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Audit: Thousands of Dead People Received Food Stamps in Louisiana

Louisiana Purchase Card

(WGNO) – Nearly 4,000 dead Louisianians received a million dollars worth of food stamps over a four year period, a state audit revealed.

The audit showed Louisiana distributed about $1.3 million in food stamps from July 2009 to June 2013, where the primary recipient was no longer alive.

“Overall, we found that between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2013, $1,290,557 in SNAP benefits for 3,938 single person households were spent after the participant’s death,” Daryl Purpera, Louisiana legislative auditor wrote in the report.

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According to DCFS, it would be difficult to prevent all improper spending in the first month after a death because of the amount of time it takes for a death record to become available.

The audit also noted that there is no federal program rule that allows DCFS to expunge the benefits it loaded onto a card until the benefits have been on the card for one year.

Further more, DCFS officials stated it would be very difficult to recoup the $1.3 million spent by people not in the program, noting they do not know who spent the funds and retailers usually only keep surveillance videos for a short period of time.