NBC25 viewers are still talking about whether all welfare recipients should pass a drug test to get benefits. They weighed in on whether Michigan can afford a drug-testing program. Dozens of comments have posted on our Facebook page and our website.
One of the most popular comments is that you're seeing people either abuse the system or are committing fraud.
Here are some of your statements and the response from the Department of Human Services.
Mike Manning, on our Facebook page writes, "We are losing millions to people who know how to work the system."
Another viewer says, "I know several on state assistance and they purchase new cars, own a house now, and receive state aid. They know how to "hide assets" from the state and keep their aid."
While some are convinced the system is riddled with fraud, the Michigan Department of Human Services says that's a myth.
It says, "The average family receiving assistance is a single parent with two children. The parent probably works part-time earning minimum wage. Between part-time income and benefits, the family may live on $700 to $800 a month. This places the family at about 50$ of the federal poverty income guideline for a family of three of about $1,526 a month," says Christina Fecher of Michigan DHS Communications.
DHS goes on to say, "These benefits are temporary; the average FIP (Family Independence Program) client receives benefits for 21 months and the average FAP (Food Assistance Program) client receives benefits for 24 months."
The department says for every one dollar in food stamps, about one cent is obtained fraudulently. Click here to see NBC25's story on Michigan food assistance.
DHS says it completed 5,214 fraud investigations in 2009 and denied, reduced, or withdrew benefits in 1,742 of them.
You can report welfare fraud by clicking here.
Who do you blame for welfare fraud?
Vote, leave us a comment, and we may use it on the air.