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Tue Dec 20, 2011, 08:45 PM

Children of welfare recipients in California forced to pay for welfare debt

Last edited Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:02 PM - Edit history (2)

Children of welfare recipients in California forced to pay for welfare debt
By Kevin Martinez
20 December 2011

Children in California are being fined for debt payments their parents incurred while on welfare. The vindictive practice has been going on for years, as California welfare agencies collect money from family members living off of government assistance, even if a family member was a minor when the debt occurred.

Many of the debts were brought on by clerical error or fraud and therefore were especially no fault of the children. A lawsuit on behalf of two girls, Irene Ayers and Jamie Hartley, has been filed by two legal organizations, the Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Public Interest Law Project.

Patti Prunhuber, a lawyer from the Public Interest Law Project, told the WSWS that state agencies are barred from collecting payment or seeking criminal charges from cases that are more than four years old. However, according to Prunhuber, the state can still seek repayment for “extremely old” overpayments by intercepting income tax rebates and garnishing wages.

Clarence Ayers, a 75-year old man from Fresno, received a notice in the mail stating that his 14-year old great-grand-daughter Irene now owes nearly $3,000 to the state for welfare that her mother should not have received while she was pregnant with Irene. To make matters worse, Ayers’ current $334 per month in government aid to care for Irene is to be cut 10 percent until the debt is paid.

...

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/dec2011/welf-d20.shtml


I. am. speechless.

on edit, Suffragette posted an additional source, with more facts, in post #6

51 replies, 6502 views

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Reply Children of welfare recipients in California forced to pay for welfare debt (Original post)
Catherina Dec 2011 OP
Alameda Dec 2011 #1
Catherina Dec 2011 #3
Little Star Dec 2011 #2
TheKentuckian Dec 2011 #4
etherealtruth Dec 2011 #5
suffragette Dec 2011 #6
Starry Messenger Dec 2011 #9
suffragette Dec 2011 #21
Catherina Dec 2011 #11
suffragette Dec 2011 #23
Octafish Dec 2011 #7
Catherina Dec 2011 #13
RKP5637 Dec 2011 #14
Luciferous Dec 2011 #8
Posteritatis Dec 2011 #19
Cerridwen Dec 2011 #20
Posteritatis Dec 2011 #32
Catherina Dec 2011 #33
suffragette Dec 2011 #37
Catherina Dec 2011 #26
suffragette Dec 2011 #27
elehhhhna Dec 2011 #10
Pab Sungenis Dec 2011 #12
sabrina 1 Dec 2011 #15
mbperrin Dec 2011 #16
Cerridwen Dec 2011 #17
Catherina Dec 2011 #24
Bryn Dec 2011 #43
suffragette Dec 2011 #28
NOLALady Dec 2011 #50
hootinholler Dec 2011 #51
limpyhobbler Dec 2011 #18
aletier_v Dec 2011 #22
fascisthunter Dec 2011 #25
Zalatix Dec 2011 #29
suffragette Dec 2011 #39
Zalatix Dec 2011 #40
suffragette Dec 2011 #41
HereSince1628 Dec 2011 #30
valerief Dec 2011 #31
SheilaT Dec 2011 #34
russspeakeasy Dec 2011 #35
Catherina Dec 2011 #36
russspeakeasy Dec 2011 #44
Solly Mack Dec 2011 #38
Shadowflash Dec 2011 #42
eyewall Dec 2011 #45
datadiva Dec 2011 #46
katty Dec 2011 #47
DirkGently Dec 2011 #48
Justice wanted Dec 2011 #49

Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 08:48 PM

1. How can this be legal?

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Response to Alameda (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 08:55 PM

3. I don't know. I can't wrap my mind around this.

California's one of the most aggressive states about old debt but this is unconscionable.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 08:54 PM

2. WTF? n/t

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:00 PM

4. That is some evil shit m Brown should be commuting every single case.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:01 PM

5. This is mind boggling

I am astounded ... how can this be ...?

