Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Continues Assault on Fraud; Conducts First Out-of-State Benefit Card Analysis
Probe Closes 653 Fraudulent Cases
HARRISBURG, Pa., May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare Gary D. Alexander today announced the results of the department's initial review of out-of-state transactions for the electronic benefit card, identifying more than 600 cases of fraud.
The department's review revealed 653 cases of individuals who were fraudulently collecting Pennsylvania benefits.
"This is a victory for all Pennsylvanians who legitimately use and need our social safety net and for the hardworking taxpayers who pay the bills," said Alexander. "These 653 individuals who have been defrauding our welfare system have been identified and removed from the program."
In February, the department began a monthly residency review of individuals who, for the prior three months, completed electronic benefit transactions in non-contiguous states. The department analyzed data from the previous November, December and January. Of the 1,123 cases that were flagged for review, 653 cases were closed.
Electronic benefit transfer cards, better known as EBT cards, are the primary method for issuing public assistance benefits to eligible Pennsylvania residents. EBT cards can contain one to three different types of benefits, including cash assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, commonly referred to as food stamps or SNAP, and Medical Assistance.
The department's analysis found that 76 percent of the people collecting Pennsylvania benefits while living in another state were using the food stamp program. Additionally, 24 percent of those living out-of-state were collecting other types of benefits such as cash assistance, Medical Assistance, or a combination of cash, medical and food stamps.
"The department's review of out-of-state welfare spending will soon expand to neighboring states and we will conduct targeted reviews anywhere we see an inconsistency. We will leave no stone unturned when it comes to rooting out fraud, waste and abuse," said Alexander.
To review the complete report, visit the Department of Public Welfare online at www.dpw.state.pa.us and click on the publications section of the site.
For more information about the Department of Public Welfare, visit www.dpw.state.pa.us or call 1-800-692-7462.
Pennsylvanians who suspect welfare fraud should call 1-800-932-0582.
Media contact: Carey Miller or Anne Bale, 717-425-7606
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public WelfareBack to top