Michigan lottery winner collected food stamps after winning...

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Buzz, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    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/...tery-winner-getting-food-aid-cut-off-by-state
  2. Smiley0884

    Smiley0884 New Member

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    Ugh. I think what angers me the most is how this woman basically feels "entitled" to public assistance. Things like welfare, food stamps, section 8, ect. should be a temporary hold over while someone is going through a rough patch or needs help getting on their feet. It shouldn't be a way of life, but for some reason it is for so many people. The welfare "culture" in this society needs to be put to a stop.
  3. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    She should have been donating money to feed the hungry, instead of collecting food stamps after winning a million.
  4. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I saw a picture of the home she bought, it was pretty modest. I wouldn't be surprised if it cost less than $50K, with the depressed real estate market in Michigan. She also took a lump payment of $700K instead of an annuity, and I believe she said she had to pay taxes on top of that, so the money is not likely to last her long, especially if she is supporting family members.

    I think her bridge card should have been cut off by social services, but she is not a "member of the 1%" the way the press is portraying her.
  5. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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  6. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Oversight of recipients as well as means-testing are just too expensive and not worth it in the end.
  7. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    What is sad to me is that she is only 24 and on public assistance. It's too bad she didn't use the money to secure a future for herself, get a skill, go somewhere where there are jobs. It's as if she has already resigned herself to life as it is.
  8. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. She could have gone to school with that money.
  9. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    She doesn't strike me as a potential Rhodes scholar. Just sayin'
  10. Myskate

    Myskate New Member

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    According to reports, after taxes she received about $500,000. I'm sorry but my family of 4 could live well on that for along time. I live about 15 minutes from her city and I know that property values in Lincoln Park, Mi are very low. Average houses there sell for about 35,000-40,000. I don't understand why she didn't inform the state that her circumstances had changed. You are supposed to inform them within 10 days. I have never received public assistance but even I know that. It is in all the paperwork that you get when you are approved.

    The worst part, she is the 2nd Michigan lottery winner to collect benefits from the state after winning. A man in Bay City, I think won 2 million dollars and still collected welfare for awhile.
  11. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    Do they have to pay it back when they get found out?
  12. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    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.
  13. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    Could she still do so? In California, the community college system is not only significantly less expensive than the universities, but will accept people who aren't eligible for things like the Cal State or U C systems. Do you know what Michigan has?
  14. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    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.

    In a case like this woman and the lottery, I'm actually surprised that her case workers or agencies didn't know this news and cut her benefits off sooner. The agencies in my area are pretty predatory about finding/catching recipients they think are getting money they shouldn't.
    PDilemma and (deleted member) like this.
  15. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why the lottery commission doesn't give someone -like the county-the names of the winners to make sure they are not receiving assistance so their payments can be cut off once the get thier winnings.
  16. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    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.
  17. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    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!
  18. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    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?
  19. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    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).
  20. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    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.
  21. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    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.
  22. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    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?
  23. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    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.
  24. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    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.
  25. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    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.
  26. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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  27. iloveemoticons

    iloveemoticons Well-Known Member

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    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.
  28. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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

    FigureSpins New Member

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    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?
  30. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    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.
  31. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Maybe it was the maid. ;)

    There are likely more than two people abusing the system any given week but Amanda Clayton is a young (24) white, single mother.
  32. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Well, she may have broken one law.

    The paper also quoted a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Human Services as saying that Clayton might have violated a state law requiring food stamp recipients to report changes to their income and assets within 10 days.
  33. JILEN

    JILEN New Member

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    I have to say shame, shame shame!

    I think the Dept of Social Services which has every intention of helping people get back on their feet has the right to demand the funds back, every penny of it. The lady failed to report the change in her status or circumstance as required by law of any FS, SSI, TNIF recipients. It is almost similar to not stopping your unemployement benefits/checks from coming long after you have found a job, a more complicated example though but you know what I mean:)..
  34. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    No one is saying that there isn't welfare fraud going on. Just that it isn't as widespread as news stories like this might make it seem.
  35. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Dredging up this old thread to say she died of an apparently accidental drug overdose over the weekend.
  36. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I saw that. Be careful what you wish for.
  37. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I'm not so sure about that. I know someone on a disability pension who hasn't been checked for seven years. In the past it's seemed that Social Services check welfare and disability recipients' bank records from time to time.

    The person I refer to has violated the rules by putting money into her account for her own usage - an amount that would have been seen as substantial by the government. Part of it was inheritance and part of it was an accident settlement. The rule is that when a welfare or disability recipient receives money exceeding what is allowed per month in terms of earnings or other monies, that money has to be reported and held in trust. A person on disability can receive their monthly allotment of $400 from that trust, but no more.

    The person did have the money from the accident settlement in trust at first, but decided to take it out of trust to keep for herself. Then she put a small inheritance directly into her account.

    This point of this rule is to prevent people from enjoying inheritance money or the like and still collecting from the government. If you get a sizable amount and want to use it as you like, you can't stay on disability.

    But as I said, the government hasn't bothered to check on this person at all. She recently was contacted by Revenue Canada because she hadn't done her taxes for seven years and the additional monies would have factored in to her tax return.

    So Social Services hasn't checked on her in seven years. This suggests to me that the system is overburdened and understaffed, and not able to ensure that checks and balances are in place.