Welfare verification wins initial approval in Missouri House

Source: Associated Press, News Tribune, February 9, 2016

Legislation requiring a private company to scrutinize Missouri’s welfare rolls has won initial approval in the House. Under the bill endorsed Tuesday, the state would hire a company to check people’s eligibility for programs such as food stamps. The company would flag cases for state employees to investigate. Bill sponsor Rep. Marsha Haefner said the proposal could save more than $20 million over the next three years by eliminating waste and fraud.

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Welfare verification requirement gains momentum in Missouri
Source: Adam Aton, Associated Press, January 31, 2016

The Department of Social Services currently verifies a person’s eligibility for each program at least once a year, department spokeswoman Rebecca Woelfel wrote in an email. Federal and state agencies also send them reports regularly, she said. The legislation would require a private contractor to conduct quarterly comparisons of recipients’ personal information against public records and databases, as well as monthly checks for people who have died, moved or gone to jail. … Legislative researchers project that hiring a company and processing the cases it highlights would cost about $11 million over the next three years. Of that, $4.6 would be state money and the rest would come from the federal government.

Social Service works on welfare verification system
Source: The News Tribune, January 13, 2016

The Missouri Department of Social Services is moving forward with a system to verify eligibility of those on the state’s welfare programs and validate new clients. Brian Kinkade, director of the department, said he expects the request for proposals seeking potential bidders to start next week. After that, a pre-bid conference will be held and interested companies can ask questions about the proposal. By the end of March, Kinkade said, the department anticipates to award a bidder. Kinkade said he doesn’t know how much the system will cost until bids are submitted. …