In California, spending on adults with disabilities differs by ‘race and place’ Read more
It’s hard enough for disabled people to enjoy the benefits of state-run welfare when they are lucky enough to have a place to live, get to school, and to keep food on the table.
But even for people with the best of intentions, the California’s Department of Health Care Services’ Office for Civil Rights recently found that the quality of care can be very uneven, which is why it is conducting a new audit of California’s health and disability programs.
The state has one of the oldest, most robust systems of welfare in the country. But the state’s Department of Health Care Services says it is now experiencing growing “inadequate, unresponsive and non-responsive medical care,” according to a complaint document. The agency is conducting a new audit of the state’s health care services, including its long-standing benefit programs for the disabled.
Welfare fraud has been a problem throughout California, and the state’s disability system is often compared to other areas of the country in the level of services it dispenses. Welfare fraud is a complicated and multifaceted problem, but typically goes like this: someone pretends to be a job-seeker and gets benefits, but then works off the books doing odd jobs, collecting welfare.
Last year, the state’s Office of the Inspector General found nearly 40,000 people were receiving fake disability benefits. “Beneficiaries have also used [false] identification of disability. Other methods of fraud include false doctor’s letters or use of someone’s social security number,” the OIG found in its annual review of California’s welfare system.
The new state audit will compare California’s Department of Health Care Services’ current records of benefits and services to those submitted to the OIG. The results will be analyzed and shared with the California legislature to try and improve the system.
It is not the first attempt the OIG has made to solve the state’s welfare fraud problem. In 2016, the OIG began a more extensive review of records within the department. That review ultimately found more than 200 cases of welfare fraud, with an additional 80 suspected cases going unreported.
In addition, in January 2018,