State officials disclosed that nearly 700 inmates at state prisons and county jails have been collecting state welfare payments and another 770 may have been receiving federal Supplemental Social Security (SSI) or Medicaid benefits.
The Governor has come under fire since reports surfaced that inmates at county jails were illegally on welfare.
Under federal law, welfare checks are supposed to stop when a recipient is sent to jail. But when state officials ran a computer match between welfare rolls and the criminal records of 20,000 inmates in county jails and state prisons, they found that 699 inmates were listed as eligible for some form of state assistance.
The state’s Secretary of Health and Human Services said he did not know the cost to the state of the prison welfare fraud because it is unknown how long the recipients were simultaneously collecting welfare and serving prison time.
Well, maybe it’s the kind of story the Mass GOP dreams about, except that…the state’s Secretary of Health and Human Services who did not know how long the inmates had been receiving government benefits and therefore couldn’t determine the cost to the state was Charlie Baker, their candidate for governor this year.
You could look it up: Boston Globe, September 24, 1994.
Any volunteers to break the news to Shaunna?