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Old 01-26-2013, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been having a discussion in the parenting forum about welfare programs and it has gotten into a fraud debate. Since this involves parenting choices and money management, I think it should be in a general forum. So ...



Please keep to the topic, and keep responses respectful.


Let's look at a hypothetical case. Someone uses food stamps to buy lobster.

Even if it's for a *very* special occasion, is it also fraud? Special occasions can be celebrated without lobster.

And, if the rest of the week's or month's food is able to be purchased, should that family qualify for assistance?

So, is it fraud? Please state why you believe it is or isn't.


Edited to add :

I've been told pet food is not covered. I'm not sure about alocohols.

Additional question.
Should lobster be restricted, in your opinion?
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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If it's *very* special, and therefore very rate to buy something this expensive, I'd say fine.  There are a lot of inexpensive groceries that are eligible, but they're nutritionally unsound and IMO even more wasteful.

 

There is a lot of latitude even within a benefit allotment for using the remaining balance after having bought a luxury item.  Bulk foods such as rice and beans, pasta, etc., are less expensive than many allowable items; they can take up the economic slack, and I'm not about to bash a family living within an allotment.

 

Eligibility for a program like this does not mean a family must never have the chance to enjoy an indulgence.


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Old 01-26-2013, 02:30 PM
 
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That particular case--using food stamps to buy lobster--certainly isn't fraud. I've never been on food stamps, but as far as I know lobster isn't something restricted, like beer, tobacco, alcohol etc. are. It might not be the most budget-conscious choice, but unless there are strict guidelines regarding what food items you can and cannot purchase with food stamps (like there is on WIC) then nope, not fraud. I think that food-stamp related fraud occurs more when people sell their food stamps for cash to use on lord knows what (drugs come to mind.) Or when applicants lie about their income or hide assets in order to qualify.


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Old 01-26-2013, 02:33 PM
 
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Please keep to the topic, and keep responses respectful.


Let's look at a hypothetical case. Someone uses food stamps to buy lobster.

Even if it's for a *very* special occasion, is it also fraud? Special occasions can be celebrated without lobster.

And, if the rest of the week's or month's food is able to be purchased, should that family qualify for assistance?

So, is it fraud? Please state why you believe it is or isn't.

I'd be more concerned if this person were buying alcohol and cigarettes with food stamps. Lobster is food, and much healthier than doritos or donuts. Depending on what part of the country you're in, lobster price per pound is around the same as a pretty decent cut of red meat. In Massachusetts, you can get a 1-2 lb lobster at around $8-9 per pound on average. Obviously the price fluctuates with the seasons. I'd rather that person spend their money on nutritious food as opposed to junk. So, I'm ok with this scenario. I've never had food stamps before, but I understand that you get a certain amount allotted per month and when it's gone, it's gone. Right? If so, if that person wants to be spending a lot of money on nutritious, yet pricey food, and it runs out before the next allottment, then I guess that's their problem. Aren't there items that are off-limits anyways? I don't see a problem with buying a lobster or two for a special occasion, at most, a few times a year. But, how does one prove it is happening that infrequent? How does the state know what a person is buying? I know with WIC you have a set list of items and are given checks specifically indicating what there for on the check. Are food stamps similar? Ah, I just remembered this. A friend of mine gets food stamps and I was over her house the other day. Her kids were with their dad for the weekend. Anyway, we were talking for a bit and she said, I'm sorry, I'd offer you something to eat, but were pretty much out of groceries... my food stamps ran out early because of Christmas. So, I guess it's safe to assume that what I wrote above is correct?


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Old 01-26-2013, 02:36 PM
 
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Even if the person chose to buy lobster every single month using food stamps, I don't think anyone could accuse them of fraud. Poor money management, sure, but that is really none of my business.


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Old 01-26-2013, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is interesting!

I did have a preconceived belief that lobster is extremely pricey. I suppose it really matters where you live! Some places, it would be reasonable.

Ok. Let's see what others think.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:57 PM
 
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No, not fraud. Fraud would be somehow cheating the system by buying prohibited items, selling food stamp EBT cards to buy other things, lying about income or assets on your application... that kind of thing.

Buying lobster is just poor money management. Or perhaps that person had a good month with lower bills than usual, or got some gift money, and so was able to splurge on the lobster. Or they bought a cart full of cheap junk so that they could afford the lobster.

Not the same choice I'd make, but as long as they are buying food with their food stamps, and are able to stick to their budget, then exactly what they buy is kind of irrelevant.

