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Garden Kitty
03-08-2012, 10:48 PM
I think the regulations required her to report a change in assets within 10 days, but the state relies on "self -reporting" to determine a change in qualification status. The proposed law would have the state independently verify changes in status due to lottery winnings.

AxelAnnie
03-08-2012, 11:03 PM
Did anyone see her being interviewed last night? Unbelievable. When questioned about it she said she thought she should be able to get the food stamps because she didn't have a job.

The interviewer said...but you won $1,000.000. Oh - says she: Yes, but you have to understand, I took a $500,000 lump sum, and the after taxes, it was only $400,000 (or something)........so really, it wasn't so much!

Unbelievable thought process!

maatTheViking
03-08-2012, 11:10 PM
What I don't get is why the oversight is an extra thing? Couldn't they just use the IRS records? Don't you have to report income to the state?

milanessa
03-09-2012, 12:26 AM
No, because what they are doing isn't illegal. There is currently a bill being proposed that would cross check anyone receiving benefits with people who've won more than $1,000 in the lottery. I think that will likely pass handily.

She didn't self-report an increase in assets so I think there might be a case for recovering the money. It's only a drip (less than a drop) in the bucket but the principle is worth upholding (IMO).

milanessa
03-09-2012, 12:30 AM
What I don't get is why the oversight is an extra thing? Couldn't they just use the IRS records? Don't you have to report income to the state?

Only if that state has an income tax. Michigan does but the filing date is April 2012. Since she won the lottery in September 2011 that income wouldn't have been reported yet.

agalisgv
03-09-2012, 01:21 AM
She didn't self-report an increase in assets so I think there might be a case for recovering the money. It's only a drip (less than a drop) in the bucket but the principle is worth upholding (IMO). According to the reporter who did the piece, the woman didn't do anything illegal. Just unethical.

I assume the reporter who's based in MI would have pointed out any illegalities if they existed.

I should mention this happened in another state (either OR or WA), and legally the person was entitled to continue collecting public benefits (even if most consider it unethical). It just depends on how the regulations are worded.

milanessa
03-09-2012, 01:39 AM
I should mention this happened in another state (either OR or WA), and legally the person was entitled to continue collecting public benefits (even if most consider it unethical). It just depends on how the regulations are worded.

It would have been caught during her 6 month review in any case. She is not entitled to SNAP at this time.

What happened in another state?

Civic
03-09-2012, 01:47 AM
A woman who won $1,000,000 in the lottery was still collecting $200 per month in food stamps even after she received her winnings. Amount the things she purchased was a second home, a new car etc all the while still receiving monthly assistance from the state. This is why I have so many reservations about the welfare system. There is just not enough oversight of recipients.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1142936--michigan-lottery-winner-getting-food-aid-cut-off-by-state

With all due respect, I think very few welfare recipients wind up winning the lottery. So your reservations are based on the exception instead of the rule.

Karina1974
03-09-2012, 12:27 PM
Only if that state has an income tax. Michigan does but the filing date is April 2012. Since she won the lottery in September 2011 that income wouldn't have been reported yet.

OK... why wouldn't it have been? :confused:

NY has an income tax as well, and the filing date is the same as for the Federal Income Tax. Our W-2 forms are sent out in January for the year previous and, thus, we New Yorkers are filing taxes for our income received during the entire year 2011. If this had happened in NYS that income definitely would have been reported already.

milanessa
03-09-2012, 01:17 PM
OK... why wouldn't it have been? :confused:

NY has an income tax as well, and the filing date is the same as for the Federal Income Tax. Our W-2 forms are sent out in January for the year previous and, thus, we New Yorkers are filing taxes for our income received during the entire year 2011. If this had happened in NYS that income definitely would have been reported already.

I was talking about self reporting like when she files her state income tax form. She has until April 17th to do that. As far as the lottery sending that info to the state taxing authorities, yes, that's been done but they don't deal with it until an individual has filed.

Buzz
03-09-2012, 01:19 PM
Here's some more examples of walfare fraud. This couple received a housing allowance all the while living in a multimillion dollar house.
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/seattle-welfare-recipient-lives-million-dollar-home-161252749.html


Here is a scam that allowed walfare recipients to buy cocaine with the money they received.
http://www.itemlive.com/articles/2012/03/08/updates/updates11.txt

iloveemoticons
03-09-2012, 01:27 PM
I heard the reason was they base food stamps on monthly income, and since she has none (took the lottery money in a lump sum), they still gave her the food stamps. Seems odd though why they wouldn't also consider assets.

milanessa
03-09-2012, 01:39 PM
I heard the reason was they base food stamps on monthly income, and since she has none (took the lottery money in a lump sum), they still gave her the food stamps. Seems odd though why they wouldn't also consider assets.

Michigan does have an assets test. She fails it now but was eligible when she originally applied.

FigureSpins
03-09-2012, 02:59 PM
She's wrong, period, and should be held accountable. I don't know what the laws are, but if they allow people to win hundreds of thousands of dollars and still collect public assistance, it's time to make a change to the laws or the reporting/eligibility rules.

Interesting debate among my family: some feel that assistance recipients shouldn't be allowed to claim lottery winnings because any monies they have should be used to get off assistance. Someone countered with "Then, they'll just lie and have someone else claim it." Another family member said "But winning gives her the opportunity to better herself." Someone pointed out that she just spent the winning on luxuries, not bettering herself, by buying a second house. It was an interesting debate, still going on.


Here's what's odd (to me) about this story: The first video about it I saw showed a black woman outside her house. Last night, I saw a few angry Facebook posts with article links. The thumbnail photo showed another woman holding the big check.

Were there two different people abusing the system this week, or just the one story?

Ziggy
03-09-2012, 04:02 PM
In my province a few years ago there was a massive audit of social assistance programs and allocations. It cost the government a fair amount of money to carry out, and was also very stressful for many of those receiving assistance, who had to resubmit documentation, go through interviews involving questions the agencies already had the answers to, etc.

The result of the audit was that there was no more fraud going on in the system than what was already being caught on a regular basis by the controls already in place. The cost of conducting the audit was also considerably more than the "savings" from cutting off those few recipients who were deemed ineligible after the audit.

Yes, that's exactly what I meant. It's been proven a number of times in the past.

There will always be individuals who abuse the system. But they are a very small minority and it infuriates me where they are used as an example for "the system not working" when the majority of those receiving assistance really do need it.