Welfare

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Washington welfare cards were used twice in July to withdraw cash at newly opened recreational marijuana stores. That’s according to the Department of Social and Health Services. The agency says it has warned the card-holders and the stores and will continue to monitor for misuse.

The number of families on cash assistance in Washington has hit an all-time low. This follows a spike in welfare enrollment less than three years ago.

Northwest residents who rely on food stamps will have to pinch their pennies even more. Starting Friday, federal food assistance benefits are being cut.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

JPMorgan Chase will no longer charge Washington welfare clients $.85 to withdraw cash at an ATM. That fee is abolished in a renegotiated contract the state has signed with the New York-based bank to continue providing cash benefits electronically.

A Washington cash assistance client named Therese McLeod first brought the ATM fee to our attention in May of last year. She was outraged that JPMorgan didn’t disclose the fee at the ATM.

“Sounds like a racket to me. Don’t we have laws against that?” McLeod asked.

Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The 85-cent ATM fee that JPMorgan Chase charges Washington welfare clients could soon be a thing of the past. The state hopes to have a deal by the end of the month with JPMorgan on a new, lower cost contract for electronic benefits. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has this update.