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James48 Donating Member (517 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 05:38 AM
Original message
State: Mom who shot kids, self denied food stamps
Source: Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO (AP) A Texas woman who for months was unable to qualify for food stamps pulled a gun in a state welfare office and staged a seven-hour standoff with police that ended with her shooting her two children before killing herself, officials said Tuesday.

The children, a 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, remained in critical condition Tuesday. The shooting took place at a Texas Department of Health and Human Services building in Laredo, where police said about 25 people were inside at the time.

Authorities identified the mother as Rachelle Grimmer, 38, and children Ramie and Timothy. Laredo police investigator Joe Baeza said Grimmer had recently moved to the border city from Zanesville, Ohio, about 30 miles east of Columbus.

Grimmer first applied for food stamps in July but was denied because she didn't turn in enough information, Texas Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/state-mom-shot-kids-self-denied-f...



Sad. There is your republican answer to reducing food stamp payments- just prevent people from getting them and they'll shot themselves. A couple fewer mouths to feed.
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Stuart G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 06:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. It is possible that this woman couldn't read the application.
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 06:27 AM by Stuart G
Many people have difficulty reading. So, I read in another story, that it was an 18 page application. Caused her to crack.


http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/07/9267152-of...


from the above link at msnbc:


The woman, identified as Rachelle Grimmer, 38, first applied for food stamps in July but was denied because she didn't turn in enough information, Texas Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman told The Associated Press Tuesday.

Goodman told the AP she didn't know what documentation Grimmer specifically failed to provide. In addition to completing an 18-page application, families seeking state benefits also must provide proof of employment and residency.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There are many American born citizens who have difficulty reading. They just slip through the cracks ..
.. I have toutored some in the Chicago Area. They are extremely embarrased and have much shame about it. Could have caused her to crack, and then not being able to feed her kids..Texas sucks. Texas really made it easy on her..
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. and now.. they must also be drug tested to prove they are "Worthy".
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They_Live Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #7
26. In Texas?
I haven't heard about that yet.
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LiberalTexasDemocrat Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #26
57. Drug Testing being proposed by
Republican Lyle Larson
http://www.q1019.com/cc-common/news/sections/newsarticl...
From the comments that follow the story at the link it's a pretty popular proposal.
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caseymoz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #57
63. Behave or your children can starve. nt.
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They_Live Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #57
68. I see.
Thank you.
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #57
74. Are they going to test just the applicant, or the whole family?
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liberalmike27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
36. Drug Tested
Else the children starve.
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harvey007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
50. 18-page application?
This just shows how much the government wants to help low-income people. They make the process extremely difficult and demeaning and you go through hell just to get a paltry sum that won't even get you through the month. And don't ever even bother applying for subsidized housing -- it's a joke. You'll be told the waiting list has 5,000 people ahead of you and now the waiting list is closed.

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MadrasT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
60. WTF?
In addition to completing an 18-page application, families seeking state benefits also must provide proof of employment and residency.

How the heck do you prove employment if you're unemployed? How do you prove residency if you're homeless?

(I don't know this woman's specific details, but this sentence made me wonder, if one was unemployed and/or homeless, how does one "prove" it?)
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
2. The system is horribly broken.

Wonder how wing nut news would spin this one.
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Stuart G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Simple...here is how the right wing media spins it..
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 06:37 AM by Stuart G
They fail to add that it was an 18 page application.

So, they let people believe that she was too angry, stupid, or nuts to fill out a simple application..The blame is totally on her, not the roadbllocks set up to prevent her from getting help..

If you are ever wondering what Texas under Bush and Perry is about, this is it.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #3
14. Is there no one to help fill it out?
And then something still has to be a lot more wrong here, since other recipients obviously get through it and aren't going to be in much better circumstances.

