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Sunday, May 29, 2016

SNAP fraud by state employees denies people benefits


New Mexico is supposed to grant people in dire financial situations expedited SNAP benefits within seven days, rather than the 30 it takes to process regular applications. But  thousands of New Mexico residents may have been cheated out of those benefits, according to new allegations that claim SNAP administrators in the Human Services Department tampered with applications to disqualify people from the program. Nine former and current HSD employees have testified that if the department hadn’t met the required seven-day processing deadline, they were told to give the case file to a supervisor. When the files were handed back to them, they say, the data on the application had been altered. Assets were added and the applicant no longer qualified for the emergency benefits. The practice, which may have been going on since 2003, allows HSD to take the longer, 30-day timeline to process the application. That way, the delay doesn’t count against its court-ordered efforts to comply with regulations.

Source: Think Progress, 5/25/16, SNAP Fraud @ the Top