A Federal government program designed to help the very poor to cool and heat their homes, ended up paying the bills for the dead, prison inmates, and the Rich. This is the same government who says they will save billions of dollars by handling your health care needs. Some of the payouts for went to those impoverished people living in Million-dollar mansions.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spent $5 billion through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program in 2009, doling out money to states with little oversight of the program. Some states don’t verify applicants’ identifies or income. For example, the program helped pay the electric bill of a woman who lives in a $2 million home in a wealthy Chicago suburb and drives a Mercedes, according to the yet-to-be released report obtained by The Associated Press.
The Government Accountability Office studied the program after a 2007 investigation by Pennsylvania’s state auditor found 429 applicants received more than $162,000 using the Social Security numbers of dead people.
The GAO investigated Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Virginia, which represented about one-third of the program’s funding in 2009. The agency found improper payments in about 9 percent of households receiving benefits in those states, totaling $116 million.
The report comes after a dramatic increase in the size of the assistance checks as fuel oil costs soared in 2008 and 2009.