Again, a "people" can be judged by how they treat their weakest members.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:01 PM

6. Shades of Dickens


It's absolutely vile.

http://www.ktvu.com/ap/ap/california/children-of-welfare-incur-debts-of-parents/nFsZs/
The lawyers representing Hartley and other welfare advocates believe that thousands of children are on the hook. That's because in California, 1.1 million out of the 1.4 million welfare recipients are children.
"This has been an issue for a while," said Kevin Aslanian, director of the Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organization. "It's widespread
~~~
Authorities say the overpayments occurred between March 1996 and March 1998. Irene was born in 1997.
To make matters worse, Ayers says Fresno County officials have lost the case file and are not sure what — or who — caused the overpayment that Irene must pay back. Irene's mother was a juvenile herself during that time and ineligible to apply for welfare on her own. Ayers believes his deceased son — Irene's grandfather — is ultimately responsible, but is still at loss as to why Irene is now responsible.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:05 PM

9. Dickens, that's what I was thinking.

I'd never heard of this.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:50 PM

21. I hadn't heard of this either

I found the other article upon looking for more info.

So, basically she was born into debt.

This is as anti-societal and anti-family as I have see. It makes you wonder if any families might have been placed into a gutwrenching choice between taking in a young grandchild or niece or nephew and didn't because they could not afford to have borderline subsistence payments cut.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:11 PM

11. I'm still shaking my head in disbelief

The insult to the injury is that we're just supposed to take their word for it too.

Quoting your article: "To make matters worse, Ayers says Fresno County officials have lost the case file and are not sure what — or who — caused the overpayment that Irene must pay back."

More from your article:

*****************

Riverside County was unable to collect from Hartley's mother, who subsists on untouchable aid for the disabled. So it has made Hartley, now 19, liable for the debt even though she was a minor when her mother signed up for welfare.

...

According to reports published by the Social Services Department, about $60 million in overpayments is recoupled each year, mostly through reduced welfare payments. Roughly a quarter is paid back through cash payments and interceptions of income tax refunds.

...

http://www.ktvu.com/ap/ap/california/children-of-welfare-incur-debts-of-parents/nFsZs/

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Response to Catherina (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:57 PM

23. It's mindboggling

that they do this at all, much less for debt that was incurred before she was even born and for which there is no extant proof.
This is just plain wrong.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:02 PM

7. Serfs' up, Baby!

Every day, more and more of life in America becomes un-American.

Thank you for the heads-up, Catherina. Notice how it's only WSWS that's covering this important story?

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Response to Octafish (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:13 PM

13. It sure is

WSWS was the only place I'd seen it until suffragette posted the KTVU link in #6.

This article should be a top news story. Indentured at birth! This is outrageous.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:15 PM

14. Each day it's yet another step into servitude for many Americans, who really need to pay

more attention when they vote, as long as we have the right to vote allowed, and that's now questionable, as well as does a vote even count.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:03 PM

8. That's horrible! I can't believe it's legal for them to pull that crap.

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Response to Luciferous (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:45 PM

19. Neither can I - I'd like to see corroboration that isn't from WSWS, anyway. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:49 PM

20. When you google the title of the article you'll get several

hits on CA media sources as well as some information on CalWorks.

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Response to Cerridwen (Reply #20)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:39 PM

32. Haven't found anything mentioning the fetus part that isn't just quoting WSWS, though. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #32)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:56 PM

33. Very strange. It's in post #6 also.

"Authorities say the overpayments occurred between March 1996 and March 1998. Irene was born in 1997."

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 01:40 AM

37. I also quoted the relevant part in post #6 from ktvu.com

If you had clicked on that link you would see it is an AP article titled "Children of welfare incur debts of parents." By PAUL ELIAS
The Associated Press
Here's the link again if you don't want to look for my earlier post:
