skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 64662 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: MESS IN WELFARE - THE INSIDE STORY
Journal: US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT  Issue:84  Dated:(FEBRUARY 20, 1978)  Pages:21-24
Author(s): D BACON
Corporate Author: US News and World Report
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: US News and World Report
Washington, DC 20037
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF, AND MEANS FOR, DEALING WITH FRAUD AND WASTE IN THE U.S. WELFARE SYSTEM ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: WELFARE AUTHORITIES' RECENT EXAMINATION OF THE SYSTEM HAS REVEALED AN ENTRENCHED BUREAUCRACY SO COMPLEX AND INEFFICIENT THAT IT SEEMS TO INVITE CHEATING AND OTHER ABUSES. EXCESSIVE RED TAPE, INEPT MANAGEMENT, POORLY TRAINED FRONT LINE PERSONNEL, AND CARELESS INVESTIGATIVE POLICIES ARE COSTING TAXPAYERS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR. COMMON PRACTICES INCLUDE ACCEPTING AID APPLICATIONS WITHOUT DEMANDING ADEQUATE IDENTIFICATION, CONTINUING PAYMENTS LONG AFTER THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN STOPPED, AND FAILING TO INVESTIGATE FOR POSSIBLE FRAUD INVOLVING REPLACEMENT OF LOST OR STOLEN WELFARE CHECKS. THE WELFARE BUREAUCRACY INCLUDES 381,000 PEOPLE. TOTAL WELFARE COSTS DOUBLED BETWEEN 1972 AND 1977. AN ESTIMATED $4 BILLION IS PAID OUT ERRONEOUSLY EACH YEAR, USUALLY DUE TO BUREAUCRATIC BUNGLING RATHER THAN TO FRAUD. SOCIAL CASEWORKERS ARE INADEQUATELY TRAINED, POORLY PAID, AND OVERWORKED. SUPERVISION IS RARELY ADEQUATE. THE POLICY ROLES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, STATE GOVERNMENTS, AND THE COURTS IN THE WELFARE SYSTEM ARE UNCLEAR. PAPERWORK REQUIRED IS ENORMOUS, ESPECIALLY FOR THE AID TO FAMILIES WITH DEPENDENT CHILDREN PROGRAM. ERRORS CAN BE PREVENTED AND CHEATERS CAUGHT, HOWEVER, BY USE OF SUCH TECHNIQUES AS COMPUTER MATCHING OF WELFARE ROLLS WITH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT ROLLS OR SOCIAL SECURITY ROLLS; COMPUTER AUDITS OF MEDICAID CLAIMS; AND MORE FREQUENT CHECKS OF RECIPIENTS' STATUS. SIMPLER REGULATIONS, MODERN MANAGEMENT METHODS, NEW TECHNOLOGY, AND BETTER-TRAINED WORKERS SHOULD IMPROVE THE WELFARE SYSTEM BUT IMPROVEMENTS MAY NOT BE RAPID ENOUGH TO SATISFY TAXPAYERS. A PHOTOGRAPH, DIAGRAMS, AND COMPARATIVE STATISTICS FROM NEW YORK AND CALIFORNIA WELFARE PROGRAMS ARE INCLUDED. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Critiques; Fraud; Medicaid/Medicare fraud; Program abuse; Program evaluation; Public administration; United States of America; Welfare services
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64662

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.