SNAP benefits abuse costing taxpayers millions - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

SNAP benefits abuse costing taxpayers millions

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The number of fraudulent cases involving people who receive food stamps is low in Arizona, but the amount it costs taxpayers is alarming.

The Department of Economic Security is owed millions of dollars by Arizonans who DES says abused the public benefits system.

According to DES's June 2014 report, approximately 1,047,897 people use SNAP benefits, or food stamps, in Arizona. Each person gets $116.69 per month. Of those in the past year, about 90 people suspected of fraud have been cut from using these benefits for at least one year. Some people can never use them again.

Ninety people may not seem like a lot, but that amount totals more than $1 million in stolen money.

It's a similar story with unemployment insurance benefits. More than 120 people were convicted of unemployment fraud and more than $1.1 million in benefits were stolen.

DES says it could be months before they get that $2.1 million dollars back, which is the case for all fraud detection overpayments.

See the full report here:
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