Audit: Louisiana food stamp program overpaid millions in benefits, possible fraud
POSTED: Monday, May 6, 2013 - 4:12pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 6, 2013 - 7:55pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — An oversight allowed for the overpayment of millions in benefits for recipients of the Louisiana food stamp program, an audit revealed.
The Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office released the results of its audit on the federally-funded program. The audit covered the fiscal years from 2010 to 2012.
The results show that the program, which is administered by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, allowed for duplicate benefits and overpayments. More disturbingly, they found that many of the recipients were ineligible.
“We found that 84 drug felons redeemed over $100,000 in benefits in fiscal years 2011 and 2012 that they were not eligible to receive,” the report notes. “DCFS identified 1,157 cases with $841,615 in overpaid benefits because of agency errors in federal fiscal years 2010 and 2011.”
Some of the major infractions noted in the report include over $1.1 million was issued to 1,761 people who were in prison, 322 people gained benefits even though their wages exceeded $50,000, and 3,060 people used $2 million worth of benefits in a state other than Louisiana.
Total federal funding for Louisiana SNAP benefits in 2011 was approximately $1.4 billion with Louisiana providing approximately $55.5 million in state funds for administrative costs. In fiscal year 2012, the average SNAP benefit for a household in Louisiana was $312.32 per month and participants completed approximately 50 million SNAP transactions.
The report was submitted to the Governor, Attorney General, and other public officials as required by state law.
Click here to view the full 35-page report.