I guess the only exception would be, if that person splurged on lobster and then, specifically because of that splurge, ran out of grocery money and needed help from a food pantry or soup kitchen. Then, if they did this knowingly, I'd say it might be an abuse of the system. If they did it by accident, didn't realize how much it would impact their budget, then they'd probably benefit from some financial education.

Interestingly, management of personal finances is one of the most critical life skills in this era -- yet it is not taught in schools, and many parents are ill-equipped to teach these skills to their children themselves.

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Old 01-26-2013, 03:02 PM
 
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I absolutely agree that budgeting an money management is a skill not often taught to children by their families (mine didn't teach me!) or by the schools (I think we learned how to balance a checkbook, but that's it!) I had to learn the hard way--sink or swim fashion, and I did so during some boom times in the early 2000's, so I had access to lines of credit that I had no business getting and racked up 25k worth of high interest CC debt. I've since paid it all off, and doing so was a VERY good lesson in money management.


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Old 01-26-2013, 03:15 PM
 
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This is interesting!

I did have a preconceived belief that lobster is extremely pricey. I suppose it really matters where you live! Some places, it would be reasonable.

Ok. Let's see what others think.

I've also seen lobster at almost $18/pound here in the south. Haven't checked recently, however, as it is not something I buy often.

 

Back to the discussion...


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Old 01-26-2013, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree about the money management and think that would make another good thread!

Back to welfare fraud ..

Senario 2

A family lives together with one person receiving disability payments, though shows no signs of being disabled. Let's assume this person had a job that involved heavy lifting and has a back injury. That would still have other job options available.

So ...

Should the person collect disability? Should the person be retrained for a different kind of job and be required to work (having received assistance during the retraining process)?

What do you think?
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:36 PM
 
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Senario 2

A family lives together with one person receiving disability payments, though shows no signs of being disabled. Let's assume this person had a job that involved heavy lifting and has a back injury. That would still have other job options available.

So ...

Should the person collect disability? Should the person be retrained for a different kind of job and be required to work (having received assistance during the retraining process)?

What do you think?

Permanent disability or short-term?

If the person above filed for short-term disability, it seems unreasonable to expect them to train for a new job when they should be back to work within a year or two (as in, by the time they are done training lol). Plus short-term disability is often structured as insurance rather than strictly a public welfare program.

OK, so permanent disability... I believe this should be (and is) determined on a case-by-case basis. For someone who has hurt their back, not only do they need to avoid jobs with heavy lifting, but they may also need to avoid sedentary work (desk jobs). I don't even have a back injury and right now my back is killing me from sitting in my chair for the last 20mins! And standing in one place (cashiering) might also be unmanageable. So I think it's very possible that someone in the above scenario would have a hard time working a huge array of jobs, depending on the nature of their injury.

If it is possible for this person to physically work another job, then he wouldn't likely be approved for disability. If their injury was temporary, they also wouldn't be approved for disability. From what I've researched, it's actually pretty hard to get approved for permanent disability, and most applicants are denied initially (sometimes several times) and have to go through lengthy court processes, have multiple medical reports, etc. before they are approved. I believe that if they are capable of working some kind of job -- any job -- then they usually can't collect disability.

But yes, in theory, I would think that the first course of action should be to provide assistance and training in an alternate job if they were capable of doing it (physically/mentally/etc.) I don't think this is something you can tell by looking at someone though... lots of people struggle severely but to all appearances seem perfectly healthy and able to work. Disabled doesn't always "look" a certain way.

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Old 01-26-2013, 04:04 PM
 
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Buying a luxury food is not fraud.

 

There are LOTS of stupid choices one can make while using food stamps.  There are LOTS of way to gut your food budget if you have a low income whether you get food stamps or not.  There are worse food values out there than lobster.  Many families buy soda by the case with food stamps, and go through a few per week.  I think that is worse than buying lobster with food stamps.

 

Organic foods are mostly a luxury I cannot afford.  They are a luxury item.  Many, many people buy them with food stamps.  I think it is a greater luxury to buy everything organic all month than to indulge in a fancy dinner twice per month, and certainly much more costly.

 

I could make a long list of grocery items I consider frivolous and wasteful.  Some would be perceived as poor people's cheap food, some would be excessively packaged and promoted, and some would be associated with wealthier people's options. 

 

I have strong opinions about what makes a responsible grocery budget.  My list might be different from yours.  My list might be different from some welfare recipients' lists.  But they should get to use their own lists!  Some welfare recipients may make lots of stupid grocery choices, some may run out of food money the first week of the month.  They may spend the last two weeks of every month living on crackers and hot dogs and mac and cheese and then get so excited when they finally have money that they get some silly fancy thing like lobster to celebrate after all of the unhappiness of their deprivation.