Though I would believe the thought expressed in the thread that they are trying to make it difficult.
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #14
58. I Know Nothing
about TX, but in my state, PA, the problem is less reading the app or getting help, which is available, but coming up with the supporting documentation. Obtaining birth certificates, proof of this, proof of that, is very difficult when there is a lot of moving around and non-traditional living arrangements. The government is requiring more and more documentation and is less and less flexible about what they will accept.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #14
81. Yes, that stuff can be a pain to get
Fill out forms to get each one, pay a fee, have ID to prove the right to have it. Figure out where to go. Not as easy as it ought to be.
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Rozlee Donating Member (821 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
21. The Right Wing media spins on lies
I don't know how it is now, but in the 80s here in Texas, you got a certain amount of money in welfare for one child and then it went up if you had another kid. If you had three or more, nada. No more raises after the second kid. And the raise was like $30 a month, barely enough for diapers. Yet, on one radio program in San Antonio back then, some woman called in that she'd "overheard" two women discussing having another kid each so that they could get more welfare money. One of the women had 8 children, the other 7, according to the caller. It caused a sensation. For a week, the radio station was filled with outraged callers talking about welfare queens and telling stories of people on welfare they knew who had dozens of kids and were having more just to get more money. The poor are always painted as the villains.
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liberalmike27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #3
37. Here's the Thing
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 10:13 AM by liberalmike27
This is just what Republicans want poor people to do, either kill themselves, get murdered, or join the military and perhaps get killed, or do crime and be thrown into the ever more prevalent private prison system.
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Stuart G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 06:41 AM
Response to Original message
4. Here is what probably happened.
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 06:48 AM by Stuart G
This woman wanted to feed her children. Texas gave her a very hard time. It did so on purpose.
So she cracked................
All Texas had to do was give her food stamps, and this wouldn't have happened. This wouldn't have happened in other states, but some,
yes. Oh, and it wouldn't have happened in most other civilized countries either.
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. An interesting quote in the OP.
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 08:51 AM by Downwinder
"We were still waiting, and if we had that, I don't know if she would still qualify or not," Goodman said.

"Still qualify," implies that she was qualified and not receiving
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #18
31. No, later in the article it states clearly that her application was rejected.
"still qualify" seems to mean merely that she still had a chance to qualify if she could produce the remaining documentation.

Three months later, Grimmer called the agency's ombudsman Nov. 16 and requested a review of how her rejected case was handled. Goodman said the agency found that caseworkers acted appropriately after looking over Grimmer's file,...
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Fantastic Anarchist Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
83. She would have just bought lobster and champaign ...
... Fillet Mignon and what not. That's what all welfare recipients do, don't ya know?

:sarcasm:
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. Have you ever been in severe distress? It can be very hard to get your act together when you are,
to pull papers together and make copies, meet deadlines, etc.

I don't know what the answer to that is.

Maybe someone should have offered to help her, or should have been alert enough to protect the kids, anyway. But, they are probably understaffed beyond belief, too.

So, so awful

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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Texas HHS are a bunch of horses asses. About the only way
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 07:45 AM by Downwinder
to get their attention is to be homicidal/suicidal. They like to brag on how many disability applications they can deny.

If you are just learning the system it can be very difficult.
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Luciferous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 06:59 AM
Response to Original message
6. Tragic- I hope those kids pull through.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #6
30. I have mixed feelings on that....
obviously there is no family...and of course no father who was willing to help his children. So to be stuck and possibly separated in a foster system isn't something I would like to see them face.

There are days I'd rather not be on Earth...I'd hate to see them have to go it alone without their mother.

Goddess, what has become of the United States. She should have never left Ohio....I wonder why. Ohio isn't as stingy as Texas. I just recently moved to Zanesville, Ohio....Of all places why did she go to Texas???

RIP, dear woman. We failed you. I can certainly understand why you did what you did. We are being forced to live in hell.
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rethymnon Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #30
54. Foster care
obviously there is no family...and of course no father who was willing to help his children. So to be stuck and possibly separated in a foster system isn't something I would like to see them face.

You make absolutely no sense. This is a situation in which the "family" is nonexistant, and therefore they should not be put in foster care? This is exactly the type of situation for which we need foster care!

Mom was nuts. The kids should have been taken away. I'll bet if they investigate they'll find all sorts of evidence that this woman was psycho. However, because people like you don't want to take the innocent victims (the kids) away from psycho parent so they they might have some chance of growing up in a sane household, they end up like this.
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #54
62. As Someone
whose responsibility it has been to take children away from psycho parents, I can tell you that the decision, "Do I take the kids from the psycho parents and turn them over to the foster care system, or to I let them stay with the psycho" is not an easy one. I am NOT a fan of giving parents multiple tries at being something resembling a somewhat responsible parent every day or so, but the foster care alternative is equally horrendous.
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rethymnon Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #62
71. foster care alternative is equally horrendous
I have a friends who foster parent and my neighbors foster parent. All are A+ citizens.
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #71
93. There Are Great
foster parents, but unfortunately there are far too many problems in the system. If I was removing a kid I had to weigh what the chances were of his winding up in a good situation versus staying with psycho family. I very difficult decision given the general quality of foster care.
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iamhuman Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #54
70. Think about it...we can't fund the foodless
I don't know if any of you have gone a few days with out food.. or weeks.
Picking up a gun seems like maybe the answer.

I overheard a out of work guy with children asking another.. guy if he was sure the dead baby's would go to heaven.
Guy couldn't feed his kids wanted to give them the best. so he was thinking about??? (maybe killing his kids to protect them)
We told him if you think there is a heaven then if you kill them you go to hell.. he answered but I love my kids. if thier life is better and I am in hell I win.

In fact that's not that crazy.
What would you do to protect your kids?

We can't feed our citizens but we can sure kill. in the name of defense.

We can look forward**.. except when it come's to the little people or minority's..

I mean I feel taken advantage of but at least it wasn't the other guy ("Bomb Bomb Bomb McCain").. even worse.

But how do we get the best choice to do something about whats going on when he seem farther on the right than Bush.

Ideas?

** Looking forward is code for the elite don't have to pay!
and now that I am elite or joined the club.
They have all done it pardons.. kind of the Government we have now.


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Fantastic Anarchist Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #54
85. Fuck off, nudnik ...
You try to go through that hellish system and try to remain sane. The system is designed to demoralize you, demean you, and make you insane.

You have absolutely no idea what the fuck you are talking about. You have no empathy. You can't deal with nuance.

So with that, you deserve no quarter from me.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #54
89. You don't know anything
about the this woman. Where was daddy? Just when do men take responsibility for their wads in life???

Wow...8 posts. Glad I don't have to read anymore of them. Ignored.

Foster parents have been known to treat kids like slaves. And they're paid to do so.

Maybe you should wait for the investigation. gfu.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
8. Poverty induces despair on a level incomprensible to those who haven't suffered through it
Ms. Grimmer's sad story is emblematic of a system-wide failure of our society.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
10. Gingrich fat head's answer yes.
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kickysnana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
11. That was the point of denying her they say so over and over on the radio.
She just did what they wanted her to do. Been there, different era, different state but I can extrapolate to 2011 AND Texas.
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
12. Thousands of people are denied food stamps...
.... probably every day in TX. Thousands find it difficult to get thru long applications every day in TX.


They don't shoot their kids.


Tho' the system is messed up and sux, this is not a story about the system. It is the story of a woman with mental problems. And a "guns are a solution" society.
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. She probably got to see someone because the children
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 08:42 AM by Downwinder
were with her. HHS tries to hide behind the telephone.
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AZ Progressive Donating Member (18 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
61. Even if she had mental problems, that's still the system's fault
There's no easy and affordable access to mental healthcare in this country.

Even then, just because most people that are suffering don't shoot their kids means that their despair and suffering doesn't warrant any sympathy or help or change in things.
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RadiationTherapy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
15. ...and thousands of Texans ate too much for dinner that night and wished they hadn't.
Our consciousness is broken. It shouldn't take bloating, acid reflux, and gas to realize we ought not eat as much as we do.
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #15
23. ..and thousands of Texans ate too much for dinner that night and wished they hadn't.
I'm confused by your post.

Are you saying people who ate too much and got gas made this woman shoot her children?
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RadiationTherapy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #23
29. No, I mean we lack consciousness in consumption which has resulted
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 09:49 AM by RadiationTherapy
in a cumulative diminishing of access to food for a lot of people. There is plenty to go around, but we don't eat consciously and are wasteful.
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. we lack consciousness in consumption ....
Now that I can agree with.

I'm tired of anything that resembles "community" being labeled the dreaded "socialism!".
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marias23 Donating Member (256 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
16. This is why Texas don't like gun control
Much cheaper than welfare and food stamps.
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #16
28. But the only legal euthanasia is the death penalty
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 09:45 AM by Downwinder
for killing someone else. Better to have you starve to death.
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Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
17. These programs are labyrinthine. I've had my own problems, albeit less tragic.
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 09:32 AM by Akoto
I'm 27 and have a rare chronic pain syndrome. I am on SSI disability now, but that took years and the assistance of a lawyer. Rehashing the entirety of that fiasco would take more energy than I have at the moment.

When I was initially approved for SSI, my payments were $449/mo. Approval meant I was automatically approved for food stamps at $107. Not much, but enough.

I really wanted to do my fair share for my parents, who I live with, so I worked out rent payments with SSI. Paying my folks $370/mo caused my SSI payments to go up to $674/mo, the cap. In response, my food stamps went down to $20/mo the following month.

Think about that. Yes, my cap is higher, but I have only $304/mo left after paying rent. I need the help more than when I was making $449/mo, yet my food assistance is cut down to twenty bucks. Why? Beats me. They went up to $40/mo a bit later upon review - again, don't know why - but that's still less to stretch than before. I went from buying my own stuff for the month to having to share my parents' stuff, and I hate taking from them.

It's those small peculiarities which make assistance programs maddening to deal with, yet many people can't afford to avoid them. Just getting food assistance or disability can be a process of years; they are hoping you'll give up. It was only when an administrative law judge declared I was disabled that I found my way in, and I'm grateful to her every day for being willing to meet me in the flesh and hear my story.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. Akoto, thank you for giving us that perspective on how some of these programs
work--or barely work.

