Report: Thousands of welfare dollars paid to those who died

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services paid public assistance benefits to the Access accounts of more than 2,300 people after they died, according to a report by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

“Regardless of your ideological point of view, I think we can all agree that people that are deceased should not be getting cash assistance,” DePasquale said Thursday.

DePasquale released the results of an audit that focused on Human Services and public assistance programs from July 2013 to June 2014. The report showed the DHS paid nearly $700,000 to dead people.

“In one case, we found that a cardholder who died on May 1 continued to receive $200 per month through September,” DePasquale said. “More than six months after the card holder’s death, nearly $800 in purchases were made with that card.”

DePasquale said the DHS does not argue they gave money to people who died, but it claims the amount handed out is about $330.000.

In a statement, DHS Secretary Ted Dallas said many findings in the audit were fixed before the report was issued.

“Because of our audit, the Department of Human Services changed its policy on August 24,” DePasquale said. “[They] require case workers to take immediate action when they receive notification of a recipient’s death.”

DePasquale complimented the DHS when it comes to out-of-state use of the Electronic Benefit Transfer cards. He said the department closed more than 15,000 accounts, saving $22 million.

The auditor general finished his remarks by saying DHS still has work to do.

“Following each of our audits, the DHS continues to make incremental progress to improve its oversight and the distribution and use of public assistance benefits,” he said.

You can see the full audit by clicking here.

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