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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 12, 2017 09:52 AM
From: Senator David G. Argall
To: All Senate members
Subject: Combatting welfare fraud and abuse in Pennsylvania

In an effort to continue to find ways to combat welfare fraud and abuse in Pennsylvania and better streamline government efficiencies, I plan on introducing legislation that would require the Pennsylvania Department of Aging to cross-check their list of PACE and PACENET beneficiaries with death records maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

My father, who passed away in 2015, received two separate letters from the state a year after his death encouraging him to apply for food stamps. A colleague of mine in the House of Representatives, Russ Diamond, also experienced a similar incident where his father, who had been deceased for almost two years, received a letter from PACE asking him to apply for SNAP benefits.

It is incidents like these, and many others, that require us to take prompt action in improving efficiencies in programs such as PACE and PACENET and ensure that dishonest individuals are not fraudulently applying for benefits by using the identity of someone who has passed away.

Presently, the Department of Aging works with federal agencies to identify applicants and enrollees who are deceased which can often result in a substantial lag time in updating their records.

By requiring the Department of Aging to work with the Department of Health in maintaining up-to-date records of individuals enrolled in the PACE program, we improve the efficiency and operations of the program, save taxpayers money by not providing benefits to individuals who have already passed away and deter individuals from committing welfare fraud and abuse.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation that seeks to combat welfare fraud and abuse and save taxpayers money.

Introduced as SB891