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The Nation : Report Cites $1 Billion in Welfare Fraud

December 07, 1987

Fraud in the federal government's major welfare program for mothers and children could be costing $1 billion a year, according to a report by the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general. The report estimates that federal and state governments could save $800 million a year just by placing more emphasis on weeding out unqualified applicants before they start receiving benefits under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. Other savings would flow from removing people from the rolls whose changing circumstances render them ineligible for benefits after their initial qualification. The report emphasized that "for the sake of clarity, we have used the broader definition of fraud that includes unintentional misrepresentations of facts by clients" as well the kind of intentional representation that could lead to criminal prosecution.

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