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Reply #67: Those systems to look for Fraud has ALWAYS existed [View All]

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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #20
67. Those systems to look for Fraud has ALWAYS existed
The problem with Welfare has NEVER been widespread fraud. In fact the number cause of Waste to prevent Fraud in Welfare are the controls to prevent fraud.

When I went to what we in Pittsburgh call "Accounting U" (Robert Morris Collage, Now Robert Morris University) the number one rule we were taught was the controls to prevent fraud MUST never exceed the cost of the actual fraud i.e. no $10 locks on 50 cent items (it is more COST EFFECTIVE to permit people to steal the 50 cent item then to buy and install the $10 lock, thus permit then to STEAL, it is Cheaper).

Welfare is notorious for violating this rule, mostly do to political consideration (i.e. it is harder to say, "so someone stole 50 cents, we still AHEAD $9.50 do to the saving do to NOT buying a Lock" then to say, "I will BUY a lock "(Without mentioning the price) to make sure no one steals the 50 cent item.

Median Income is only $42,000 a year, if we assume a typical investigator earns 1/2 of that, or $21,000 a year (Or $10.50 per hour) if that investigator spends more then 8 hours investigating a Welfare recipient, that is at least $84.00. If it is a two day investigation, that comes to $168. In my home county of Cambria County Pennsylvania, pays only $174 a month, thus any investigation that takes more then 2 days of regular time (no overtime) you are already spent more money then the State lost do to any fraud.

I have represented client accused of cheating the Welfare system (Through NOT in Criminal trials) but in cases where Welfare thought someone was over paid. We ended up in a hearing with a Judge (Paid over $50,000 a year), a Welfare Case worker, the Caseworker Supervisor and an "investifator". At a minimum we are looking at 4 people earning at least $10.50, or $42 a hour. If we assume one hour to prepare for the trial, one hour for the trial, we are looking at $82. If the trial is actually longer, you quickly start to exceed $174 a month welfare payments after about two hours. This is NOT including the actual investigation.

What Welfare does do is compare any client's Social Security Number with various data banks, including, but not limited to Unemployment, Banks (To look at bank accounts), Criminal, Social Security, IRS, the Department of Transportation to look at what autos the claimant has, in addition to what ever places the Claimant reports on her or his paperwork. This is all computer based and has been for decades, thus takes a quick search. Reports from Welfare workers have indicated it is very rare for them to find something that is NOT also reported to them.

Fraud on the Welfare system is rare, more reported in the Media then it occurs in real life (Reagan's "Welfare Queen" was a person who managed to cheat the system for six months, but the system did work and she was caught, and that was in the 1970s before MOST items we can get on the net today could be obtain via computer). In fact, if I remember right, an investigation was made of one of the Claims of the Welfare Queen, but found nothing, what tripped her up was her SS # being used on all of the cases. That SS# is what lead to her being found out and then brought up on Criminal Charges, NOT the investigation of possible Welfare Fraud by an investigator

Welfare also maintains a "Hotline" to report Welfare Fraud, but most of the accusation tend to be false (And many report Fraud to be vindictive to someone, NOT to report actual fraud).

I am sorry, your call for a "Through investigation" of welfare recipients shows either a failure to understand that such investigation occur today and has always occurred OR you have internalized the right wing lies that Welfare cost so much do to Fraud, not that about 10% of the population needs welfare even in Good Times. To response to these Right Wing fanatics, Welfare has adopted so many rules that make no financial sense (for example, people on Welfare MUST do a monthly reporting on their income, even if it was the same as the month before i.e. welfare). Remember's Hitler favorite line, repeat a lie often enough, people start to believe it is true. The reports of Welfare Fraud is the same, old stories are repeated over and over again till people think they are the norm not the exception.

I always joke, the Federal Law as to "Forgiveness" of an over-payment (You do NOT have to pay the over-payment back) can be done in cases of non-payment of Taxes (hard but possible), Social Security, Student loans (Hard but not impossible, through harder then getting an IRS forgiveness) but no forgiveness is permitted, by law, as to any Food Stamp or Welfare over-payment. Congress has always been more worried about someone getting $10 to much in Welfare then someone not paying $1 million dollars in Taxes.

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