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  • Freeloaders on Safety Net Programs Double Dip to Get Thousands in Taxpayer Dollars

    In July, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report showing that, as many Americans suspect, there are places where government safety net programs are abused and ripe for reform.

    GAO focuses on two programs, unemployment insurance (UI) and disability insurance (DI), and the “double dippers” who collect payments from both.

    The UI and DI programs were designed to help two different populations, both of whom are without incomes: UI supports workers who have been laid off and are looking for jobs, while DI supports individuals with a physical or mental impairment that prevents or limits their ability to earn a living.

    Double dippers draw from both UI and DI for income, having found a way to have “the government replace a portion of their lost earnings not once, but twice,” as GAO explains. By design, a person should not be drawing from both programs: A condition of UI is to be seeking employment, whereas the condition of DI is to be unable to work.

    Take the case of a woman who collected a cool $62,000 in combined government payouts through DI and UI while managing to work and collect another $7,000 in income. Her DI benefits were based on a malady from the classification of “Affective Disorders and Substance Addiction Disorders (Drugs).”As of April, she was still collecting $2,377 a month in DI benefits while the Social Security Administration reviews her case.

    A second individual admitted to defrauding both the UI and DI programs by working construction while collecting benefits. Ironically, his initial disability benefit was awarded due to a back ailment. Most amazing is the fact that his UI payments were drawn from four different states, showing true determination to stay on the public dole. As of April, he, too, was still receiving disability payments for back problems—while doing construction, mind you.

    Trustees for the 2012 DI trust fund report that it will be exhausted by 2016, two years sooner than predicted in the 2011 report. The UI trust funds are not in any better shape; most state UI trust funds are so depleted that they continue to make payments only because of loans from the federal government.

    Going after the kinds of fraud detailed in the GAO report is important, but that alone will not wring enough savings to get DI or other entitlement programs on solid footing. Common-sense reforms can be made that direct income support to those who need it. Heritage analyst David John gives an example: Stop sending Social Security benefits to millionaires’ kids.

    We live in a country where 49 percent pay no federal income tax. The 51 percent of Americans who shoulder the responsibility of supporting these growing federal programs that teeter on insolvency should listen carefully to the debate on federal spending and reforming social safety net programs. For those who truly need these programs, and for those who pay the taxes to sustain them, there is no room for $62,000 payments to double dippers or benefits to the mega-wealthy.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Freeloaders on Safety Net Programs Double Dip to Get Thousands in Taxpayer Dollars

    1. KJinAZ says:

      So we now pay drug addicts as a disability. I'm sorry but self induced problems are not the responsibility of people. The growth in DI benefits must stop. The government should not be paying everyone who has a hangnail to not work. The coverage list needs to be overhauled, and the facts the people claim need verification. There is no excuse for these flagrant cases of fraud other than lack of intelligent oversight. We have computers today that should be able to stop most of these problems, if they are used correctly. Throw out the upper management in both departments and start over. Lock up those that are found cheating within the government, and make any of the citizens who made false claims pay back the money they received from the fraud. This would go a long way toward stopping this problem.

    2. Bobbie says:

      Why isn't fraud handled more seriously? From the social workers who let it happen to the ones that got the advantage! Where's the reprimand? When did this lackadaisical welfare system begin? It should be more strict today then in the last century and if this country was governed properly there wouldn't be the government dependency there is today or ever! Cheats need to learn that cheats aren't acceptable and are unacceptable.

      • muskegonlibertarian says:

        We have the computer technology to catch these frauds, but that requires that different agencies be able to access the data, which is another problem as unless orders are given from "above", they won't do it on their own. We have the same problem with our "security agencies" too. Records could be "shared", but again that requires action by Congress and the President. This is a good example of how "divided command" creates these sort of problems. Of course there are those who don't want an "unified command structure" for fear that allowing the feds to gather this sort of information and share it among all agencies concerned will lead to "Big Brother Government"…

    3. @drfredc says:

      Oh, get over it. Freebie abuse is covered in the first few Articles of the Bill of Lefts.

      1. Thou shall be secure in the faith that government will take care of you. Everything is free as long as you don’t work for it. So you are best off not working at all or as little as possible.
      2. Government shall never take away anything it gives you. However, it may take away anything you earn on your own.
      3. There shall be plenty of mandates on the other guy. You are safe as long as you choose do as little as possible — then government will not ask you to do anything in return. Whatever you do, don’t ever think about employing someone.
      4. Bubbas who hang out together can get most anything they want as long as they promise to vote for left wing Democrats.
      5. Government can always raise taxes on the rich because success is just not fair no matter what the tax rate.
      6. Deficits are a part of life, but that is only a problem for those with money. If the government gives you a credit card for health care or anything, use it as much as you want. The more you use it, the more free things you can expect to get with it in the future.

      Google Bill of Lefts — drfredc for the full listing of the Bill of Lefts… This stuff ain't rocket science — it's been pretty much the SOP for quite some time. Some are slower to pick up on it than others…

    4. Ardell Nagle says:

      People need help from time to time, but I have no respect for those who abuse the system!! We need better safeguards against these abuses and I hope Washington will work on those!!

    5. Todd says:

      Just like Obama wants it.

    6. Pete Green says:

      We have elections coming up and those in Congress and the White House that have refused to address these problems should their employment terminated. If they are allowed to remain in office it shows the country that it's O.K. to cheat the system. As a nation drowing in debt this kind of abuse, along with other form s of fraud and deception cannot be tolerated financially or morally.

    7. Norma says:

      There is a perfect solution to this problem . . . and it is GUARANTEED to work: ELIMINATE all entitlement programs except for the mentally challenged and the elderly!!! Think of the money we would save: vast reduction in over-paid employees, no more absorbinent office maintenance expenses, no more excessive supplies expense = no more wasting of taxpayer dollars!!!

      I know that it would be cruel and unusual punishment to the devious users, but if "the milk cow goes dry," they will have to find another source of income OR go to work like the rest of us OR starve to death . . . THEIR choice!!! And quite frankly, it is quickly becoming "me" or "them", and when I can't take care of "me" anymore, I sure can't take care of "them!"

    8. Norma says:

      There is a perfect solution to this problem . . . and it is GUARANTEED to work: ELIMINATE all entitlement programs except for the mentally challenged and the elderly!!! Think of the money we would save: vast reduction in over-paid employees, no more absorbinent office maintenance expenses, no more excessive supplies expense = no more wasting of taxpayer dollars!!!

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