Louisiana welfare recipients will be prohibited from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under new limits enacted by state social services officials.
The Department of Children and Family Services announced the emergency regulations late Thursday. They cover the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program — commonly known as welfare benefits — and the Kinship Care Subsidy Program.
Both programs pay cash assistance to low-income families for items like food, clothing and housing.
DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier said the agency decided to ban the use of electronic benefit cards, which work as debit cards, at stores that don’t sell items that are considered basic needs for families.
“This rule will not affect families who currently use the program as intended, which is to provide food, shelter and clothing for families,” Sonnier said in a statement.
About 3,500 households in Louisiana receive welfare benefits, and about 2,400 households get kinship care subsidies, according to the department. Average payments are $192 per month for welfare and $419 a month for kinship care.