Welfare Abuse Reported in Massachusetts(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)–The chief of the Massachusetts welfare system resigns in the wake of a report on welfare abuse.
The report found widespread waste and the distribution of millions of dollars to people not eligible for benefits.
An internal report found that nearly 3-thousand out of 47-thousand families receiving taxpayer-funded benefits and contacted through a voter registration mailer were unaccounted for.
Their accounts are being closed.
The department also said it overpaid federal food stamp recipients by almost 28-million dollars.
John Polanowicz is the Secretary of Health and Human Services in Massachusetts,”It is important for us to ensure that we are responsible to insure the people who are supposed to have benefits get them and the people who are not don’t,” says Polanowicz.
Polanowicz asked for and received the resignation of Department of Transitional Assistance Commissioner Daniel Curley.
Governor Deval Patrick weighed in ,”The facts are still being understood and fully flushed out, it’s quite clear to us that the outgoing commissioner though a good guy was not getting the job done,” says Patrick.
The Patrick administration says welfare abuse like this won’t be tolerated and steps are being taken to avoid this kind of abuse,”We’re working with Mass Health to put an integrated eligibility system in place so that across the entire secretariat we have better insight and information into people and their eligibility,” says John Polanowicz.
Governor Patrick has a message for taxpayers,”This administration continues to crack down where there has been abuse, in fact I think it’s fair to say no administration has had the record of recovering from abuse and excess that we have had and that’s on ongoing process,” says Patrick.
Secretary Polanowicz also said the governor has allocated additional funding to go after welfare fraud and abuse.