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Free A/C for 11,000... dead people

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  • Free A/C for 11,000... dead people

    CNSNews was launched on June 16, 1998, as a news source for individuals, news organizations and broadcasters who put a higher premium on balance than spin and seek news that’s ignored or under-reported as a result of media bias by omission. CNSNews endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story and debunk popular, albeit incorrect, myths about cultural and policy issues. CNSNews has a full staff of credentialed journalists at its world headquarters in Reston, Virginia. In addition to news, CNSNews is proud to present commentary and analysis by some of the brightest minds and sharpest wits in the nation, including cartoonists.

    Federal Government Helped Pay Home Air-Conditioning Bills for Federal Employees, Prisoners and More Than 11,000 Dead People
    Tuesday, July 06, 2010
    By Matt Cover, Staff Writer

    ( – According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the federal government helped pay the home air conditioning bills for more than 11,000 dead people, 1,100 federal employees, and 725 convicts in fiscal year 2009.

    The payments were made by a $5 billion program known as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP is designed to provide federal assistance, administered by the states, to help people pay the energy bills to heat their homes in the winter and cool them in the summer. The funds are disbursed by the Department of Health and Human Services and are distributed based on a formula that takes into account a state’s weather and the size of its low-income population.

    The GAO examined the LIHEAP programs in seven states: Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, New York, Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey. The agency found evidence of fraud in each state.

    “Our analysis of LIHEAP data revealed that the program is at risk of fraud and providing improper benefits in all seven of our selected states,” reported the GAO. “About 260,000 applications--9 percent of households receiving benefits in the selected states--contained invalid identity information, such as Social Security numbers, names, or dates of birth.”

    Most glaring among the problems the GAO found were the pervasive payment of LIHEAP benefits to dead people, some of whom, records show, had been dead for quite a long time.

    “The identities of over 11,000 deceased individuals were used as applicants or household members for LIHEAP benefits,” reads the GAO report. “Our analysis matching LIHEAP data to the SSA’s death master file found these individuals were deceased before the LIHEAP application date.” (SSA is the acronym for the Social Security Administration.)

    One such fraudulent case involved an Ohio application that used the name of a person who, according to the death certificate, had been dead for more than four years. Ohio paid the person $400 in federal LIHEAP benefits, the GAO found.

    Another recurring problem the GAO found was the payment of benefits to federal employees who make too much money to qualify for the program. The GAO found that 1,100 federal employees were receiving heating and A/C subsidies despite being able to afford to pay their own bills.

    “Matching LIHEAP data with federal civilian payroll records, we identified about 1,100 federal employees whose federal salary exceeded the maximum income threshold at the time of their application,” the GAO reported.

    One such case involved a Chicago-area Postal Service employee making $80,000 per year. According to the GAO, the woman, who was not named in the report, claimed on her LIHEAP application that she had no income. However, when pressed by GAO investigators, she admitted that she was not entitled to the benefits but wanted the money anyway because: “Times are tough and I needed the money.” She also said that she saw “long lines” and wanted some “free money.”

    The program also provided subsidies to the wife of another Chicago-area postal worker, who earned $84,000 per year, after the wife certified that her husband had no income.

    Gravestone in the Stelton Baptist Church Cemetery in Edison, New Jersey. (Photo by Richard Arthur Norton/Wikipedia Commons)
    Illinois paid her $840 in federal grant money.

    The third chronic issue the GAO discovered was that the program repeatedly paid the air conditioning and heating bill of convicts who were in jail at the time the payments were made.

    The GAO found that in four of the seven states--only four provided reliable incarceration figures--725 LIHEAP applications used the names of convicts to obtain federal subsidies.

    “For the four states that provided reliable incarceration data, we found 725 instances where the identities of individuals incarcerated in state prisons were used as applicants or household members,” the report says.

    Among the 725 cases the GAO identified was the case of a federal employee who listed two incarcerated family members on her LIHEAP application. The GAO found that the woman--a purchasing agent for the Department of Veterans Affairs--would not have qualified for the $700 in benefits she received had she not falsely included her two convicted relatives.

    In another case, from Virginia, $430 was paid for an individual that prison records indicated had been incarcerated for more than 15 years prior to the benefits being paid. That application, the GAO found, did not contain any proof of identity, such as a driver’s license or Social Security number.
    HERD MEMBER #00028
    How about STFU and have a glass of MOO
    Member of the Moo Ton Crew- Ain't no Atheists at 100 up!!!

  • #2
    I don't care what administration is in charge....They still have major GAPS and loop holes in the system that make me question who is really in charge. Particularly one that said that would look at each line item but has failed to do so. This might be on CSpan tomorrow....but....Maybe NOT.
    2010 FLHX - Street Glide - 138,400 miles
    HERD MEMBER #00003


    • #3
      I read this someplace else and there was also millionairs getting their bills paid as well. And what kills me about the federal employees the will probably reward them with promotions or move them into a newly created position.
      HERD Member #114
      2007 FLHTCU Ultra Classic
      When all else fails, GET A BIGGER HAMMER!
      If common sense was so common, wouldn't everyone have it?


      • #4
        Congrats Feds, there goes another load of tax money that will never provide a benefit to those who really deserve it......well done......dumb a**es...!!!
        U.S. Army "Retired"
        (Disabled Veteran)


        • #5
          Standard government buracrats.
          Herd Member #87
          US Navy Veteran


          • #6
            he he yur tax dollas at work fuggin you outa yur tax dollas
            THE NEGATIVE ONE no better don't click
            How's my Spelin, CALL 1-800-BOSS to report my bad spelizin


            • #7
              Originally posted by vlade View Post
              he he yur tax dollas at work fuggin you outa yur tax dollas
              Story of our lives these days it seems......
              U.S. Army "Retired"
              (Disabled Veteran)


              • #8
                so if I die, can I qualify for free central air? this window a/c unit we have is about to make us die
                Ride in Peace Wndchsr



                • #9
                  Originally posted by gruss View Post
                  Story of our lives these days it seems......
                  Stuff like that will happen regardless of who is in charge. Anytime you have an entity as large as the government, your gonna have those kinds of oversights no matter which party is in charge.
                  Herd Member #87
                  US Navy Veteran


                  • #10
                    I work for the federal government I can tell you horror stories. The worse stories are what happens to employees who try to do the right thing................ I been there over 20 years and I am surprised. I have told all the present and past directors where to shove it. You'd figure they'd learn not to ask me what I think by now.

                    I get pissed even just writing about all that incompentency that never seems to end. Thats just where I work.
                    *disclaimer: I am not an expert. Like everyone else I have an opinion.

                    HS1 and HS2 Attendee

                    Paracord Crew Member


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by badinfluence63 View Post
                      I get pissed even just writing about all that incompentency that never seems to end. Thats just where I work.
                      Incompetency is rampant in all areas of the work place any more it seems, both private and government sectors.
                      Herd Member #87
                      US Navy Veteran