I'm going to be the voice from another angle on this thread. But first let me say that what happened with the woman and her children is tragic and should not have happened. We desperately need to fix our messed-up system of social services.

One of the fixes needs to be the thorough investigation of fraud by people who are using these services but who are either lying about their inability to work/find a job/hold a job and who are gaming the system. Whether or not you believe this is the case, it is true that a lot of money and time is spent on giving aid to people who DO NOT deserve it. I know this because I know people who have gotten money and benefits from the state but who were not disabled, nor were they unable to work. They were simply not interested in being employed and having to go to work on a regular basis. Working a job interfered with their ability to do whatever they wanted to do, so they figured out how to be paid NOT to work. They were not ignorant or dumb people. They are smart enough to learn how to beat the system and secure a steady income for themselves and their kids plus getting housing assistance and medical benefits that the rest of us taxpayers who work for a living have to pay for out of our pockets. They also get free schooling AND college for their kids. No, they are not getting rich, but they live comfortably and you would not know they are 'needy' unless you personally knew them.

This is an epidemic that causes the kinds of tragedies like the one in Texas. People who work in social services know that this is happening because they are not stupid people and they can often tell when someone is playing them. Yet there are not effective mechanisms in place to deter fraud of this nature. So, these workers who have to deal with this on a daily basis can develop a 'bad attitude' toward people they suspect are not on the up-and-up. That is not an excuse, just a reason.

Yes, the fraud is probably a relatively small percentage of the money--although, judging from the number of young people who I know directly or indirectly who are doing this, it may be bigger than I suspect. The problem is that those who are capable and able to contribute are sucking money out of the system that needs to go to people who are truly in need. It also is that these examples undermine the confidence of the rest of us that our tax dollars are being used the way they should be.

I support social services for those who are in need, but not for those who are just trying to take advantage of the system.

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Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. If they're going to add investigations for fraud, fine, but ...
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 09:33 AM by Akoto
Do it after approval, not before. Getting into assistance programs is already like wading through molasses, and that's under the best of circumstances.

If they find fraud, prosecute. Go back and charge the person for the funds they used. Whatever. Just don't make things even slower by adding on another layer of bureaucracy at the door.

It's worth noting that food assistance is less simple to 'abuse' than in the past. Your circumstances are reviewed. Benefits are now supplied via an EBT card (works like a debit) connected to your name, rather than actual food stamps, so the funds can't be sold away. At many grocery stores, scanners automatically sort goods accepted under the program from those which must be paid with cash. That means people aren't wasting it all on booze and cigarettes, as the old stereotype goes.

When it comes to SSI, you go through reviews. I have financial reviews every six months to examine my situation there, and medical reviews every three years to assess my medical records and the status of my disability.

As to those folks who received disability without being disabled, they must've had some really lenient reviewers. Like, comatose. It took me years when I had everyone, including professors at the University of Miami-UM/Sylvester, saying I was disabled on the record. The first two applications were denied. They used the second denial to put me off a little bit longer, admitting I was disabled, just somehow not quite enough for them.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #24
39. I don't know the facts of but one disability claim but it was the result of some
serious scamming by the individual. I'm not sure how the person pulled it off but there had to have been some professional assistance somewhere along the line. The 'reviews' in this case were annual visits to the local office of the state agency paying the disability check. A skillful acting job by the recipient convinced the worker that this person was truly mentally incapable of dealing with the pressures of a job. Never mind that there were at least twenty other individuals waiting in line to be interviewed by an office worker who was already overloaded.

Another one is a young mother who had a child whose father is 'absentee'. She gets housing assistance, food, medical, and unemployment even though she up and quit two good jobs with benefits. Just because she is unmarried and a mother she qualifies for all of this aid, plus she and her child get free state medical care. She learned how to do this from her friends who do the same thing and think it's a great way to live, so they spread the word and encourage their friends to do the same thing.

Stack on top of that this gem: the mother of one of these unmarried moms with an unnamed father of her child is living in a mobile home owned by her own mother to whom the state is paying funds for housing for recipients of this type of aid. Although the father is 'technically' not living there he stays there as if it were his home.

Regarding your situation, I know another person who has a serious physical disability and who now gets SSI but only after years of hassling and finally getting a U.S. Senator involved. So, when I see people abusing this system it makes my blood boil knowing that there are people who truly need help who cannot get it.







