I know I’ve posted numerous times about how welfare fraud is in fact very, very rare and welfare programs have lower fraud loss rates than things like businesses. Which is true, but it’s also true that most actual technical welfare fraud doesn’t look much like the stereotype either. Pretty much the only people who “get rich” off fraud are service end things like stores, hospitals, etc. Nobody else really gets rich from lying on their food stamp paperwork.
Welfare fraud looks less like “cadillac and mansion” and more like:
- a disabled person lies about their level of mobility because medicaid will often only cover wheelchairs if you need them in the house, not if you need them to go out or do anything outside of the house
- a poor woman claims her boyfriend lives separately from her because the amount he contributes to her and their kids counts against her less if it’s listed as childsupport instead of part of the household income and that small difference can be enough to keep the children from going hungry
- a poor person sells part of their food stamps and lives on things like instant ramen because almost nobody gets cash assistance anymore and they need things like toilet paper or tooth paste
- a disabled person who could not hold down a regular job sells $100 a month in homemade crafts and doesn’t report it because they might have to spend months or even years re-fighting their social security case if they reported it
- a homeless person makes more than $20 a month begging but lists their income as zero because that’s less confusing
- other things like that
A lot of that is just survival. It’s not a system set up in a way that makes it easy to even live unless you “cheat”. People aren’t doing it to get rich, they do it to cling to the very basics and just manage to live. I don’t blame people who violate the laws to keep their heads above water, I blame the people who set up a horrific system like this and who benefit from harming and exploiting poor people.