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A Prime Example of How the Welfare System Goes After the Wrong People!

Updated on February 5, 2011

Falsely accused of welfare fraud

Most of you don’t know me, or what I have been through. I feel I have to post this, just to show you how screwed up the system is!

In October of 2005 my daughter and I were in a very bad car accident.

November of 2005 I was told while applying for medical benefits that I also qualified for food stamps, so I applied. And that my friends was one of the biggest mistakes of my life!

   In 2007 while caring for my dying Mother, who was bedridden and had severe dementia, I was called in to the welfare office for an “informal meeting” due to discrepancies found on my original form I filled out. While there I was told that they just needed to go over everything with me and it wouldn’t be a big deal. About two weeks later I received a letter saying that I was accused of welfare fraud, owed thousands of dollars back to the state, and had to go to a court hearing.


   To explain it in more detail, I am pasting a letter I wrote to the Congressman for our district, as well as to many other government officials, including OBAMA! The letter pretty much sums up what happened to me;

"I am writing to you regarding a case of welfare fraud that has been brought against me. The accusation is that I never claimed my son was living with me, and that when I did claim he was, I never said he had an income. Because I have never intentionally done one thing to gain anything from anyone, or any organization in my life, I would appreciate your reading the facts in my case.

I have worked since I was 13 years old and never asked, or looked for help from anyone. Until November of 2005, after my daughter and I were involved in a near fatal car accident. My whole life changed from that day on.
On October 29, 2005 we were hit by a speeding car, our van rolled over, I was thrown through my van windshield, and was assumed dead by many. My daughter was miraculously thrown to the back of the van and suffered a mild concussion.
It was over three weeks before I was released from the hospital. I had surgery, speech therapy, rehab, and more.

Shortly before all of this my ex-husband had become delusional and schizophrenic , and I had to have him leave because he was also showing signs of hostility and agitation and I feared for myself and children.

The accident left me with severe PTSD, post traumatic brain injury, back problems, vision problems, severe anxiety, panic attacks, short term memory loss, and a mild case of agoraphobia. My daughter also has some back problems, and she too has PTSD. When I first got out of the hospital in November 2005 after the car accident, I stayed with my mother for two days. After two days I insisted I was good enough to go home and my kids would help me out. I have no clear memories from the morning before the accident, until roughly April or May of 2006. I was on several medications including; oxycodone, ativan, effexor, ambien, and more. My daughter was forced to take over the household duties and care for me all day. My son works full time and took me to all of my doctor appointments when he was off, as well as helped me pay all of the household bills. My Mother also helped me with the bills.

In December of 2005 I was told I needed to apply for medical benefits. I went to apply at the Lancaster, PA office. While there I was told that I also would be eligible for food stamps. This is where my poor judgment, too much medication, and really having no idea what I was even signing at that point, made my life a living hell. As I said before I have no real memories until May of 2006, I still have short term memory loss and have no memory of the accident or the months that followed it. Some very sketchy ones, but that is it.

In August of 2007 I got a letter asking for a copy of my son's pay stubs for that month. I sent in my son's pay stubs when asked to, yet that is never brought up when my case is discussed.

In 2007, my Mother became very sick. She broke her hip, and then the doctor found that she had both breast and bone cancer. After her operations and rehab, It was decided that when she came out of the hospital she would live with us.

I realized that we would no longer be eligible for food stamps in December of 2007, due to my mother's income. I called and canceled my appointment for renewal, and never applied again after that. If I was truly doing something underhanded, I would have kept applying.

Looking back at my record I am convinced that my judgment, my thinking, and my general mental status was greatly impaired due to going through the van windshield, suffering from facial lacerations, a head injury, and being put on several medications, some very heavy duty, along with the herbal supplements I decided to take on my own. I seriously assumed since my son worked and his income was his, not mine, that it didn’t have to be reported. It was my understanding that a spouse would be reported since he would be contributing to the household rent, etc.. Chris helped as much as he could at that time. But also had to buy a new car because his car was taken by my ex husband when he left. I wasn’t charging him to live with me, just pay a bill here and there.”


 And that is the very long letter I wrote to several government offices.


   Shortly after that I received information in the mail that I would be receiving a payment book to make payments on the over payment of food stamps. I also found out that I was eligible once again for the food stamps since I was on SSI.. My food stamp statement did show a reduction and I began making payments with the book I was sent. I assumed that someone intervened for me and got the facts of what happened to me to the right people. NEVER assume a thing!


