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Loopholes allow some Michigan lottery winners to stay on welfare

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Loopholes allow some Michigan lottery winners to stay on welfare
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LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan agency has removed more than 500 lottery winners from certain welfare programs because of a new state law that cross-references winners with recipients of some types of aid.

But the Department of Human Services says many more welfare cases could be ended if what it calls "loopholes" were closed, or if laws were altered or expanded.

The Department of Human Services on Monday issued a report that covers findings from April through December 2012.

It relates to a law signed last April that requires the state to match a list of those who win $1,000 or more in the lottery with current DHS assistance recipients.

Certain programs — including food assistance, cash assistance and some types of Medicaid programs — have established asset limits and testing of those assets.

But other welfare programs don't have asset testing — including certain child development and care programs, along with some types of Medicaid programs.
The Department of Human Services says that more than 2,000 cases involving lottery winners or other members of their household remain open because certain welfare benefits are not covered by asset tests.

"It's inconceivable that this is what the legislature had in mind when passing those laws in 2012," Maura Corrigan, Michigan's DHS director, said in a statement. "With the match system, we can now identify substantial winnings, but the loopholes that allow lottery winners to continue to collect various benefits need to be closed, through amending state and federal law and policy."

DHS officials said data indicates nearly 14 percent of all lottery winners are either welfare recipients themselves or reside in a household with welfare recipients. The report said 3,544 lottery winners identified as welfare recipients or residing with recipients between April 2012 and December 2012 accounted for more than $24 million in lottery winnings, an average of $6,800 per case.

A press release Monday from DHS said it "will advocate remedies" to make sure benefits from taxpayer-supported programs go to people who are "truly in need."

From the DHS statement: "To that end, DHS will seek changes in federal laws and policy where persons who 'purchase and prepare food separately' are considered distinct groups even though they reside in the same home, thus allowing a lottery winner to have an individual case isolated from other household members."

The change in Michigan law was sparked in part by news that a Bay County man continued to receive food assistance after winning $2 million in the "Make Me Rich!" Lottery game in 2010.

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33 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by psykomo.
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United States
Member #130820
July 25, 2012
1636 Posts
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Posted: April 16, 2013, 9:46 am - IP Logged

I thought Michigan was a welfare to work state...Im wondering if they could take the winnings from the players who are on welfare or a percentage of the winnings to payback some or all of the received welfare??

    dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
    Oklahoma
    United States
    Member #82391
    November 12, 2009
    5406 Posts
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    Posted: April 16, 2013, 9:55 am - IP Logged

    WTG...."A Michigan agency has removed more than 500 lottery winners from certain welfare programs because of a new state law that cross-references winners with recipients of some types of aid."Thumbs Up

    Now they just need to amend state laws to apply to ALL benefits.

    I Love Pink & Green 1908

      ShowMeTheMoney$'s avatar - Lottery-050.jpg

      United States
      Member #140530
      March 21, 2013
      119 Posts
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      Posted: April 16, 2013, 10:44 am - IP Logged

      It's a shame the welfare recipients don't do the right thing and get off the program themselves if they win the lottery.  I guess it's human nature.  People are greedy and want money for nothing.

        noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
        Bay Area/ California
        United States
        Member #136482
        December 12, 2012
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        Posted: April 16, 2013, 11:27 am - IP Logged

        It's a shame the welfare recipients don't do the right thing and get off the program themselves if they win the lottery.  I guess it's human nature.  People are greedy and want money for nothing.

        If one is on Welfare and they win $1000.00 does that you have to get off the program? It would seem that is what the hubbub is all about. A thousand dollars does not get you far in this society.
        Now if one is a multi millionaire- absolutely you ought to be kicked off welfare.


          United States
          Member #130820
          July 25, 2012
          1636 Posts
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          Posted: April 16, 2013, 12:38 pm - IP Logged

          If one is on Welfare and they win $1000.00 does that you have to get off the program? It would seem that is what the hubbub is all about. A thousand dollars does not get you far in this society.
          Now if one is a multi millionaire- absolutely you ought to be kicked off welfare.

          That's why I said just make them pay some and or all of it back

            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
            Bay Area/ California
            United States
            Member #136482
            December 12, 2012
            2059 Posts
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            Posted: April 16, 2013, 1:00 pm - IP Logged

            That's why I said just make them pay some and or all of it back

            The reason  many are on welfare is because they trying to make ends meet.For those truly on welfare because of hardships- l can only imagine having an extra grand to cover some expenses does not equate to being loaded.
            If you were living on the streets and figured out that on a daily basis you made $60.00 Mr  billion- if you somehow ended up with $100.00 at the end of the day- would you give some stranger back $40.00 the next day or say" lm only collecting $20.00 today and then lm done cause l have reached my max?"
            Don't answer that- l know what your answer would be.