 

I'd rather the government not decide too much what is and isn't stupid, nor should the government disallow the purchase of organic food or brand name foods because they are more expensive, nor should we try to make a law against lobster and steak.  Let people make their own choices. 


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Old 01-26-2013, 04:32 PM
 
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I agree about the money management and think that would make another good thread!

Back to welfare fraud ..

Senario 2

A family lives together with one person receiving disability payments, though shows no signs of being disabled. Let's assume this person had a job that involved heavy lifting and has a back injury. That would still have other job options available.

So ...

Should the person collect disability? Should the person be retrained for a different kind of job and be required to work (having received assistance during the retraining process)?

What do you think?

 

OK, anyone who has an on-the-job injury, after treatment and some form of recovery, has to return to work. The doctor is the one who can determine at what level. Let's say this person's doctor says patient can only return to light duty for x period of time. The employer has to come up with some sort of light duty job... anything... sweeping floors, desk job, whatever. If it is determined that there is absolutely nothing else for this person to do, then the employer indicates as much and the doctor puts the patient at no duty. At that point a case manager gets involved and follows the patient through subsequent treatment options, etc to get him/her back to work. If patient does not recover after all attempts are made, then a patient gets put on disability. Disclaimer... I used to work in an orthopaedic office and half the patients were work comp. Anyway, now let's say the patient is put at no work and gets disability, and this goes on for a while, patient shows no signs of improvement, etc and is deemed permanently disabled. It is a doctor's duty to do and offer everything he/she can to help this person recover. If no recovery occurs and there is no other type of employment available, then patient can't work. They are disabled. Sorry, that was repetitive. OK, then, it is discovered that the patient really is ok and can do pretty much anything they were able to do before accident/injury. Should that person collect disability after tricking everyone? No. These people are caught. At my old job, people have been caught because the work comp insurance carrier, for whatever reason, decides to hire a private investigator to investigate the patient. This means they go undercover and videotape the patient at home, the store, anywhere they are while they are performing duties that supposedly they are unable to do. Busted!!! I have seen this many times. They get in pretty serious trouble for this.

 

I feel that a person should be compensated for an on-the-job injury especially if they had some horrendous accident. I've seen some pretty bad things. The employer should do whatever they can to help them recover, provide more training so this person can do something else... all on their dime. If this involves collecting short or long term disability then fine. As long as everything is done to get the patient back on track. If there are scammers out there, they need to be found and disability payments should be revoked.


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Old 01-26-2013, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Senario #2 : I specifically chose a back injury because I've heard this is the easiest injury to scam with. So, there's doubt about the validity of the injury. I agree that there are injuries that should and would result in benefits. I'm not talking about those. I am using the senario of a possible scammer.




Senario #3.

Someone who is employed only two days a week and receiving assistance. Should she be told to work the other three days? If she doesn't look for a five day a week job, is that fraud? She has only older children in this hypothetical situation. The children are 12 or older.

What do you think?



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Old 01-26-2013, 05:23 PM
 
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Senario #3.

Someone who is employed only two days a week and receiving assistance. Should she be told to work the other three days? If she doesn't look for a five day a week job, is that fraud? She has only older children in this hypothetical situation. The children are 12 or older.

What do you think?

If she was upfront about her part-time status, that would not be fraud. If she lied about it, it would be fraud.

As far as whether it's "morally acceptable" for her to not work 5 days a week -- well, II guess it would depend why she was working only part-time. Perhaps she has some kind of disability that makes it hard for her to work every day, or maybe there simply aren't full-time jobs available in her location or her job expertise. Maybe she wants to be more available for her teenagers after school. Maybe she makes a higher hourly wage doing part-time work & it's not financially worth switching to full-time. So no, I don't think she should be forced to work 5 days a week, but it might be worth questioning her reasoning to see if she could be more financially independent with some extra encouragement & support.

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Old 01-26-2013, 05:40 PM
 
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It's only fraud if she is pretending the situation is something else.  As long as she is telling the truth it is not fraud.  If she looks half-heartedly for a job that's a gray area because she may just feel hopeless or discouraged and have been turned away 10 times already, but if she says she is looking when she isn't it is fraud. 

