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06/18/2024 05:04 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=41544
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: October 4, 2023 02:26 PM
From: Representative La'Tasha D. Mayes and Rep. Dan L. Miller
To: All House members
Subject: Welfare Fraud Grading
 
During a previous legislative session, the legislature passed a proposal which made sweeping changes to the Public Welfare Code. Some of these changes included increasing and standardizing penalties for those convicted of welfare fraud. While many were needed, some have produced unintended consequences. Prior to the changes, if an individual was found to be in receipt of fraudulent benefits of $3,000 or more it was graded as a third-degree felony. If they were found in receipt of $1,500 to $2,999 it was graded as a first-degree misdemeanor. If they were found in receipt of $1,000 to $1,499 it was graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree. If an individual was found to be in receipt of fraudulent benefits of $999 or less, it was to be graded as a third-degree misdemeanor. 

Now, if an individual is found to be in receipt of fraudulent benefits of $1,000 or more it is graded as a third-degree felony. By returning the threshold to the previous level, the Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) will be able to pursue a greater number of cases at the Magisterial District Justice level, increasing OSIG’s efficiency and the likelihood that stolen public assistance funds will be recovered for use by qualified recipients.  To provide greater flexibility, the Governor’s administration and the Office of State Inspector General supports reverting back to the prior statutory scheme.  This bill would do just that, allowing the Office of State Inspector General more discretion.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.
 



Introduced as HB1806