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Valley Perspective

Welfare Fraud Charges

March 15, 1998

* Re "2 Couples Are Charged With Welfare Fraud," March 4.

I work in a dialysis unit whose patients must come three times a week to sustain life. Many are aged, wheelchair-bound and chronically ill with multiple medical problems. Many of these low-income people depend on "nonemergency medical transportation" through the Medi-Cal program. Recently Medi-Cal has sent letters telling these people that their current medical conditions / and or needs do not meet the definition of "medical necessity" and that they are being denied this invaluable service.

After reading this article, the only conclusion one can come to is that if you have $50,000 laying around your Section 8 house, own a magazine, have a job in a structural engineering firm and take European vacations, you will be able to receive welfare benefits. But should you need a ride to your dialysis treatment, polish up your thumbs.

BRENDA SCHLESINGER

Granada Hills

* I don't know if you an feel the heat in my words, generated by my anger as I read your story on welfare fraud . . . .

Is the only way to get help to lie? . . . I was born in Glendale, lived here, worked here, contributed to the system, and when I needed help from that same system, I was turned down! I am sure that there are a lot of other, more deserving families out there that have experienced the same treatment because they refused to lie and cheat.

Somehow this entire system needs to be corrected to stop this kind of deceit. Better and more thorough investigations must be done to prevent this from happening again and again.

I want to know how it goes so far before they discover where the money is going. Isn't there some type of monitoring of the people who receive aid to see if they still need it? Do they receive it forever, without encouraging them to do something to improve their situation?

Somehow the welfare department needs to help itself before it can honestly and fairly help the ones who really need and deserve help.

CATHERINE CLEMENTE

Agua Dulce

* It is gratifying to see that our county is finally doing something about people who have been taking advantage of our system. Stephen Cooley should be commended for his vigorous prosecution of people who take advantage of our generosity.

Our welfare system costs all of us money, but it is money well-spent if used properly. People who wrongfully "take" money from welfare and other programs like it should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

It is nice to see that the district attorney has finally put a serious prosecutor in charge.

JOHN TYRE

Glendale

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