HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) to fight the waste, fraud and abuse of welfare benefits in the Commonwealth was approved by the Senate Aging and Youth Committee today.
“This is a commonsense solution to help save taxpayer dollars and prevent potential fraud and abuse of Pennsylvania’s safety net programs. I’m grateful that the Senate has advanced it one step closer to the governor's desk.”
The bill would require the Department of Aging to cross-reference its list of beneficiaries with death records maintained by the Department of Health on a monthly basis. It would ensure more efficient removal of deceased people from the PACE and PACENET database.
The personal experience Diamond cites as the impetus for introducing the bill was when he received a letter from PACE inviting his father, who had been deceased for nearly two years, to apply for SNAP benefits.
“It’s not just the potential for abuse that causes problems, but we have to also think of the pain and anguish that could be multiplied for the surviving family upon receiving these unnecessary notices,” Diamond added.
House Bill 775
, which was originally introduced in the previous legislative session, is now before the full Senate for consideration following today’s unanimous and bipartisan support from the committee.
Representative Russ Diamond
102nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Basley