 

 

As for the disability situation: My sister receives disability and it took her several years to go through the process to get it.  She had to offer proof that her physical restrictions left her with no realistic job options.  If she had restrictions only against standing then she would have been expected to seek a job that allowed her to sit and since those are not extremely rare she would have been unqualified.  My sister cannot stand for extended periods and walks with a cane, she cannot sit upright for extended periods either and cannot even drive except for very short distances and she cannot sleep in a flat bed.  It still took her several years of jumping through hoops to get disability. 

 

I am always skeptical when people suggest it's easy to scam the system.   

 

That said it's definitely fraud to act like you are physically unable to work if you are.  But I think the application process does consider jobs in other fields before they will confirm that the disability is significant enough.


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Old 01-26-2013, 05:42 PM
 
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Senario #3.

Someone who is employed only two days a week and receiving assistance. Should she be told to work the other three days? If she doesn't look for a five day a week job, is that fraud? She has only older children in this hypothetical situation. The children are 12 or older.

What do you think?



I probably won't be back until late tonight or tomorrow, but I look forward to the responses.

If she absolutely cannot find more work and can prove as such, yes she should be able to receive assistance all while continuing to look for a new job with more hours, or get more hours at her current job... if they are available. If she *chooses* to not work more than two days a week then perhaps her case needs to be reviewed further and assistance given contigent upon her willingness to help herself.


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Old 01-26-2013, 06:15 PM
 
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I don't think any of the scenarios so far are fraud. There are legal guidelines that determine what fraud is and isn't and they don't meet that. I do think there should be a minimum number of hours each non disabled adult in the household must work or attend school in order to receive food stamps though
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:26 PM
 
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One Girl in my state that is already in place.  I think it is in most places.  For able-bodied adults who do not have young children there is an extremely short time limit for food stamps--three months I think.  You are definitely expected to work.  UNLESS you are the primary caregiver for a young child.

 

Most people on food stamps are employed -- in low wage jobs.


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Old 01-26-2013, 07:15 PM
 
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One Girl in my state that is already in place.  I think it is in most places.  For able-bodied adults who do not have young children there is an extremely short time limit for food stamps--three months I think.  You are definitely expected to work.  UNLESS you are the primary caregiver for a young child.

Most people on food stamps are employed -- in low wage jobs.

I have known many families with only one parent working and I think it should be both (though I am.also fine with one parent working the required minimum number of hours for both). I worked as a single mother recieving food stamps so I see no reason a family with two able bodied parents can't have two parents working.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:03 PM
 
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The questions regarding whether something is fraudulent are relatively straight forward, whether we happen to agree with them or not.  We might disagree whether someone should qualify for public assistance, or use public assistance in questionable ways, but fraud is a specific legal question.  We might disagree whether or not something *should* be against the rules, but if it is not against the rules *now*, then it is not fraud--like it or not.  
 
What I am hearing is -- is it ethical?  Is it moral?  *Should* this be against the rules?
 
I only wish corporate welfare was subject to as much nickel-and-dime scrutiny as welfare recipients in check out lines.

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Old 01-26-2013, 08:50 PM
 
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I have known many families with only one parent working and I think it should be both (though I am.also fine with one parent working the required minimum number of hours for both). I worked as a single mother recieving food stamps so I see no reason a family with two able bodied parents can't have two parents working.

 

They can but I just see no reason they should have to. 

 

If the minimum required is 20 hours one parent working 40 is doing that but I don't think that is how they calculate it--anyhow that would be "as if" one was doing the 20 hours for both. 

 

When we were in this situation, my husband worked 40 hours and sometimes worked overtime up to 60 hours.  He often was called in on holidays or at 5:00 AM or in the evening based upon snow and ice conditions.  So it would have first of all been hard for me to plan around that for another work schedule on top of everything else:  His job was also very physical so he was very tired when he came home and although he helped with children and kitchen he ran out of steam.  Our tiny house was falling apart because it was so tragically cheap and a fixer-upper--we'd bought it before we were surprised with twins--and I was supposed to be making progress with some major improvements.  I did gardening and yard work, we did not have a dryer and I hung all of our laundry outside.  I was breastfeeding twins and had a 5yo.  I had to work on our home because we'd bought this cheap house that was only $233 per month.  (Trying to be responsible.)  But our income was below $15,000 per year (1999) at that time and with bills to be paid and my time completely used up already we did need me home and the food stamps really really helped us.  Even so I did work for a church doing child care only on Sunday so about $20/week for a couple of hours.  If I'd been forced toward "real" employment at that time I think I'd have just given up or collapsed or something.  I was already stretched so thin and I cannot believe that anyone who knew what that time was really like or me could suggest that I was taking advantage or that I should not have been a SAHm at that time.  Before being pushed into a job I'd have given up the food stamps and we'd have probably been a lot worse off--nursing the twins I'd have probably suffered a lot nutritionally but I'd have chosen to suffer.  And yes my children would have suffered but I believe they still would have been better off. 

