The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

June 24, 2014

Auditors: Deceased linked to welfare

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania state officials say they’ve told investigators about five cases in which someone apparently used cash benefits and food stamps under the name of a dead person.

Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth said Tuesday that her agency found the cases after being supplied with the information by state auditors. She said her agency in turn told the inspector general’s office.

Auditors said they found that the department had paid out more than $200,000 in benefits through 138 electronic benefit transfer cards linked to the Social Security numbers of dead people between July 2011 and March 2012.

But Department of Public Welfare officials said only five were actually registered to dead people. In many cases, they said, the Social Security numbers were incorrect.


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