http://www.ktvu.com/ap/ap/california/children-of-welfare-incur-debts-of-parents/nFsZs/

Here's the quote again about the debt with the start date of the debt and her birth year:
Authorities say the overpayments occurred between March 1996 and March 1998. Irene was born in 1997.

On a quick search, here it is from a local ABC station in California:

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/politics&id=8450446
Lawsuit seeks to stop welfare debt collection from children
Nanette Miranda
SACRAMENTO (KGO) -- The California Department of Social Services is facing a lawsuit for the way it's recovering some welfare debts. The state has been targeting children and forcing them to pay back money their parents owe.

Seventy-five-year-old Clarence Ayers has never faced a debt collector like this. He received a letter from the welfare office earlier this year saying his 14-year-old great-granddaughter, Irene L., owes nearly $3,000 for benefits her mother should not have gotten while pregnant with Irene. Now Irene's current $334 a month government aid is being cut until the debt is paid.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:00 PM

26. See post #6 n/t

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:02 PM

27. See post #6

And as Cerridwen noted, if you google this you will find additional sources.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:08 PM

10. Irene incurred a debt while she was a FETUS?

are you fucking kidding me? maybe THAT"s the point of these "fetal personhood" laws?

What. the. fuck!???

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:11 PM

12. This is blatantly unconstitutional.

 

The Constitution is supposed to prevent corruption of blood. You cannot inherit debts.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:18 PM

15. That cannot be true. The mother incurred the debt, if any. The baby is not responsible

period.

If this has been going on for any length of time then there needs to be an investigation and anyone who did pay a debt they did not owe, should be reimbursed and those who prosecuted these cases prosecuted for fraud.

But I have to add, in the current atmosphere we live in, nothing surprises me anymore.

I would not be surprised if someone will find a way to defend this.

After all we have people defending assassinations without charges and indefinite detentions without charges so as I said, nothing surprises me anymore.

The best thing to do now is accept that our society is completely out of control, our government is part of the reason since they have abandoned the rule of law, and the only hope of changing things, lies with the people.

Thank the gods for OWS, it is our only hope.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:22 PM

16. This is the sort of thing that eventually gets old Judge Lynch up and moving.

These are evil fucks, period. Will they get away with it? Probably. The 1% seems to be having their way with everything else.

All I can hope is that each one of them gets just what they deserve, and quickly.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:27 PM

17. Bill Clinton brought us welfare reform. This was part of it; the CA version.

What, you thought the party sold out only recently?

I was one of the people in the trenches fighting this shit. I was told to STFU (by the Democratic Party leadership) because those lazy poor people had to get their self respect back by working and becoming productive members of the nation. Tried to tell "you". This was part of making sure they didn't get too much self respect.

We tried to warn people, the party (Democrats; repubs were getting what they wanted), the media, leftists, activists and we were told the same thing by all; STFU.

Oh well. Live and learn, huh?

Go read the history of CalWorks and welfare (de)form.

Still think our systems aren't rigged? Okay. Wait until it hits you. Good luck with that.

edited: Catherina, you were not the person to whom this was directed. I was using the generic "you" as in those who might be reading. Sorry if it came off as directed at you. I'm very happy to see you back posting again. I've missed you.

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Response to Cerridwen (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:58 PM

24. Not at all, not in a million years.

I was too young at the time but I remember my dad being really upset about Welfare Reform and he was a well-off surgeon who wouldn't be directly affected, but his patients, the poor of Baltimore, were. I wish I'd paid more attention back then.

I had a flashback of him when I was reading your post.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 09:46 AM

43. I remember this, too

on TV Bill Clinton talked about ending welfare "as we know it" I was horrified. Though I didn't need help, but knew many did.

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Response to Cerridwen (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:08 PM

28. I was living in California when that happened and working with college students

who were disadvantaged and were doing everything in their power to break the cycle of poverty. It was devastating and caused some who were trying with all their power and hanging on by that last fingernail to fall.


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Response to Cerridwen (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 08:31 PM