 

I'm pretty sure we stopped getting food stamps after about 2.5 years.  We still qualified for a little but I hated-hated-hated going to those appointments and we could (just barely) get by after dh had gotten a couple of raises by then.

 

I think a family should make its own decision which type of poverty to be in:  The kind with kids in child care and lots of scrambling and parenting compromises and having your schedule at the mercy of the workplace that thinks you are just expendable labor and whatever else, or the one where the SAHM reduces child care costs and convenience food costs and many many household costs by being a homemaker and accepting the constraints of doing so while very poor with a small boost from food stamps and perhaps gives the other parent greater freedom in his employment schedule by holding down the fort. 

 

The potential value of a homemaker in the struggle against poverty should really not be glossed over.  It can make a tremendous difference in the costs of operating a household if someone can actually give a bit of time and attention to it.   It should be considered serious work and a legitimate vocation instead of some personal indulgence.  It's something virtually unmanageable if you do not have a second income from a partner but if you do and it is too small and food stamps are enough to take the edge off then that's great. 


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Old 01-26-2013, 09:02 PM
 
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We've been having a discussion in the parenting forum about welfare programs and it has gotten into a fraud debate. Since this involves parenting choices and money management, I think it should be in a general forum. So ...



Please keep to the topic, and keep responses respectful.


Let's look at a hypothetical case. Someone uses food stamps to buy lobster.

Even if it's for a *very* special occasion, is it also fraud? Special occasions can be celebrated without lobster.

And, if the rest of the week's or month's food is able to be purchased, should that family qualify for assistance?

So, is it fraud? Please state why you believe it is or isn't.


Edited to add :

I've been told pet food is not covered. I'm not sure about alocohols.

Additional question.
Should lobster be restricted, in your opinion?

I do not care at all what people use their food stamps on (although I am working on the assumption alcohol and cigarettes are not included in food stamps - that food stamps are just for food and perhaps other necessities such as diapers, dish soap, etc)

 

I care that they can feed their kids - if they can use food stamps to buy lobsters and their kids do not go hungry, cool. 

 

I care that they are not defrauding the government in a major way (i.e earning decent money under the table while collecting "food stamps")  

 

Off to read what other people have said.

 

Kathy


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Old 01-26-2013, 09:13 PM
 
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Senario #3.

Someone who is employed only two days a week and receiving assistance. Should she be told to work the other three days? If she doesn't look for a five day a week job, is that fraud? She has only older children in this hypothetical situation. The children are 12 or older.

What do you think?



 

Where I live you must look for work that is sufficient to get off welfare unless you have a good reason not to, or be in some sort of retraining, in order to receive welfare.  

 

If the system she is on allows part time work without retraining/looking for full time work - so be it.  I think that is unlikely in most places, though.  I would imagine she would be told to look for full time work, and I think that is appropriate.  It is fraud if she is lying to the gov't in any way.  


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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Old 01-26-2013, 09:33 PM
 
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My sister used to defraud the welfare system. She traded her food stamps for money to buy drugs. That's fraud. Someone buying something you think is too nice for them to deserve is not fraud. Gosh why do we think that poor people must be punished absolutely all the time for daring to be poor?

 

Fraud is a very specific thing. "I don't like that people get to do ______" has nothing to do with fraud. It may mean that you think the restrictions should be different... but it is not currently anything like fraud.

 

Even the whole "getting your nails done" thing isn't fraud. 

 

I feel grumpy.

 

My aunt has three children. All of them are in their 50's. All of them have been on disability for most of their adult lives. The oldest has Lupus. Let me tell you how much fun her life has been. The middle one was in a motorcycle accident in his late 30's. He's a paraplegic. He still does part-time construction work (driving a tractor) on the side. He doesn't declare all of his income. I'm pretty sure he technically commits fraud but his life is so hardscrabble and pathetic that I wouldn't ever bring myself to report him. He does buy beer but he doesn't even smoke pot any more. His life freaking sucks. The youngest well... him getting disability is kind of weird to me. He has adult onset diabetes and various other vague maladies. I have no idea why he qualifies for disability. I honestly think his problem is that his brain just doesn't work properly. He had a really high fever (106) when he was a baby. He's never been able to function very well. He was a trash man for a while before he threw his back out. When I was in first grade I tried to teach him how to read (he was in his late 30's) and he just... couldn't. 