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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #39
43. For disability in Texas You need a diagnosis from your
Doctor then you see two HHS doctors.
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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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PavePusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #67
73. But you have neglected to mention the cumulative effect of not going after the fraud percentage.
If it costs a months benefits to do an investigation, but you stop the person from defrauding a year (or more) worth of benefits, you've saved a lot of money.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #73
77. But at what over all cost?
Remember most people are honest, thus looking over their records and doing an investigation is a complete waste of money. The problem is we do NOT know who is honest and who is not, thus any system of controls must include BOTH. My example does show if you spent the money you would stop the fraud for months afterward, BUT ONLY IF THERE WAS FRAUD. In 99 out of 100 cases NO FRAUD WILL BE FOUND. Even if we assume one case of fraud out of ten, It would take over TEN MONTHS of NOT have to pay the person who committed fraud to over come the cost to investigate all ten people. 100 months (8 years 4 months) to over come the cost if the fraud is only one in 100. AS you can see the price is just to high.

The problem is Welfare, while not paying the high price for controls as my example illustrates, to prevent fraud, is paying much more then what a private party would spend. The reason for this is a private party would look at the numbers and cut off the controls once the cost of the controls equals the actual loss being incurred but Welfare demands a higher level of catching Fraud (Mostly to avoid embarrassment when such fraud is found, then any real effort to avoid fraud).

My example were to show the cost to catch ONE person defrauding the Welfare system, not that such cost must be imposed on both people who are NOT committing Fraud and whose who are defrauding the system.

A good example of this was the Ford Pinto. Ford determined that the cost of lawsuits do to people being burned whenever a Pinto was hit in the rear, was less then the cost of replacing a $2 part with a $3 part on the assembly line. Ford took a lot of heat for that decision when it came out in the litigation involving Pintos burning, but Ford determined the millions they paid to each burned victim was still cheaper then replacing the $2 part with the $3 part (Ford was also the last Car maker to remove the Gas tank from behind the seat in Pickup trucks, for the same reason, Ford saw the move as costing more money then what Ford would pay to burn victims).

Now, for that decision Ford took a lot of heat, as did the Federal Government. The Federal Government finally ORDERED that all new trucks would NOT have the gas tank behind the seat, and Ford complied (And the Federal Government Ordered any new Pinto be built with the $3 part not the $2 Part). The reason the Federal Government acted was simple, the Government responded to complaints of the people, even if the response would cost more money then any potential savings.

My point for bring up the Pinto and the Ford Pickup, is they show how the money works in such situations. The biggest cost is NOT where the Fraud is found (you have a huge savings in such cases, the $3 part in a Pinto hit in the rear would have saved Ford Millions) but is cases where no fraud is found (i.e. the Millions of Pinto sold that were NEVER hit in the rear, or hit did not explode). The same with Welfare, the savings is NOT in the one case where Fraud is found, but in the hundreds (maybe thousands, if not million) of cases where no fraud is found. The cost of the Controls is the same if fraud is found or not, the saving only occur when fraud is found. The problem is most people are NOT trying to defraud the welfare system, thus the real savings is in cutting back on the paper work welfare recipients have to fill out, not is finding fraud.

Side Note: Both the Pinto and the Pickup was done under Henry Ford II, the grandson of Henry Ford. Henry Ford II was NOT as imaginative as his grandfather nor as concern about the buyers of his cars. The present Generation seems to be more like Henry Ford I then Henry Ford II.
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PavePusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #77
87. "at what overall cost"?
Ummm... Seriously? Did you not read what I wrote?
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #87
88. Yes, I did, but obvisly did NOT understand what I was talking about
When Ford made the Pinto, Ford made a calculation, that the saving in using the $2 part instead of the $3 part OVER THE ENTIRE PRODUCTION TIME PERIOD, less the cost incurred by the number of accidents where people would burn do to a rear end collusion would mean Greater Profits for Ford. If you made 1 million Pinto, you saved $1 million dollars. If Ford had to pay out 1/2 million dollars to the people injured do to the $2 part, Ford would still have a net gain of 1/2 million dollars. This is called "Economy of Scale".

The same goes for Welfare Costs. The cost to catch one person cheating includes the cost of checking everyone who applies even if only one person in a 1000 cheats the system. If we assume a cost of just $10 to do the Investigation per person, that is $10,000 dollars to investigate 1000 applicants. If we assume $174 a month welfare grant (The grant for one person in my home County), you are looking at a savings of $2088 per fraudulent applicant per year. Thus Welfare has to spend $10,000 to "save" $2088. Even if the "savings" can be for five years, the system barely breaks even.

Side Note: the average time on Welfare is less then a year.

Thus the point I was trying to make. The amount of fraud possible in today's welfare system is very small when it comes to people applying for Welfare. It is further reduced by the fact that the majority of the cost of welfare is Long term care (i.e. Elderly in old folks homes) NOT people on welfare.

In 2007, the percentage of the budget of Pennsylvania's department of Welfare as to "Cash Maintenance" program (Actual cash check) was less then 5% of the total Welfare Budget, if you include Food Stamps, it is only 13% of the Budget of the Department of Welfare:
http://pennbpc.org/understanding-welfare-spending-penns...

