MI Lawmakers Crack Down on Food Aid Abuse
Earlier this month, a 24-year-old Lincoln Park woman made headlines. It was discovered that Amanda Clayton continued to collect food stamps after winning a lottery jackpot worth $1 million. Here's her response when asked why she continued to take food assistance.
"I mean I have no income and I have bills to pay. I have two houses," Clayton said.
This story is not the only one. In reaction, Michigan lawmakers passed legislation that would prevent lottery winners of large amounts from receiving public food assistance.
"It's outrageous that somebody would win the lottery and continue to collect bridge card benefits that taxpayers work very hard to supply. They should only go to needy people," said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.
The bills are still pending approval from Gov. Snyder. If signed into law, a number of changes would be implemented.
- Michigan Lottery will be required to notify DHS of any winner of $1000 or more within seven days.
- DHS would be mandated to apply an asset test to determine if a person is eligible for food aid.
- Lottery winnings would go toward the asset total whether received as a lump-sum payment or on a monthly payout basis.
"It you're lucky enough to win, I think it's time to stop the benefits while that money is in play," Sen. Jones said.