              ShowMeTheMoney$'s avatar - Lottery-050.jpg

              United States
              Member #140530
              March 21, 2013
              119 Posts
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              Posted: April 16, 2013, 1:25 pm - IP Logged

              If one is on Welfare and they win $1000.00 does that you have to get off the program? It would seem that is what the hubbub is all about. A thousand dollars does not get you far in this society.
              Now if one is a multi millionaire- absolutely you ought to be kicked off welfare.

              I Agree! 

              Small jackpots really don't help these people.  But, if you won $100,000 or more (and are still on welfare)....SHAME ON YOU!!!! No No

                Avatar
                Kentucky
                United States
                Member #32652
                February 14, 2006
                5513 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: April 16, 2013, 1:44 pm - IP Logged

                A Michigan agency has removed more than 500 lottery winners from certain welfare programs because of a new state law that cross-references winners with recipients of some types of aid.

                But the Department of Human Services says many more welfare cases could be ended if what it calls "loopholes" were closed, or if laws were altered or expanded.

                The Department of Human Services on Monday issued a report that covers findings from April through December 2012.

                It relates to a law signed last April that requires the state to match a list of those who win $1,000 or more in the lottery with current DHS assistance recipients.

                Certain programs — including food assistance, cash assistance and some types of Medicaid programs — have established asset limits and testing of those assets.

                But other welfare programs don't have asset testing — including certain child development and care programs, along with some types of Medicaid programs.
                The Department of Human Services says that more than 2,000 cases involving lottery winners or other members of their household remain open because certain welfare benefits are not covered by asset tests.

                "It's inconceivable that this is what the legislature had in mind when passing those laws in 2012," Maura Corrigan, Michigan's DHS director, said in a statement. "With the match system, we can now identify substantial winnings, but the loopholes that allow lottery winners to continue to collect various benefits need to be closed, through amending state and federal law and policy."

                DHS officials said data indicates nearly 14 percent of all lottery winners are either welfare recipients themselves or reside in a household with welfare recipients. The report said 3,544 lottery winners identified as welfare recipients or residing with recipients between April 2012 and December 2012 accounted for more than $24 million in lottery winnings, an average of $6,800 per case.

                A press release Monday from DHS said it "will advocate remedies" to make sure benefits from taxpayer-supported programs go to people who are "truly in need."

                From the DHS statement: "To that end, DHS will seek changes in federal laws and policy where persons who 'purchase and prepare food separately' are considered distinct groups even though they reside in the same home, thus allowing a lottery winner to have an individual case isolated from other household members."

                The change in Michigan law was sparked in part by news that a Bay County man continued to receive food assistance after winning $2 million in the "Make Me Rich!" Lottery game in 2010.

                "DHS officials said data indicates nearly 14 percent of all lottery winners are either welfare recipients themselves or reside in a household with welfare recipients."

                I'm assuming this means prizes over $600 because there is no paper work to accurately identify those winning smaller prizes.

                "A press release Monday from DHS said it "will advocate remedies" to make sure benefits from taxpayer-supported programs go to people who are "truly in need."

                That's going to be difficult because it was determined they were "truly in need" when the benefit was paid and after the lottery prize is spent, they could be "truly in need" again. On the other hand because they had enough money left over to buy lottery tickets, they were overpaid in the first place.

                When Dateline NBC ran the story on store owners, their relatives, and/or employees winning multiple lottery prizes, it looked to me like the winning tickets were bought by other players for maybe 50 cents on the dollar or less. If the DHS closes all the loop holes, the percentage of store owners, their relatives, and/or employees winning $600 plus prizes will rise because the welfare recipients will sell their winning tickets to them and create a new loop hole.

                  Original Bey's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

                  Bahamas
                  Member #133467
                  September 30, 2012
                  5462 Posts
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                  Posted: April 16, 2013, 3:09 pm - IP Logged

                  Imagine a welfare recipient winning a large jackpot and his/her first check goes to the state as a reimbursement for all funds received over the time on the program. Wow! Can you see the headlines? Side by side photos of the winner with the lotto check and the other with the oversize reimbursement check of funds going back to the state to help others.

                   

                  I think it would send a strong message to the others still on the program to have a sense of accountability, responsibility and appreciation to the taxpayers who fund these ongoing state run initiatives.

                  "Everything works  ONCE!"

                    Avatar
                    New Member
                    Brewerton NY
                    United States
                    Member #117414
                    October 5, 2011
                    2 Posts
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                    Posted: April 16, 2013, 3:46 pm - IP Logged

                    Lots of times people tell their case work about winning but the case worker do not report it because they do not want to do the paper work. 

