Sadly, there are quite a few people like this. Not saying it’s he majority, but it’s a good chunk.
Please, you don’t have the facts and figure to back up the “good chunk” so don’t spew that shit. I don’t mind the stuff about working hard and making money, I could care less, I’ll even support that, but this shit? Welfare recipients are people too, and you don’t understand their challenges. How about we stop funneling tons of money into prisons before we go after single moms and kids?
Well let’s see shall we? 46 million in the US are on some sort of welfare. 8.7% are in the fraud category. So I would safely say that 4 MILLION is a good chunk. Care to dispute that now?
Improper welfare payments, including fraud, are estimated to be about 8.7% of all federal welfare payments made and exceeded $50 billion in fiscal year 2012. This estimate is based on reports from the Office of Budget and Management (OBM)[i], The General Accounting Office[ii], and other federal agencies. Improper payments were estimated from each of the 13 individual welfare programs (see Safety Net Page) and the Medicaid Program (health care).
What are improper payments? Improper payments are described this way by the OBM: “ ‘Improper payments’ occur when:
funds go to the wrong recipient;
the right recipient receives the incorrect amount of funds (including over payments and underpayments);
documentation is not available to support a payment; or
the recipient uses funds in an improper manner.
Although not all improper payments are fraud, and not all improper payments represent a loss to the government, all improper payments degrade the integrity of government programs and compromise citizens’ trust in government.”
Where do estimates for improper payments come from? Improper Payments are required to be reported by federal agencies under a 2002 statute that was amended in 2010[iii]. The OMB website describes the process as follows: “For all federal programs identified as risk-susceptible, the responsible federal agencies obtain a statistically valid estimate of the annual amount of improper payments in those programs.”
Improper Payments by program The table below shows the estimated improper payments by program in billions of dollars. The table was calculated by taking the most recent improper payments data by welfare program and applying it to total expenditures for fiscal year 2012. This gives an approximation of the overall improper payments from the welfare system in whole.
Descriptions by program
Negative income tax – Negative income tax is made up of the refundable portion of the EITC and Child Tax credits. OMB estimates that ETIC has a 22.7% improper payment rate for 2012. Child Tax Credit is not reported but is considered to have similar error rates[iv]. OMB describes the errors as such: “A number of factors unique to the EITC program trigger errors. The complexity of the law contributes to confusion around eligibility requirements, mainly qualifying child relationship and residency rules. Other factors include high program turnover of one-third annually, return preparer errors, and fraud.”
Snap OMB estimates a 3.8% improper payment rate for 2012. GAO describes the errors as follows: “Incomplete or inaccurate reporting of income by participant and incorrect eligibility determination by Caseworkers.”
Housing assistance OMB estimates a 3.9% error rate on all rental housing assistance programs. This makes up the bulk of housing assistance welfare and the error rate was therefore used for all housing assistance. OMB describes the errors as follows: “The three major components of potential errors and improper payments in these complex programs are:
Program administrator error – the program administrator’s failure to properly determine income, rent, and subsidy levels;
Tenant income reporting error – the beneficiary’s failure to properly disclose all income sources and amounts upon which subsidies are determined; and
Billing error – errors in the billing and payments between third party program administrators and/or housing providers and HUD.”
SSI OMB estimates a 9.2% improper payment rate for 2012 and describes the errors as follows: “Payment accuracy reviews show that the leading causes of program overpayments are failure to inform SSA of the existence of financial accounts or increases in the balances in financial accounts and failure to inform SSA of the correct earnings amounts from work.”
Pell Grants OMB estimates a 2.5% improper payment rate for 2012 and describes the errors as follows: “The major root causes of improper payments in the Pell Grant Program are incorrect self-reporting of an applicant’s income which leads to incorrect awards based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC); incorrect processing of student data by institutions during normal operations; student account data changes not applied or processed correctly; ineligibility for a Pell Grant (e.g., validity of high school attended, history of degrees obtained); satisfactory academic progress not achieved; and incorrectly calculated return records by institutions returning Title IV student aid funds.”
TSNF The Health and Human Services Agency has not estimated TANF improper payments because the program is administered by the various states that distribute federal funds and the states have not performed improper payment reviews. A 15% estimate was used for purposes of estimating total welfare improper payments. Improper payments are most likely above 15% based on the complexities off the program and a review of available performance data including two reviews shown below:
In FY 2007 HHS conducted a pilot review of TANF cash assistance payments in three states. The error rates for the pilots ranged from 11.5% to 40%.
Child Nutrition Child Nutrition is made up of the school lunch, breakfast and after school food programs. GAO estimates that in 2011 the school lunch program had a 16% improper payment rate and the school breakfast program had a 25% improper payment rate. Based on these rates an 18% overall child nutrition improper payment rate was used for purposes of estimating total welfare improper payments. The GAO describes the errors as follows: school lunch – “Verification errors related to benefit calculation error, duplicate payments, insufficient documentation, and fraud or misrepresentation by program participants or others”. School breakfast – “Authentication and administrative errors, including authenticating the accuracy of qualifying for program specific requirements, criteria, or conditions.”
Headstart GAO reports a 1.7% improper payment rate for 2010.
Job training No data is available for the multitude of programs that make up job training. A 1% figure was used as a conservative estimate.
WIC GAO reports a 1.2% improper payment rate for 2010.
Child Care GAO reports a 13.3% improper payment rate for 2010.
LIHEAP A full improper payment report has not been issued by the Health and Human Services Agency regarding LIHEAP. GAO reports up to 9% of LIHEAP payments had problems associated with them, in a review of payments made in 7 states[v]. Some of the errors were simple omissions but some were as severe as fraud. A 5% estimate was used for purposes of estimating total welfare improper payments.
Lifeline An improper payment report has not been issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the lifeline program. The program is very complex and is administered by telecommunication companies. Up to 41% of payments were problematic as reported by the Wall Street Journal: “A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn’t demonstrate their eligibility or didn’t respond to requests for certification.” A 20% estimate was used for purposes of estimating total welfare improper payments.
Medicaid OMB estimates a 7.1% improper payment rate for 2012. GAO describes the errors as follows: “The majority of the FY 2012 errors were a result of cases reviewed for eligibility that were either not eligible or their eligibility status could not be determined, thus they were considered errors. The most common cause of cases in error for the Medicaid FFS medical review was insufficient documentation.”