Audit: Thousands of Dead People Received Food Stamps in Louisiana

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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.


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.