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Maine moves to disqualify lottery winners from receiving food stamps

Maine LotteryMaine Lottery: Maine moves to disqualify lottery winners from receiving food stamps
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The Maine Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday announced a new rule to ban food stamps for major lottery and gambling winners.

The new rule allows for the immediate termination of benefits when a welfare recipient collects winnings of $5,000 or more in one calendar month, the department announced in a press release. The prize will continue to count as an asset that could disqualify a person from welfare under the asset limits recently adopted by the LePage administration.

A law passed this year bars people from spending welfare money on lottery tickets, tobacco, liquor and bail. And in January the department introduced asset testing that requires people who apply for food stamps to disclose their assets. If assets exceed $5,000, some applicants are ineligible for benefits.

"This rule is consistent with recent Congressional reforms regarding the food stamp program and lottery winnings designed to ensure that this taxpayer funded benefit is appropriately supporting those who truly need the welfare assistance," DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said in a prepared statement. "Just like when we limited the amount of assets someone could have while receiving welfare benefits, this change ensures individuals are not using the program when they don't need it. It allows taxpayers to have faith in the system and know their tax dollars are going where they are most needed."

The department found that since 2015 there were 4,856 winning tickets of $1,000 or more that were cashed by 3,685 individuals who were receiving food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits or MaineCare at the time they won. The winners received more than $22 million in prizes while on welfare programs, according to the department.

"In no way, shape or form should taxpayers be asked to foot the bill for someone who is gambling and winning huge amounts of money," Mayhew said. "Welfare benefits shouldn't be used for gambling or lottery, and someone who beats the long odds and 'wins big' shouldn't continue receiving assistance while he or she has that money. Along with our recent ban on using welfare benefits to purchase lottery tickets, this rule makes sure that taxpayers aren't subsidizing gambling or giving benefits to those who have other means."

Assets considered when determining eligibility for welfare programs include the balance of bank accounts, snowmobiles, boats, motorcycles, jet skis, all-terrain vehicles, recreational vehicles, campers and other valuables. Assets considered do not include equity in a home or a household's primary vehicle.

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10 comments. Last comment 1 month ago by Dd2160.
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Simpsonville
United States
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January 22, 2015
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Posted: October 25, 2016, 10:52 am - IP Logged

Good for the state of Maine.  Not too long ago a winner on EBT in MA won a million dollars.  Let's not forget that MI winner but she met an untimely death due to drugs if I remember correctly.  She was receiving benefits too, right?

 

In Indiana on the ATM machines there is a sign forbidding using assistance funding from getting money in the casino. 

 

With all the technology abounding, it would be an easy fix to prevent some forms of abuse, but folks always seem to find a way around it.

    TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
    A long and winding road
    United States
    Member #17084
    June 10, 2005
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    Posted: October 25, 2016, 10:53 am - IP Logged

    contingent on time frame of allocation the needy person could be without food for quite a bit.

    The federal govt plays apart in food provisions for this program. The states need to be mindful of this when creating such new guidelines. They may receive less federal funding....

    Lottery and Welfare are two separate entities. 

    Agree that cutting down on fraud is necessary...

    ~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

     Thanks be to the giving numbers: 1621,912,119 02014

      Drenick1's avatar - villiarna
      USA
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      February 25, 2014
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      Posted: October 25, 2016, 12:31 pm - IP Logged

      Didn't realize that if assets exceed $5,000 that would disqualify many from food stamps. I find it ridiculous that the state wants to cut off aid if someone wins $1,000. I could see $100,000 win being a disqualifier but give me a break for wanting to cut someone off for winning a thousand or two.

        MaximumMillions's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg

        Germany
        Member #164603
        March 8, 2015
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        Posted: October 25, 2016, 1:06 pm - IP Logged

        Didn't realize that if assets exceed $5,000 that would disqualify many from food stamps. I find it ridiculous that the state wants to cut off aid if someone wins $1,000. I could see $100,000 win being a disqualifier but give me a break for wanting to cut someone off for winning a thousand or two.

        They lose their claim to welfare at 5,000$ win in a month, says so in the 2nd(?) paragraph.

