I am reminded of an incident that happened two weeks ago as I was reading this article. I guess it was over a year ago that an ex-offender got out of prison with almost five years of paper. She applied for emergency food stamps and on the on line application checked the box ‘felon’. This I know because I saw it happen.
She was called up within a day or two and given an interview for food stamps and the bureaucrat qualified her for food stamps. She held that qualification for 7 or 8 months and then it was terminated. Well, it appears that if you have certain drug charges that you are not supposed to receive food stamps or any type of assistance based on or associated with federal aid.
Two weeks ago she got a letter in the mail stating she had taken over $2,200 in food stamps aid illegally which was fraud and she would be prosecuted by the federal government unless she paid in full over the next 30 days. Obviously she does not have the money and she stands a good chance of being violated because she got cross wise with the law. Not only could she be violated to finish her sentence in state courts but she could end up going to prison for a new charge for the feds after she finishes her sentence
Now, on the surface that sounds very appropriate. However, her case was reviewed by 12 bureaucrats since it was opened. She asked about extended payments and was given a very abrupt answer that it was her fault.
For some reason, it was brought to the manager’s attention while she was there and he said that he had reviewed her case and said they were in the wrong as 12 people had reviewed the case and it was not until the 13 person in the review process that it was caught. He said she had done everything correctly and the only thing he could do was apologize for the agency.
He did write a request for extended payment plan but he said there was precious little chance it would pass.
Now, it takes less than five minutes (I timed myself doing it) to find out what her charges were and I am not a bureaucrat administering a program with strict federal guidelines to find an obvious fault. Nothing will happen to any one of those 12 bureaucrats but one person can end up back in prison for this problem and it will cost us over $100,000 for the remainder of her sentence because it was not in the vested interest of those bureaucrats to exercise a modicum of quality control.
Now, someone tell me, just what chances does a young mother with a child and an average of a sixth grade education getting out of prison know about the laws surrounding food stamps who properly fills out an application.
Most women in these circumstances get out with less than $100 in gate money and no functional support system. However, as I was told several years ago: KC, don’t you get it, the only people waiting for us when we get out are our pimps and drug dealers.
Follow this link to the base story: Gov’t paid $600 million in benefits to dead people