    I really thought that the original court case that I was told I had to go to, had been settled, and that it was over. Because nothing is ever easy for me, I wanted to make absolute sure. I wrote the Inspector General’s office to ask if the case was something I still had to worry about. After trying to call several times, I was forced to write a letter. The letter was sent a full three weeks before the court date.
I got a message (
the day before the case date), from the woman who was accusing me of welfare fraud, informing me that the coupon book was sent as an administrative error and that it will all be squared away at my court case tomorrow. In the meantime I had received two letters stating I need to pay with the coupons, as well as the letters from welfare with the food stamp reductions. This just added to my anxiety and panic attacks. I was not sure I could even go to the court case due to the condition I was in. I really didn’t know what more they were looking for from me.

   I went to court with a court appointed attorney, who really didn't take a lot of time with me, or discuss the case to the point that I felt she really understood what happened to me. So needless to say I was found guilty, even with a letter from my psychotherapist explaining my situation, and that in his opinion I did not knowingly falsify any paperwork, the hospital records detailing everything that happened to me and the services I was given, and the list of medication that I was on at the time.

   In the end I was told I had to pay; $50.72 a month back until the $5,000.00 was paid back, have 24 hours of community service, and am forced to meet with a parole office every month for two years. Can you believe that they treated this as a criminal case and I was put on PAROLE!!!

   Making the $50.72 payments each month was not easy. I had to ask my son to help with that as well as everything else he was doing for me. I was able to get the payments reduced to $30.00 a month, but still had to do community service in an office, even though I am on SSI due to not being able to work, mainly because of the PTSD. But that didn't matter to the judge who could have cared less about anything that I had to say, or that I never had a record of doing anything wrong in the past.

   I cannot afford to pay anything else, and I certainly cannot pay the entire amount that is due in March of this year. That is impossible in my situation. I have no idea what they are going to do about the remainder of the money that is owed.


   What I still cannot understand is, why did the Inspector General's Office send me the information and payment book, how they could have made an error like that. It left me with false hope that everything was going to be alright. And then to be told that it was sent as an
administrative error tells me that the government can make an error and nothing comes of it, but if a citizen makes an honest mistake, especially when they are not thinking clearly, and on high doses of mind altering medications, they get treated like a common criminal.

   I am an honest, hardworking, single Mother. I go out of my way to help anyone who needs it, regardless of what is happening in my life at the time. Up until the car accident I worked hard to make a decent life for my children and myself.
A criminal is something that I am not, and I take great offense in being labeled one.

  This is my story and it is my hope that before anyone applies for any kind of public assistance, that they are very careful when filling out the paperwork. DO NOT make any mistakes. If you do unknowingly make a mistake of any kind, and it is found later on, no one will care, and no one, absolutely no one, will listen to your side of the story.







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    • profile image

      Ty 

      2 years ago

      Is it legal for them to do an investigation with your knowledge?

    • profile image

      Bluebella 

      3 years ago

      I know this is old but thanks to the internet here it sits, waiting to be read and commented on.

      This story is a normal situation. I am disabled and have been receiving SS for over a decade. My husband lost his job, without receiving unemployment, and very little savings. After many months of scraping by to pay bills and buy food while he looked for work, we choose to apply for food stamps and insurance for our children.

      I have learned that any mistake they make is always your fault. Any slight overpayment is always your responsibility, despite no one notifying you of what an overpayment might even be in the first place. Almost once a month I had to re-apply, having to provide multiple sources of proof that my husband was NOT working (how do you even prove that?). After it was all done we were given $185 in food stamps, for the entire month, for 4 people. How anyone lives off of this is a mystery, especially if you have any special diets.

      Add in the way people treat you and judge you if you dare use that food stamp card, it simply is not worth the torture.

    • profile image

      Jenna 

      6 years ago

      “Deal or NO Deal”

      The Innocent lower class minority v’s Plea Bargaining and the Prosecutor

      In despair I am writing this letter for reasons that I was in fact a victim to the unethical misconduct that comes with Plea Bargaining and the Prosecutor. In 1999, I received a phone call from the San Antonio Police Department. I was asked to turn myself into custody for a crime in which I was not given information about until my arrival. Upon my arrival to the old courthouse (annex) I met with a police officer who took my finger prints, followed by my Miranda Rights and an explanation to the charges brought against me. I was placed on a chair (no handcuffs) for three hours, than released.

      Within a few days I received a call from a private investigator who asked me to meet him in his office in order to talk about the charge brought against me. He explained to me that I was being charged for Welfare Fraud. I was stunned, and could not believe what I was hearing. I tried to figure out what I could have possibly done wrong when I knew I followed all the rules at all times. It would not be until my second court hearing when I would find out what I did that was causing the state to accuse me of a crime I know I did not commit.

      Upon my court date in 2001, I was treated unfairly and unjustly by the Prosecutor during the Plea Bargaining. The charge brought against me was Welfare fraud, but this was no ordinary fraud. After thoroughly inspecting the evidence (school record brought against me) I notice many things wrong with the document. Not only was the writing not mine, but the one thing used against me was not in the originally place. On the document (school record) I had placed my ex-boyfriend as a pick up; however, the evidence showed my ex-boyfriend as living with me. What was also upsetting was that the signature was not mine.

