Welfare Anti-Fraud Measures Earn Gold Medal
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare received an award for its recent efforts to curb waste and fraud. The Council of State Governments gave DPW a 2012 Innovations Award for its Enterprise Program Integrity Initiative.
The program includes: identifying abuses in the use of EBT cards, improved auditing of welfare providers and cross-checking benefits across state and federal programs.
As a result of this effort, taxpayers have already saved millions in reduced welfare fraud and abuse:
- Nearly $1 million in savings over three months by identifying out of state EBT payments;
- An estimated $8 million in savings (with higher future savings) from new reimbursement rules that would prevent providers from getting rich off the poor;
- $34 million in savings by reviewing cases for welfare eligibility.
While reductions in welfare spending are often attacked as “heartless,” Pennsylvania’s officials earned a well-deserved spot on the medal stand for their efforts to reduce abuse of the system in order to preserve the safety net for the truly needy.