Audit says dead people continue to receive food stamps in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana has gotten a lot better about paying food stamp benefits to dead people, but 108 cases still managed to slip through the cracks, according to an audit report from the Legislative Auditor’s Office.

The audit says that the food stamp benefits for people who were deceased totaled $42,599 over a four-year period from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017.

That’s a big improvement over the $1.3 million spent on food stamps for 3,938 dead people from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2013, according to the legislative auditor’s office.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is administered by the state Department of Child and Family Services.

According to the agency, “it is difficult to investigate or question these transactions for fraud because no other person in the household is linked to the case.”

The agency also said the likelihood of recovering the funds is very low, “because DCFS does not know who spent the funds and retailers usually only maintain surveillance videos for a very short period of time.”

“However, DCFS plans to take all possible steps to identify the individuals who fraudulently spent SNAP benefits,” the audit says.