Ineffective Management of Welfare Cases Costing Millions

GGD-76-109: Published: Dec 28, 1976. Publicly Released: Dec 28, 1976.

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A limited review was conducted of the District of Columbia Department of Human Resources (DHR) procedures for handling certain cases on the welfare rolls where information indicated that the recipients were either ineligible or their public assistance payments were incorrect.

DHR could have prevented significant unnecessary expenditures by acting more effectively on the knowledge that over a third of the welfare recipients were being paid erroneous amounts. DHR has been slow in adjusting or terminating payments when it became aware of errors, resulting in further unnecessary expenditures. Erroneous payments were made to 38 percent of those tested in a quality control program. From October 1970 through December 1971, 7.4 percent of the cases reviewed revealed willful misrepresentation. The percentage of willful misrepresentation cases almost doubled to 13.5 percent in 1975. Overpayments on willful misrepresentation cases totalled about $8.7 million in 1975. Some cases took up to 9 months to resolve. In a special review, about 21 percent of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children cases were found to be ineligible for welfare and about 10 percent were found to be overpaid.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: DHR should: (1) develop and report information such as causes, to assist in evaluating and changing procedures for verifying information at the time recipients apply for welfare; (2) ensure that the status of error cases be reported monthly to DHR management; and (3) ensure that analyses of Quality Group findings are made to determine whether widespread errors are occurring in the welfare case load.

    Agency Affected:


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