New Corbett PSA Targets Welfare Fraud (With Video)

By Geoffrey Middleberg and Keegan Gibson

The Corbett administration is airing an ad, paid for by the Department Of Public Welfare, that asks Pa. citizens to report welfare fraud.

The ad is currently on TV and radio throughout the state as part of the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Association’s Non Commercial Sustaining Agreement.

It’s not costing the state anything, explained Corbett’s Deputy Director of Communications Kelli Roberts.

“Unsold airtime is donated by Pennsylvania broadcasters commonwealth-wide to the NCSA program through the PBA.  This airtime is made available to certain entities, state/federal and non-profits, free of charge for effective public outreach messages,” she said. “We were offered this opportunity by the PBA.  The spot was produced in house and therefore was of no cost.”

The Department of Public Welfare has been the subject of scrutiny over the past few weeks. At the end of September, there were reports that DPW funds had been diverted to luxury goods at facilities that take care of the disabled.

Advocates of DPW claim, however, that Gov. Corbett should not be cutting DPW’s budget as a result of reports of fraud but the Governor should manage the agency better.

Kathleen Daugherty, coordinator of the Coalition for Low Income Pennsylvanians, wrote an op-ed in the Patriot-News on September 23rd that said, “What is shocking is the Corbett administration’s insistence that ridding the DPW of “waste, fraud and abuse” will somehow justify cuts in services that really help people improve their lives.”

The PA Dems, who blasted Corbett for a series of similar ads encouraging people to visit ReadyPA.org decline to comment on this spot.

October 17th, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 10 Comments

10 thoughts on “New Corbett PSA Targets Welfare Fraud (With Video)”

  1. lenny says:

    just sick of supporting freeloaders save this program for the needy not the greedy

  2. lenny says:

    i agree with chad us angry working taxpayers are fed up with these games our neighbor does the exact thing only theres two shacked up in the house and shes perfectly capable of working nothing like a free ride on the taxpayers good job corbett get it cleaned up and make em get back to work so the honest people that do need it can get it not the abusers our neighbor has five cars and i can barely pay for one imagine that and i work for a living

  3. Chad says:

    Let’s just put it like it supposed to be. Welfare was set up for ASSISTANCE. Not to be used as a source of income. that is the problem with the system. The majority of those that receive it use it as their main source of income. They also suppliment that by selling drugs. They need to be drug tested and if caught the welfare should be taken away. Work for welfare should be enforced. If they are going to get our hard working tax dollars to sit and do what they want, they should be working for it. There is a girl down the road from us who has 3 kids gets hud housing who pays her rent she says her boyfriend does not live there he rents the garage from her. Well he lives there and we’ve seen her supplimenting her welfare and she uses. Thats what makes me and my wife and friends who work 12 hours a day and make an honest living angry. When we see what comes out of the gross wage to support those kind of people. The system is flaud big time.

  4. brooke keefer says:

    from 1998 to 2004 my former wife misused bennifits from the public assistance to buy drugs and alcohal to commit adultry with theses people but since her mothers cousin was a case worker and the child services wife was the head of the assistance office nothing was ever done to her she also misused child support payments for the same thing.Not only do people who commit welfare fraud the domestic relations payments should also be investigated where it goes as well,because most of the time it is the person with out custody are the ones who have to repay that and where is the fairness

  5. Jane Williams says:

    Can anyone tell me is there a different option for reporting fraud?
    I have filled out the information of fraud on the inspector generals website several times but still I know nothing has been done, because the one commiting the fraud is a family member, and I have no problem reporting it. Welfare should go to familes who really need it, not for those who dont. Thanks

  6. Becky Hayes says:

    Oh, it’s the welfare department’s number. Why that’s not a conflict is it? Yes, lets let the Welfare department determine whether there is any fraud – not that they don’t have a vested interest in not finding too much so that they can say they’re doing a great job. What a complete snow job on Pennsylvania’s taxpayers. I would have expected better from the Republican party now that they are in power. Nope – business as usual.

  7. Becky Hayes says:

    I have to wonder what the heck number the Governor’s office is using. Considering the responsibility for investigating welfare fraud falls into the responsibility (by law) with the Inspector General’s Office – why aren’t they providing the Inspector General’s Tipline Number? I should know – I worked there for twenty-five years. The tipline number to report Welfare Fraud is toll free – 1/800-932-0582.

  8. Really says:

    A Rant:

    Very very very slowly this adminstration is starting to realize that there are a lot of procedural (based on federal law) and technical limitations that allow the potential for abuse.

    There are no computer systems that exist that can scan every single case for fraud. Lots of information is left up to the workers discretion because the regulations that govern how benefits are distributed. The 55PA code are 1000’s of pages long and splinter off into a pot potpourri of procedural memos and exceptions. If workers question too much, lawyers and state resprestatives start calling and filing complaints that they are starving women and chidlren in the street. These are the exact same state reps that say there is too much welfare fraud.

    The investigation on each case need to happen on a human level at the office but the response from the last two adminstrations has been to freeze staffing and reduce the workforce. In the county office they are understaffed as much as 30% compared to just 3 years ago. There also has been a huge increase in the amounts of people applying for benefits. As UC runs out more and more poeple are flooding the offices. Calls to the police are starting to occur daily to control crowds. People that used to get by at food banks are being forced into the welfare offices because donations have dried up.

    Federal law allows Food Stamps to be used in any state. The counties used to get list of out of state transactions monthly which they investigated. For the past year those reports from Harrisburg stopped coming. We have no idea why.

    Its like breaking the horse leg on purpose and then shooting it because it no longer can walk.

  9. Cleanup Philly says:

    A recent state audit showed that PA welfare was being spent in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Does that sound like nothing to Daugherty and the rest of the “Coalition for Low-Income Pennsylvanians?”

    This is a sign that welfare abuse is not only common, it’s nationwide in PA. We taxpayers can’t afford this nonsense. There’s no reason PA welfare should be traveling the nation and territories except misuse.

    Why would anyone oppose making government work better?

  10. Cleanup Philly says:

    Kathleen Daugherty is claiming that Corbett is trying to cut welfare for those who need it, while ignoring the recent scandals in the DPW. I’m sorry, but Corbett is saying that we need to cut the waste and fraud because that means there is more money for those in need.

    Why is this concept so anathema to Democrats? What are they really protecting, their little fiefdoms of corruption?

    In Philly we had the LIHEAP scandal, literally dozens of STATE employees stealing low income heating assistance cash. We have the new Tacony dungeon scandal, where a state-approved “caregiver” was taking as much as 50 SSI checks under the nose of the DPW and the “advocates.”

    If only Democrats would admit their are problems and work with the GOP, then we’d have more money for those who really need it. That’s the best deal for the beleaguered taxpayer.

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