 

Should folks like them get disability? Well, the alternative is letting them starve in the streets. They literally are not capable of caring for themselves. I don't want to support them. The alternative is the government doing it. Are they commiting fraud? Well, I think that my middle cousin probably earns more money under the table than is legally allowed but he lives in a ridiculously high COL area because his parents bought that house back when poor people were able to do so. Him earning under the table money is the difference between him heating his house all winter and not doing so. If he declares the money he will not only not be able to heat his house he won't be able to eat.

 

I feel like our system should be more graduated. There should be more room for partial benefits as you earn more money. The way we do limits isn't working.

 

In the end I come back to the fact that throughout history any and every society that treats its poor people badly does badly. You can tell the character of a person and a country by how they treat people who cannot defend themselves.

 

Once you are poor you are not allowed to have dignity. You should be ashamed and pathetic at all times--that seems to be the line. How do we expect people to ever change their position in life if we degrade them?


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Old 01-26-2013, 11:01 PM
 
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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One of the things I enjoy about not receiving food stamps is that I can make whatever sacrifices I'm willing to make to buy what I want to buy, without being judged.

I started this thread to take some of the heat off the other thread, not to judge. I hope that's understood.

I understand the frustration of seeing what someone else has and comparing it to what is lacking in my or a friend's life. It can be difficult to remember that a flat screen TV may be the result of a long time of penny pinching. And when it's compared to a much needed operation that can't be afforded, it seems unfair, and can be frustrating. The moral is "stop comparing", but sometimes we slip into the compare habit.

I agree that there is a difference between 'fraud' and 'unethical'. Perhaps, if you have not already done so, you can answer both questions 'is it fraud' and 'is it ethical'.

I hope everyone is getting something from this discussion. And my thanks for keeping things civil.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:06 AM
 
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By and large i am not envious of what people have. I dont own a television. Our cars are 7 year old and they will go till they collapse. My house is small and really crappy for our area. All of my friends have nicer houses.

I like my life more than I would enjoy their lives. Whether my friends are rich or poor I try not to think too hard about the details of their lives. I like people overall. I can't go piece by piece.

People have ethics that don't line up with mine. I don't have any friends who are as whack job about plastic bags the way I am. I bought a box of ziplocks and i wash and reuse them. I'm on seven years with this box and i do a lot of food preseration in the freezer. So I use them. But I'm weird about it because I picked it as a weird point of ethics.

I'm not sure I have the right to sit around and judge whether poor people eating lobster is ethical. Are they committing fraud? No. Is there a rule that says eating shellfish is unethical? Then why should I be judging?

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Old 01-27-2013, 07:25 AM
 
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By and large i am not envious of what people have. I dont own a television. Our cars are 7 year old and they will go till they collapse. My house is small and really crappy for our area. All of my friends have nicer houses.

I like my life more than I would enjoy their lives. Whether my friends are rich or poor I try not to think too hard about the details of their lives. I like people overall. I can't go piece by piece.

People have ethics that don't line up with mine. I don't have any friends who are as whack job about plastic bags the way I am. I bought a box of ziplocks and i wash and reuse them. I'm on seven years with this box and i do a lot of food preseration in the freezer. So I use them. But I'm weird about it because I picked it as a weird point of ethics.

I'm not sure I have the right to sit around and judge whether poor people eating lobster is ethical. Are they committing fraud? No. Is there a rule that says eating shellfish is unethical? Then why should I be judging?

You & I would be good friends IRL, lots of similarities. A yeahthat.gif to everything you said, literally word for word.

I'd say that as long as someone is doing their best to get by (their personal best, not someone else's best), and not breaking any laws, then they probably aren't doing anything unethical.

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Old 01-27-2013, 08:27 AM
 
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I also do not judge if people use their food stamps on crappy food.  Adults can use their food stamps any legal way they want and it is not my or societies place to judge or speculate.

 

As an aside (because how well people eat is not  anyones business):  You cannot get an idea of how well people eat from one shopping cart.  One cart of crap may be due to a party or they may be stocking up for the next 3 months, etc. Lack of veggies could mean they have a highly productive garden at home….who knows???   I know I  have had carts that would make a nutritionist cringe and carts that make me look like the poster child for great eating. Carts mean nothing - it is the overall pattern of eating that matters and you cannot get that looking at one cart. 


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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