A million-dollar lottery jackpot probably wouldn’t buy as much as it might have a few decades ago, but does that justify one women’s choice to cash in on welfare assistance anyway?The state of Michigan just revoked a resident’s $200 monthly food stipend after Detroit’s WDIV revealed she’d won $1 million in a local lottery – back in September.
“I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn’t, I thought, maybe, it was OK because I’m not working,” Amandy Clayton, 24, told WDIV. After paying taxes, Clayton, who’s currently unemployed, wound up with about $500,000 from her winnings. She reportedly bought a house and a car.
Of course, she’s been hung out to dry in the media since the story went viral and it’s possible she’ll have to pay back some benefits obtained since her lotto win.
The reason it took a reporter to track Clayton down is because the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services leaves it up to welfare recipients to report any new assets or income changes that might boot them off the list. They’ve got 10 days to do so, according to CNN.
Each state has its own rules regarding the administration of benefits from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Right now, Michigan lawmakers are pushing are two bills that would put the onus on the state lottery to notify DHS of lottery winners.
The number of Americans using food stamps has reached a record high of 46 million, up 70% since the recession began in 2007. Food stamp fraud costs the country $750 million annually, according to the USDA.
The agency has launched a site for consumers to report fraud.