Food Stamp Fraud Being Investigated
There's a fairly good chance that a few hundred people may have committed food stamp fraud in the aftermath of the blackouts caused by recent storms. While there were people without power for more than 24 hours, it seems that a few hundred people who are not qualified to receive those special benefits filled as well as those who are qualified.
Let's say that, for the sake of argument, you receive food stamps. Suddenly there is a power outage and all the food you bought is ruined because you were without power for more than 24 hours. Well, should that happen, you are qualified to file for replacement SNAP benefits so you can restock.
Well, following the storms of the past few weeks, there were residents in the New Iberia area who were without power for more than 24 hours, so they qualify for those special benefits. The problem lies in the huge number of people from new Iberia who filed for those benefits.
According to officials, there were less than 100 people in that area who actually lost power for more than 24 hours, yet nearly 500 people registered for the benefits which means that more than 400 people may have committed food stamp fraud.
The agency is investigating the matter, but while that investigation goes on, they are reminding people that a first time offense means that first-time offenders will lose their benefits for one year. Second-time offenders face a two-year suspension while third- time offenders will lose their benefits permanently.