The big cost for welfare has been long tern medical care. In those situations the people receiving the care is NOT receiving the Welfare Grant, the long term medical care provider is. Thus checking on Welfare recipients if they are cheating the system would do little to reduce the Budget of the Department of Welfare. You have to address Medical Costs to do that and that is an issue no one wants to address for you then have to address the issue of health insurance.

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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #88
90. Happyslug, your calculations are so far off it's pathetic.
You refer to catching one client who is defrauding the government. Oh yeah, that's not much money for sure. But if that investigator catches 30 in one year then the tab mounts up real fast.

There are also huge peripheral benefits from investigating and prosecuting fraud including deterrent factor--if people understand that they can actually be prosecuted, fined, or jailed for fraud, they might not do it. Then there's the factor of taxpayers' confidence that they are getting the kind of results from their tax dollars that they hope for. That is incalculable.

I laughed my ass off at your claim that fraud in social services is only a tiny fraction of what is paid out. How many BILLIONS of dollars are paid out every year in payment for things like housing assistance, medical coverage, child coverage, education, food stamps, etc? I guess you think that rooting out MILLIONS of dollars of fraud just isn't worth the effort.

There was a time when I would have said what you say about there being little abuse of the system. Now I know better. As a middle-class American who associated mainly with other middle-class Americans who were professionals I rarely ran into anyone who was abusing the social services system. Rarely, but still there were at least two bona fide cases that I found out about on my own and by accident--that is without trying to find them.

When I changed jobs and became acquainted with many more lower middle-class and blue-collar hourly workers I began to hear stories about people who were gaming the system. So I started paying attention. It is mind-boggling how many people are taking advantage of the system. Whole families do it. They learn the gig and pass it on to their kids and other relatives who want a free ride. I AM NOT referring to people who are truly disabled or who are mentally unable to work. I'm talking about healthy, so-called average Americans who think it's okay to screw Uncle Sam out of money since so much money is wasted by our gummint. And what's really amazing is how many of the abusers are white, RIGHT-WINGERS.

You can live in your little fantasy world if you want. I prefer to see the reality and call it like it is.

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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #90
91. 30 fraud cases a year? Not in my experience and I DEAL WITH WELFARE FRAUD
A state may have 3 a year, not 30. And that tells me your problem, I deal with Welfare all the time, the number of fraud cases are NO WHERE NEAR WHAT YOU ARE CLAIMING. Yes, people talk about "Gaming" the system but when you actually look into the cases, such "gaming" rarely happens and when it does, it is quickly caught by conventional means, no need for extensive investigation.

Furthermore when it comes to "housing assistance, medical coverage, child coverage, education" we are dealing in areas that require someone with a CPA to look into. We are no longer talking about someone making a claim he or she is not entitled to, you are talking about a professional provider of services who is "cheating" the system. Such organizations are audited all of the time. Most undergo yearly audits by their own CPAs. We are talking about millions of dollars to do such audits, duplicate of audits already being done given most of these providers are corporations.

As to people "gaming" the system, I deal with people on Welfare on a daily basis in regards to various legal issues they have. If anyone is going to tell them how to "game" the system it is me. I have NEVER had a person ask me how to cheat the Welfare system, I have had to represent people on Welfare in Welfare Fraud cases and in all of the ones I have handle no intent to steal from welfare was ever even accused, more often then not it was an error by the Department of Welfare.

Yes, the system can be better, but lets understand people who have to deal with the Department of Welfare, quickly come to understand what Welfare wants from them and provide it. That is NOT someone "Gaming" the system, but understanding it and working within its framework. You have to understand the rules and follow them, that is NOT "Gaming" the system but following the rules. If someone violates the rules, the punishment is quick and severe, you lose benefits, so you learn to follow what is required. Thus the system DEMANDS what you say you oppose, and the reason such "gaming" is required is do to the demands of society that people getting these benefits only should get them if their "deserve" them. That is NOT the people in the welfare system's fault, but the demands we place on them, in many cases unreasonable demand, but demand, and then we criticize them when they do what we told them to do. That appears to be your objection, that people are following the rules, the system demands of them.


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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
19. Newt Gingrich will probably find a way to blame this on Obama/Democrats.
If past history is any guide.

In 1994, just a few days before the midterm elections, a deranged woman named Susan Smith drowned her two young sons. Gingrich, at the time, made infanticide a campaign issue and publicly equated Smith's murders with the values of the Democratic Party. Gingrich told the AP, "The mother killing her two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we have to have change. I think people want to change and the only way you get change is to vote Republican."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/20...
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #19
33. only way you get change is to vote Republican."
Really! We lost 2 perfectly good janitors that tragic day!