      As I tried to explain my concerns to the Prosecutor; she showed no interest in helping the matter. She was in for the game in order to meet her “quota”. Although, I am aware that “quotas” are illegal to use within the legal system, I am sure we all know they continue to be used; thus, allowing corruption against the innocent who are unaware.

      The Prosecutor clearly stated that she was not going to take this case any further; therefore, I had to make my decision the same day or else she would convict me. I had a public attorney, and as I am sure this is well known, the public attorney works for the city. Since, my public attorney was not in court that day, I now feel that the Prosecutor took advantage of her authority and used it against my innocence. The Prosecutor gave me only two choices. The first choice was to take a charge and the second was to take a conviction. I told her I was innocent and all she had to do was subpoena the original school record. She refused and repeated herself again. She told me if I tried to fight the case that she would convict me plain and simple. I felt I had no choice in this matter, and unaware of my rights, I had to take the charge pleading no contest. I was placed on probation and community service; however, within four months I paid my dues, and hired an attorney in order to release me from all charges and probation.

      Not only was I treated unfairly, but was a victim of Plea Bargaining. I know (150%) if I take this back to court I can get this removed from my record. It was unjust, and the prosecutor unethically used poor judgment when harassing me towards a conviction. She did not allow me to provide witnesses, nor did she allow the use of a subpoena in order to retrieve the original record which could have won my case. I was a victim of identity theft, as well as fraud. I know the person who did this to me, yet the statute of limitation, as well as money citations will not allow me the opportunity to fight for my innocence.

      For many years, the two individual (whom I accuse of causing these actions) had always tried to ruin my life. This was the only time they succeeded, all other times they have failed. Today, I hold an AA and BA in Criminal Justice, a certificated in Homeland Security, and a specialty in Criminalistics from an accredited University (Saint Leo University). I am also in two honor societies, one in the Social Sciences and one in Criminal Justice. I choose this path in order to follow my dreams into investigations. I have a passion, and that passion is to help decrease most of the corruption within our legal departments.

      I am a woman that not only respects herself, but many others regardless of sex, religion, age, disability, etc. I am not bias nor, should there be any form of bias towards any individual when it comes to legal officials. I feel I must take this further in order to prove my innocence. Whatever I must do (legally) I will, and whatever I can do to help those in need to keep their innocence, I will one day help.

      Jenna

      Rage should be processed into recover so that one can move on and help others overcome such an ordeal. ~Jenna

    • profile image

      Enemem 

      6 years ago

      I am being accused of the same thing over payments of food stamps. my husband and I were separated but he bought a home and I and my children are the only ones that moved in..because my husband also was on the deed they informed me that 1 of us go to jail because he stated that his address was here they said one of us would be going to jail regardless

    • lorrielee profile imageAUTHOR

      lorrielee 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Anon....don't even bother trying to explain your story to them. I am not sure where you live, but here in PA, they really don't give a damn about your circumstances. When I checked off the wrong box on the application, I was 2 weeks out of the hospital, after almost dying in a car accident, I was pumped with drugs, and I have absolutely NO clear memories from before the Oct. accident until almost April. You think that mattered to them? No effing way.

      Side note to the story; as I said I was put on parole and ordered to pay $30.00 a month until last March. Which I did every single month. I stopped the parole visits and payments as soon as I paid the last March payment. So three weeks ago, right when I got back form visiting a relative in MA that is dying from liver failure, I get a letter from welfare telling me that I am behind in my payments and demanding $450.00 in back payments by may 4th. Or face possible jail time. Do you believe this?? They wait a year to let me know this?? WTF?? Guess what? Let them throw me the hell in jail. Maybe then I can get my story out to more people, so all can see the injustice of this ridiculous system that picks on the wrong people!! I live off of SSI since I am disabled since the accident and cannot return to what I was doing. SSI pays my rent and I have a whopping $40.00 left after that. So do they really want to leave me with $10.00 a month to live off of, my guess is yes.

      The system sucks, and I no longer trust anything about it!

    • profile image

      anon 

      6 years ago

      i am getting watched because of this i worked off and on also i never got help and did not know the rules i sent in paper or info as they asked im scared i dont know what to expect i may just have to pay it back im not trying to live off the system also my ex stays with me off and on and they are trying to say he lives there im being investigated im not a criminal im just trying to feed my 3 yr old

    • profile image

      Tina 

      7 years ago

      I am currently going through the same thing ..I put on my application that I work on and off. And have proof I only made 2000 for that whole year and I am going to court for welfare fraud 684.00 they say I obtained unlawfully

    working

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