                    Ok just let me say when I use to live in Michigan and was a single mother going to college. I was on welfare for 4 years, and ask my case work on how I can get some help attaining a washing machine for myself and my child. I was decline several times.  So I work a temp job just for 5 days to buy a washing machine and told my case worker about it.   Well 3 years later I was in court for welfare fraud. It was my word against hers, and you know who the court side with (not me) my case worker never did her job of reporting it.

                     Also a lot of these case workers only there family on welfare get everything or they make up false case to get money for themselves.

                      Avatar
                      Baton Rouge, LA
                      United States
                      Member #4602
                      May 7, 2004
                      576 Posts
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                      Posted: April 16, 2013, 10:21 pm - IP Logged

                      Lots of times people tell their case work about winning but the case worker do not report it because they do not want to do the paper work. 

                      Ok just let me say when I use to live in Michigan and was a single mother going to college. I was on welfare for 4 years, and ask my case work on how I can get some help attaining a washing machine for myself and my child. I was decline several times.  So I work a temp job just for 5 days to buy a washing machine and told my case worker about it.   Well 3 years later I was in court for welfare fraud. It was my word against hers, and you know who the court side with (not me) my case worker never did her job of reporting it.

                       Also a lot of these case workers only there family on welfare get everything or they make up false case to get money for themselves.

                      I am sorry to hear about that. I hope everything worked out for you. I once worked in a welfare office as a caseworker and I believe your story. We had a very high turnover of caseworkers in my office in fact, they'd hire 15-30 every month, most of whom didn't stay long. Most treated the job as a survival job or just a stepping stone to something better. Many were lax in doing their jobs and most didn't care. 

                      I'm sure there are some good caseworkers out there and in fact, there were many in my office who were diligent in doing their jobs, but there were just as many who weren't. Not all of it was the workers though, after I moved to administration, I found out it wasn't much better at the management level. The main thing was not missing deadline, and many workers cut corners and supervisors turned a blind eye do it. When workers have just too many cases, that is the only way to get them done timely.

                      On the original topic, I think lottery income should be counted against welfare benefits. I once worked in a nursing home where there were numerous elderly medicaid recipients and additional income was counted against their benefits. One example I can think of was a resident who had been divorced from her husband for many years and never remarried. He died and she became eligible for social security through him, but it wasn't found out until well almost 2 years later. The result was she ended up getting a social security check for $10,000 in back benefits. Her medicaid was cut off and she had to pay privately until all the money was spent down until she fell within the asset limits. The same should happen with welfare money and the lottery.

                      We did once have a welfare recipient win the lottery. She reported it and of course we had to close her case. It was in the hundreds of thousand she won and I don't know if she ever got back on welfare or not.

                      Prisoner Six

                      "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

                        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                        -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                        United States
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                        Posted: April 16, 2013, 10:41 pm - IP Logged

                        It's a shame the welfare recipients don't do the right thing and get off the program themselves if they win the lottery.  I guess it's human nature.  People are greedy and want money for nothing.

                        "People are greedy and want money for nothing."

                        And their chicks for free.


                                                                     
                                             
                                                                 

                         

                         

                         

                         

                                                                                                                           

                        "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

                         

                         

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                          United States
                          Member #122696
                          February 6, 2012
                          202 Posts
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                          Posted: April 16, 2013, 11:22 pm - IP Logged

                          Technically if you win the lottery the welfare money you would be collecting your own money. I have said this before, but I will say it again, the same lottery winners that collect welfare that people talk smack about have probably paid more in taxes from their winnings than all of you combined and are paying for a lot of you guy's and your family's benefits that you are collecting. The amount that they would get back via welfare is a pittance to what they paid out in taxes when they collected. 

                          If you won as little as $150,000 for example and paid out say $60,000 in taxes, and got maybe $200 a month or so in welfare, it would take 25 years to recoup that amount. Almost everone in this country gets some sort of "welfare", whether it be corporate tax breaks, tax abatements, homestead credits, the list is neverending. 

                          The truth is the guy that won the lottery and still collects welfare 99% of the time has contributed more to society than you ever will. I pay a healthy 5 figures just in property taxes alone every year and I am not complaining about these people, so not sure why the rest of you do. 

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                            New Member
                            Las Vegas
                            United States
                            Member #141535
                            April 17, 2013
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                            Posted: April 17, 2013, 1:13 am - IP Logged

                            Yeah, that's nice, you need assistance to pay your bills and/or you don't work, but have money to spend on lotto tickets. Just like the homeless here in Vegas going from car to car at the intersections...they have no money for food, but have money for cigarettes. Confused