Newty is surreal! If he didn't exist, people would think you made him up!
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
22. Churches don't reach out to people with these problems? No one refers??
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caseymoz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #22
27. You're assuming that churches are, overall, that effective.

They are far less so than you think. If churches were so effective, Haiti would be the wealthiest nation on earth.

And what if the person is an atheist? Religious charity definitely ends there.

Also, without a middle class, it's not like the churches are going to be swelling with funding either. Don't think that corporations and the wealthy are driving for tax cuts just so they can then donate near the same money over to the churches.

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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #22
35. Churches don't reach out to people with these problems?
Not if there isn't anything in it for them.

Churches are money making scams. They deal in guilt. And magic solutions to real problems.
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caseymoz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
25. Tea partiers should be asked this question:

If you get smaller government and fewer handouts, are you willing to see many people blatantly die because of it? And if you did, would you still want smaller government and fewer handouts?

As low as they regard poor people who receive government money, and as terribly as the think welfare kills people's ambitions, you can't lose ambition more than when you're dead.
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adamuu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
34. I cannot believe the justifications I am seeing on this thread
Stop and think, people.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #34
47. I knew that sort of thing would be posted here in abundance when I read the subject line
This is DU, after all.
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lsewpershad Donating Member (964 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
38. This is what
America has become.
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #38
41. They will solve the problem
with scanners or gropes. They already stay behind locked doors.
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JJW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
40. The Banksters didn't need to...
fill out applications or get drug tested to receive $ 16 trillion in unsecured bailouts and interest free loans.
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FreedomVoice Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
42. She was able to shoot her own children? Im sorry but
there is ZERO reason or justification for something like that. None whatsoever.
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Hyper_Eye Donating Member (429 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #42
69. You are absolutely right.
While I might agree with what people are saying here when it comes to matters of policy I have to strongly disagree when it comes to making excuses or justifications for what this woman did. She shot her kids. If she had just shot herself the kids would have become wards of the State and they would have been fed. Not that suicide should be justified either. I'm simply saying that there is no scenario in which shooting the kids was a justifiable option. This person was sick and she needed help but food stamps were the least of what she needed.
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
44. Read the article. She was not truly denied food stamps.

Day 1: she picks up application. They schedule an appointment for the following day.

One Day Later
Day 2: she does not show up.

One Month Later
Day 32: they close the case after not hearing from her for a full month.

Three Months Later
Day 132: she calls to ask why her case was "rejected".

Two Weeks Later
Day 147: they try calling her to say her case was closed because she did not finish filling out the application. But she doesn't answer the phone, and her voicemail is full so they can not leave her a message.

Five Days Later
Day 152: she shows up with a gun, a supervisor spends a couple hours with her, she finally lets him go then shoots her children and kills herself.


"Deny" is the wrong word considering that she never finished the application.

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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #44
48. It's considered bad form on DU to take an unbiased, objective view of news stories
Thanks for your summary.

:hi:
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #44
49. How did she know she was rejected?
Seems that there might be some communications missing.
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #49
66. They Sent
her a letter when they closed to file. All benefit agencies do that.
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godai Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #44
51. Seems to be mental illness involved.
It's completely irrational to shoot anyone over a food stamps issue, especially your own children.
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Democat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #44
52. Facts don't fit the story many want to believe
So your post will be ignored.
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Puzzledtraveller Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #44
53. I do this everyday
It's my job, there is a process and you will be surprised at how often clients do not follow through after several accomodations have been made outside of the standard operating practices and guidelines. I won't tell you my case load though, your eyes may pop out of your head.
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Synicus Maximus Donating Member (828 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #44
55. Please do not post facts. It gets in the way of the outrage.
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FreedomVoice Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #44
56. Thank you, I am glad that the timeline was simplified by you to show
those that are too overwhelmed by text to discern the facts.
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #44
65. Geez, I'm a Social Worker
You are giving me flashbacks here to when I was helping, begging, pleading and ordering people to apply for benefits. With the exception of the gun, so familiar.
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bengalherder Donating Member (718 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
45. Perhaps her car was too new.
You can't have over a certain number of assets and the bar is set very low.

Last time I had to fall back on FS during a spell of unemployment I barely squeaked by with my old Saturn. If my mother had given me her Honda of the same vintage, I would not have qualified because the car was worth a couple of grand more. See how that works?
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
46. this is unutterably sad - no words (n/t)
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
59. She could have acquired a load of AK-47s easier than getting
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 12:08 PM by demosincebirth
food stamps :sarcasm:
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AZ Progressive Donating Member (18 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
64. I think this story just shows how cruel the system is
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 12:28 PM by AZ Progressive
The Government is almost as cold hearted as the corporations that control it. In the name of order, unsympathetic and inhumane treatment of people in need is almost routine in the government. In many government programs, there could be stringent and lengthy requirements that probably make it too easy for many people to fall through the cracks. Why? Because the Government actually tries to help as few people as possible in this country, despite the public rhetoric.

