Emily Rice Published

Lawmakers Consider Requiring Photo ID On EBT Cards

A woman with dark brown hair wearing a black blazer and purple shirt questions a witness during a committee meeting.
Sen. Laura Chapman, R-Ohio, asks questions of a witness during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources.
Will Price/WV Legislative Photography

Recipients of federal benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will have to have an identifying photo on their Electronic Benefits Transfer card if a bill moving through the legislature becomes law.

Senate Bill 450 would require everyone with an EBT card to be issued a new card, with their photo on the card, to prevent theft and fraud.

Jacquelyn Hoppe, director of the West Virginia EBT office, was questioned by lawmakers about the possible changes to the benefit system.

Sen. Laura Chapman, R-Ohio, asked Hoppe whether trusted family members would still be allowed to use the EBT card on behalf of the recipient.

“If they present the card and have the correct pin, then they’ve been authorized to use that card by the actual primary, they’re probably a person in the household,” Hoppe said. “The retailers, on the other hand, have a different aspect to look at, and retailers can’t discriminate against anyone who presents an EBT card.”

The committee passed an amended committee substitute to the Senate Finance Committee. The amendment was to extend the date of implementation from July 1, 2024 to July 1, 2025, to allow for time to create policies.