50. When this was going on

a friend predicted a spike in the prison industrial complex. Maybe, that was the point. As more people fell into the hole, more turned to crime.

I knew we were in trouble when Clinton went after Sistah Soulja.

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Response to Cerridwen (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 09:38 PM

51. My sister was hit by that directly living in Mississippi

In order to get her pell grant she had to be on assistance. She was a single mother of 2 trying to work her way through a BS degree in Nursing. A skill that is still sorely needed, but that is besides the point.

Her child support from my nephew's father was more than the public assistance. The state of Mississippi required her to surrender it entirely to remain on assistance, so they actually made a profit of her misery. Her choice was go off assistance and lose the Pell grants, or take less money than she was by law entitled to.

Yeah, being screwed by the DLC who are now the TurdWay is nothing new, and the main reason I supported Obama over Hillary. I remember him swearing up and down he wasn't DLC, but hey, that hasn't worked out so well.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:33 PM

18. Ummm...we have slavery again

If a you can be born in debt, and you can go prison for not paying debts, but sometimes you get to go on a work release to pick produce on somebody's farm for next to no money, that's pretty much slavery.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 09:50 PM

22. Sounds like a Newt scheme

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:00 PM

25. WTF!? This is allowed?

Well, this is what happens in a sociopathic society run by sociopaths.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:12 PM

29. I'm in California. How can we take action to stop this?

 

Any suggestions?

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Response to suffragette (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 02:12 AM

40. Thanks, I will see if they need donations. n/t

 

.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #40)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 02:17 AM

41. And Welcome to DU! n/t

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Response to Catherina (Original post)


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:23 PM

31. Look, it's either than or the wealthy sacrifice their pin money. Can't have that! nt

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 10:58 PM

34. I'm just going to repeat what several others have already said,

that this cannot possibly be legal. Don't most states have laws that minors cannot legally contract debts? I seem to recall something about this in a business law class about twenty years ago.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 11:02 PM

35. Someone enlighten me. I have not seen this anyplace

that I consider credible, I was told that 2 California children of indigent parents were billed $121,000 for nursing home care for 2 years care for the mother of the children. Is this possible. Have we really sunk to this level ?

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Response to russspeakeasy (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 01:21 AM

36. I haven't seen that one but based on the facts in post #6, it wouldn't surprise me

The closest case I could find, to the one you're describing is Glastonbury Healthcare Center, Inc. v. Esposito

Children Responsible for Elderly Parents’ Nursing Home Bill?

http://michiganelderlawinfo.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/children-responsible-for-elderly-parents%E2%80%99-nursing-home-bill/


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Response to Catherina (Reply #36)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 01:53 PM

44. Wow. Thanks.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 01:43 AM

38. Damn

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 09:34 AM

42. Just like Christianity.

Gotta pay a debt that was incurred before you were born and not of your making.

If it's good enough for God, how can it be bad?










/sarcasm/

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 04:09 PM

45. Like everyone else, I had no idea

that this was even possible. I thought there were laws that prevented this sort of carry over of debt, even for grown children. Along with my cognitive dissonance I get a painful mental image of Limbaugh or Newt gloating over how this is a fair payback for taxpayers. The petty mean-spirited nature of this practice seems totally incongruous with the concept of a social assistance program like welfare.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 04:44 PM

46. I have no words for this n/t

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 06:18 PM

47. this is bullshit, contact the National Lawyers Guild asap or book an appt and get

private legal advice. whatever you do, DON'T PAY.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 06:48 PM

48. Insane.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Wed Dec 21, 2011, 07:29 PM

49. JESUS FREAKIN HELL WHAT FREAKIN ORWELLAN/DICKINSONIAN WORLD HAS THE U.S. BEEN WRAPPED

INTO?!

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