As a result, many people have to suffer or even die (due to lack of medicaid) that didn't have to.
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PavePusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #64
72. System, cruel?!?! She didn't follow through on her part of the process.
Did you not read the actual article?
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #72
75. Face it. If you are not ready to kill, you are not deserving.
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Puzzledtraveller Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #72
94. Exactly and because this is my work
I can tell you it's not at the discretion of a caseworker that someone is approved or denied. There is the procedure, and numerous checks involved. Grievance lines, Ombudsman for complaints, plus we review civil rightsinformation with client each time they apply.
All applications are entered onto a system that will either deny, approve, or pend for information. Automatic letters are mailed, numerous times, explaining if something is still required. Here, where I work we even have an inhouse food pantry for those in immediate need, while their case is being considered or processed and we even offer that assistance even if they are denied otherwise or even didnt apply.
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harmonicon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
76. Ahh... just what I expected: apologists for an insane (near) murderer.
It's the DU way!! Sure, this time it's only like 80 - 90 percent of the posts, whereas it would usually be about 95... maybe we're making progress!!
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #76
84. +1000
She SHOT HER KIDS. And apparently she was denied benefits because she never bothered filling out the application. I guess it's easier to turn this into a parable about the recession, but even if she were legitimately denied benefits, nothing excuses harming those innocent kids.
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SixthSense Donating Member (251 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
78. We can't pay for food stamps
We need the money to pay rich landowners not to grow food!
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
79. Deleted message
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #79
86. It's a sexist and classist double standard. If a poor man had done the shooting, he'd be blamed.
If a middle-class or wealthy married woman or woman involved in some other relationship with a man had shot her kids and herself at a government office, the knee-jerk reaction would be that her husband or SO had driven her to it.
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pettypace Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
80. Blame Republicans?
If that is critical thinking on your part, I'd like to know which college you graduated from.
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Occupy_2012 Donating Member (49 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
82. There's some stuff being left out of this story.
Edited on Wed Dec-07-11 05:31 PM by Occupy_2012
I read elsewhere that she had contacted an ombudsman to help her. This implies she wasn't being helped and had a complaint. It also implies there's a witness somewhere who knows what really happened. You have to understand, "case closed" is a code word for "could not complete the forms or provide all documents within a certain time limit." It doesn't mean anybody thought her kids had food to eat by any means.

A relative applied for food stamps a few years ago. Judging by that experience, she may have had to supply birth certificates for herself and children, a current state ID, complete proof of all bills and bank accounts, letter from landlord stating rent, etc. She had come from another state (Ohio) and if she needed to get copies of these docs, she would have to wait until they were sent. My relative needed a new copy of her birth certificate. It was found to be invalid because one letter in her name was printed wrong. When she went to have her license renewed, the DMV clerk tried to have her arrested on the spot and charged with a felony (perjury) when she showed up with a copy of the same b.c she's had her whole life.

She was born in another state, kept mailing away rush applications to have it corrected, and they lost every one, at about $50 a pop. She kept calling, they kept saying they "never received it," in spite of the fact they signed for them every time and she had proof. Meanwhile, no official state ID, which made her ineligible for any benefits at all. She couldn't drive for the entire year it took for them to finally update one letter and mail a copy. We were told this is all because of new "homeland security" rules, and thousands of other people had the same experience. Prior to 9/11, birth certificates were often mis-spelled or had errors, and it was fine. Now it's a *felony* to try to use the same old birth certificate you've used your whole life. It doesn't come up unless you apply for something new.

If this lady was told her documents were insufficient, there was no point in going back because they were not going to help her under any circumstances. If she needed docs from Ohio and couldn't get them, she could do nothing. Obviously if she needed food stamps, she didn't have the money to pay a lot of expensive document fees.

From my experience with my relative's food stamps application, they closed her case several times, for no reason, then a different clerk would come along and say they had no idea why it was closed. They started paying some benefits, then suddenly stopped and said she lied and could be arrested for perjury, because she filled out the forms saying she had no income. She didn't. Neither of us had any idea what they were talking about. She was too sick to work. The last clerk had told her she was absolutely entitled. Nothing changed.

I ended up supporting her for 2 years while she slowly went through the (disability) system. Without me, my relative would have had no income, food or place to stay for 2 years. What is a mother with 2 children supposed to do in that circumstance?

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Stuart G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #82
92. If the government of the United States..a "so called ..great country"
cannot help people who are starving, then we are all in deep shit, which we all know. You say that the state, local or fed gov didnot,cannot, will not help starving people, then we as a nation have died or are dieing.
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