Kansas blinks on $25 ATM withdrawal limit

On Friday July 31, Kansas asserted that it would keep its $25-per-day limit on ATM withdrawals unless and until the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it couldn’t.

But it turns out that, in effect, all HHS needed to say was, “Why?”

On Monday August 3, five officials at the state’s Department for Children and Families received an email from regional HHS administrator Gary Allen that included an attachment with a list of questions that filled an entire page, according to a report by the Kansas City Star.

“What is the anticipated goal or outcome of reducing the daily withdrawal amount to $25?” Allen asked. “Was there an empirical basis for setting a withdrawal limit of $25 per day?”

Until receiving the email, Kansas DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore had insisted that she could not change the ATM withdrawal cap for welfare recipients without first receiving “guidance” from HHS.

On Tuesday August 4, Gilmore didn’t just raise the cap. She eliminated it.

According to the Star report, “Agency spokeswoman Theresa Freed said rescinding the cap was the best option because HHS officials did not suggest an alternative figure.”

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