Skip to comments.$69 million in California welfare money drawn out of state
Posted on 10/04/2010 6:49:48 AM PDT by artichokegrower
More than $69 million in California welfare money, meant to help the needy pay their rent and clothe their children, has been spent or withdrawn outside the state in recent years, including millions in Las Vegas, hundreds of thousands in Hawaii and thousands on cruise ships sailing from Miami.
State-issued aid cards have been used at hotels, shops, restaurants, ATMs and other places in 49 other states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, according to data obtained by The Times from the California Department of Social Services. Las Vegas drew $11.8 million of the cash benefits, far more than any other destination. The money was accessed from January 2007 through May 2010.
Welfare recipients must prove they can't afford life's necessities without government aid: A single parent with two children generally must earn less than $14,436 a year to qualify for the cash assistance and becomes ineligible once his or her income exceeds about $20,000, said Lizelda Lopez, spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services.
Round-trip flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Orbitz.com Sunday started at $419 more than 80% of the average monthly cash benefit for a single parent of two on CalWorks, the state's main aid program.
"How they can go somewhere like Hawaii and be legit on aid they can't," said Robert Hollenbeck, a fraud investigator for the Fresno County district attorney's office. "This is money for basic subsistence needs."
The $387,908 accessed in Hawaii includes transactions at more than a thousand big-box stores, grocery stores, convenience shops and ATMs on all the major islands. At least $234,000 was accessed on Oahu, $70,626 on Maui, $39,883 on Hawaii and $22,170 on Kauai.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
And I am sure that none of these losers are having their benefits yanked as a result.
The government gives these people cash.
They shouldn’t then turn around and complain about how and where they spend it.
Wow.. trips to Hawaii, cruises, Florida vacations... Las Vegas... must be some GENEROUS welfare being doled out from the dwindling ranks of California taxpayers.
Methinks this is just the tip of the iceberg.
This has evolved into: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his WANTS".....
Cruise ship? I want a pony.
California got rid of food stamps because of the negative stigma associated with their use and gave welfare recipients the EBT card (electronic benefit transfer). It’s basically a credit card.
What is Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT?
Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, is the new system that food stamp recipients in California will use to access their food stamp benefits. A majority of California counties will also use EBT to distribute CalWORKs benefits. Some counties will also use EBT for General Assistance/General Relief (GA/GR), Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) benefits.
Under the new EBT system, instead of receiving monthly food stamp coupons or welfare checks, recipients will be issued a plastic debit-like card which they will use to pay for groceries and in some counties, to get cash benefits. California’s EBT system is being implemented at different times, county by county, through the end of 2004. An updated implementation schedule can be found at the State’s EBT Project Web site, www.ebtproject.ca.gov.
California Hukilau`d on Maui
As a citizen of California who got up at 4:30 AM this morning to head off to work.
Every mexican thanks you.
California Double-Downed in Las Vegas
California Victim of Miami Vice
“Under the new EBT system..........”
One would think it would be very easy to denied access to those accounts outside of California.
Dude, from someone getting the money I would like to say do you know how hard it is partying all night and just getting back to my cabin at 4:30 am? I don't even get up by the time you leave work to go home. Got to get my rest to party all night. Dude, like get a life! O' thanks for the money....../S
This has been going on for decades, but with state governments awash in cash, there was no incentive to sniff it out and stop it.
But now, cash strapped states are finding it essential to use a fine toothed comb to ferret out abuse. State employees have an incentive to do this now, because they need to prove their worth and if money isn’t found somehow, their jobs could be on the chopping block.
The people who investigate welfare fraud were laid off.
There was no need for the /S thing. That you said, "thanks", was a dead giveaway that you're not a real sponge.
Those cuts saved $900,000 in operating expenses but allowed "an estimated $9.6 million in suspected fraud payments out the door,"
SMASHING! HEAD! AGAINST! TABLE!
She paid for the case of beer with two $20.00 bills. For the 6 limes she used a State of Illinois EBT card. I was as close to going sh** house rat crazy as I've ever been....
Those cards may be “pre-loaded” with money, but I would assume each is hooked to some account number, thereby identifying the user of each card. How hard could it possibly be to figure out who was misusing their card?
I feel your pain. I always get behind those people. I’d like to know why none of their money ever goes to deodorant.
Are you on drugs?
That giant sucking sound you hear.........
From each according to his ability, to each according to his WANTS
"From each according to his ETHICS and ability, to each according to his WANTS.
How many of those fraudsters have fake nails, fancy weave and braid hairdos, gold teeth, cell phones and cable or satellite at home?
I am not opposed to helping the poor, but many of our poor are NOT really poor.
That would be a perfect opportunity for these welfare cheats to make restitution. Give them a choice between working the fields to pay it off, or prison.
Politicians are such idiots.
Not hard at all except that California, in their infinite wisdom, only investigates accounts that have been used out of state for anywhere from 30-90 consecutive days. Who the hell vacations in Vegas for a month? Hawaii for three months? Withdrawing money from an ATM in Vegas on Saturday and Sunday and you're back in California on Monday won't trigger an investigation.
In their further infinite wisdom, investigations are hobbled by the fact that California decided to save the state money by laying off the state employees whose job it was to investigate welfare fraud.
You mean you don't believe that there is going to hope and change?
I have a feeling that a lot of these cards are being exchanged for drugs and it’s the drug dealers spending the cash in Vegas and elsewhere.
On top of the fact that California doesn’t even have this money to begin with...
Three lines of code max, in any language.
Not a computer expert, that sounds fairly simple. I think the same should apply to Soc Security - if you leave the country beyond x amount of days - say after 180 days, no access.
“Wow.. trips to Hawaii, cruises, Florida vacations... Las Vegas... must be some GENEROUS welfare being doled out from the dwindling ranks of California taxpayers.”
Airfare, courtesy of the state of California.
Hotel, courtesy of the state of Oregon
Meals, courtesy of the state of Washington
You can live a good life on welfare if you are audacious enough.