HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Public Welfare has identified more than 900 Pennsylvanians who were receiving welfare benefits when they should not have been.
"Taxpayer dollars are tighter than ever and to ensure our core programs are available to those who truly need them, we must use every tool at our disposal to identify and remove ineligible individuals," Secretary of Public Welfare Gary D. Alexander said. "Because of our recent efforts, we have avoided paying out $3.5 million in unneeded welfare benefits."
The department was able to identify ineligible individuals by using the federal Public Assistance Reporting Information System, also known as PARIS. PARIS is a federal-state partnership that includes a nationwide exchange of information and data about various welfare and pension programs from every state in the country.
By checking records with the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense and Personnel Management, and by using state-to-state information sharing, PARIS helped identify 933 incidences where individuals were not eligible for state welfare benefits or should have been receiving fewer benefits.
"The department must continue to implement measures that promote eligibility and payment accuracy to ensure integrity within our welfare programs," Alexander said.
"These efforts benefit those who rely on our services, as well as hardworking taxpayers, and we want both groups to know that we continue to do all we can to remove waste, fraud and abuse within our welfare programs."
For more information about the Department of Public Welfare, visit the department's website at www.dpw.state.pa.us.
Pennsylvanians who suspect welfare fraud should call 1-800-932-0582.
Media contact: Carey Miller or Donna Kirker Morgan, 717-425-7606
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare