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Audit: Mass. Paid Welfare Benefits To The Dead

An audit of Massachusetts’ welfare agency has identified millions of dollars in questionable payments to people who were dead or otherwise ineligible for benefits, along with missed opportunities to detect potential fraud.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump says the report made public by her office Tuesday has already led to significant reforms by the Department of Transitional Assistance.

The audit found 1,164 instances in which benefits were paid to individuals who were reported to be deceased, totaling nearly $2.4 million. In most cases, the fraud occurred when someone else used an Electronic Benefits Card belonging to someone who had died.

The report also found numerous cases in which the welfare agency did not verify Social Security numbers of recipients and failed to follow-up on reports of $15 million in potentially fraudulent EBT activity.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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