        At a 1,000$ threshold it would just create more back log in applications.

        Nolege is power.

          music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
          Happy California
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          August 2, 2014
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          Posted: October 25, 2016, 1:47 pm - IP Logged

          Good for the state of Maine.  Not too long ago a winner on EBT in MA won a million dollars.  Let's not forget that MI winner but she met an untimely death due to drugs if I remember correctly.  She was receiving benefits too, right?

           

          In Indiana on the ATM machines there is a sign forbidding using assistance funding from getting money in the casino. 

           

          With all the technology abounding, it would be an easy fix to prevent some forms of abuse, but folks always seem to find a way around it.

          Bleudog101, The Michigan woman's name was Amanda Clayton. She did not have to do the grip and grin photo shoot but she looked like a beautiful, young woman. She was only 25. 

           She won $1,000,000.00 but forgot to notify the food stamp and public assistance office. She was sentenced to nine months of probation.

           She had other personal problems.

           She died from a drug overdose.

            Rest in Peace.

           I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

           Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

            Think's avatar - lightbulb
            Marquette, MI
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            Member #20541
            August 20, 2005
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            Posted: October 25, 2016, 1:49 pm - IP Logged

            Now I get why the Powerball Prize structure is the way it is.  Powerball is the game for people on welfare and food stamps.  Why risk winning $5k on Mega?  I now see the logic of the  Powerball prize structures.

              LottoAce's avatar - WWI Flying_Ace.gif
              N.C.
              United States
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              October 28, 2007
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              Posted: October 25, 2016, 4:03 pm - IP Logged

              maybe if there was a better educational system/job market in this country,
              no one would even need government assistance?
              except for the fully disabled.

              "know your limitations, but excede your expectations"

                Avatar
                USA
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                Member #172127
                January 16, 2016
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                Posted: October 26, 2016, 7:18 am - IP Logged

                I can see taking away their Food Stamps for a month or so on a 5K win depending on family size, how long is the 5K suppose to last? DUH not very Long! 

                I'm surprised It took them this long to catch up with the Stupid State of Arizona, when I received my Disability Back Pay and the State was done with me I couldn't afford a Place to live and after that I made $2 a month too much to qualify for any type of State Aid, what was I supposed to live on for 4yrs while waiting for my Disability?

                What other Hope do People THAT REALLY NEED FINANCIAL HELP SUPPOSED TO DO SO what if they buy a $1-$2 Lotto ticket now an than If they WIN they can get off welfare and they SHOULD LEAVE IT FOR THOSE THAT TRULY NEED IT!

                HAPPY HOLIDAYS, BE SAFE & GOOD LUCK Y'ALL Sad Wavey

                  Dd2160's avatar - hiro dolphin.jpg
                  Allentown, Brookyn, Pa, Ny
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                  October 22, 2012
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                  Posted: October 27, 2016, 6:00 pm - IP Logged

                  Didn't realize that if assets exceed $5,000 that would disqualify many from food stamps. I find it ridiculous that the state wants to cut off aid if someone wins $1,000. I could see $100,000 win being a disqualifier but give me a break for wanting to cut someone off for winning a thousand or two.

                  I Agree! 

                  That the dumbest thing!

                  $1000 is sooooooo much money if you have four kids thats just coats boots and may be an few outfits and that money is DONE!!!

                  Smile

                    Dd2160's avatar - hiro dolphin.jpg
                    Allentown, Brookyn, Pa, Ny
                    United States
                    Member #134253
                    October 22, 2012
                    5451 Posts
                    Online
                    Posted: October 27, 2016, 6:03 pm - IP Logged

                    Bleudog101, The Michigan woman's name was Amanda Clayton. She did not have to do the grip and grin photo shoot but she looked like a beautiful, young woman. She was only 25. 

                     She won $1,000,000.00 but forgot to notify the food stamp and public assistance office. She was sentenced to nine months of probation.

                     She had other personal problems.

                     She died from a drug overdose.

                      Rest in Peace.

                    Wait you can go to jail...wow thats serious now!!! R I P TO HER!!

                    Smile