Photo by Ben Spier.

Marylanders can now apply for reimbursement if their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, benefits were stolen.

Governor Wes Moore, a Democrat, announced earlier Monday that relief is now available for victims of electronic benefits transfer fraud. Maryland’s plan is the first in the country to be approved by the Department of Agriculture’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services to use federal SNAP funds for fraud reimbursement as part of an omnibus bill passed in December 2022.

There are at least 1,300 Marylanders who have had a total of $761,584 reimbursed back to them over the last week, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Human Services, the state agency that oversees SNAP.

It’s already been making a difference, says department Secretary Rafael Lopez. “This is happening when people are already at one of the hardest times of their life,” he said, sharing that already they’ve received reports of people now able to catch up on prescriptions, car expenses, and other essentials they’d had to put off. He added that for the first time, the department is also doing a fully bilingual campaign in English and Spanish.

Read more (and listen) at WYPR.