’s Poorest Families  A new report by CRC is cited in this article about the $19.4 million in ATM fees paid by people receiving CalWORKs and other public assistance in 2012. Stephanie Mencimer. MotherJones. March 25, 2014.  Article was also cited by Opposing Views.

Study: Welfare recipients spend millions on ATM fees An interview with an Oakland resident highlights the personal impact of the $19.4 million in ATM fees faced by recipients of CalWORKs and other public assistance programs in 2012. Michael Finney. 7 on Your Side,KGO-TV, ABC. March 25, 2014.

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