Your Tax Dollars at Work: Feds wasted millions in utilities program for poor
Posted July 3, 2010on:
Of course this too was part of the Stimulus that would create jobs we were told. But not to blame Obama because the program has been going on for a long time now. My only question is how did those dead people spend their checks? Then I got to thinking that it surely must be really, really cold in the graves and I don’t know anyone who would give a dead person a job so I guess they really, really needed help paying for their home heating oil Huh? BB
A federal program designed to help impoverished families heat and cool their homes wasted more than $100 million paying the electric bills of thousands of applicants who were dead, in prison or living in million-dollar mansions, according to a government investigation.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spent $5 billion through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program in 2009, doling out money to states with little oversight of the program. Some states don’t verify applicants’ identifies or income. For example, the program helped pay the electric bill of a woman who lives in a $2 million home in a wealthy Chicago suburb and drives a Mercedes, according to the yet-to-be released report obtained by The Associated Press.
The Government Accountability Office studied the program after a 2007 investigation by Pennsylvania’s state auditor found 429 applicants received more than $162,000 using the Social Security numbers of dead people.
The GAO investigated Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Virginia, which represented about one-third of the program’s funding in 2009. The agency found improper payments in about 9 percent of households receiving benefits in those states, totaling $116 million.