A Mother in Massachusetts sent an email about the Amanda Clayton story, and also gave me an explanation of Massachusetts’ RomneyCare. Both emails are below. You remember Clayton, the 24-year-old food stamp scammer. She won a $1 MILLION lottery in Michigan. Took home about $500,000 of her lump sum payment after taxes. Before the win, Clayton had been on government assistance, receiving a $200 monthly check from taxpayers, and continued to do so for about 5 or 6 months after her win. A local TV station was tipped off that Clayton was still receiving food stamps. A reporter followed her and watched as she paid for food items with her taxpayer stipend. In Clayton’s driveway, the reporter asked her about the ruse, and with cameras rolling, Amanda said she didn’t see anything wrong with what she was doing, because the government didn’t cut her off (video below). It was a big story, and since that time, Amanda Clayton is off the food stamp rolls. She has a new home, and an old home and a new car. Her mother indicates that her daughter has spent all the money, and her food stamps were no one’s business. The Massachusetts Mom told me her story in the email – the story of a 50-year-old divorced woman with a son, with health problems, with a job, and with an absent father. It deserves to be heard because the Massachusetts Mom’s story is likely the story of multiple others – a woman in need who is always in the back of the line because of community pariah’s like Amanda Clayton.
From a Massachusetts Mother:
Here in Massachusetts, housing fraud, food stamp fraud, welfare fraud runs rampant for the very reasons you wrote about: No one checks the authenticity of documents provided by applicants. Not only are US Citizens part of this fraud, but our state has a large number of illegal immigrants who are not only “criminals” because they are in this country illegally, but they have fraudulent and/or stolen social security numbers and provide same in order to receive government funded programs in this state. NO ONE CHECKS THE VALIDITY and/or AUTHENTICITY of the social security numbers and therefore, these illegal aliens are receiving free housing, hundreds of dollars of food stamps monthly AND welfare payments AND child care vouchers.
There are no ‘fact checkers” employed in the Massachusetts state-funded programs. Pay Stubs can be forged on a decent printer, or alternatively, a “letter from an employer” is acceptable as proof of earned wages. And no one checks to see if the employer is a real person. In Massachusetts, child support is considered “income” and must be reported as same. However, many of the people committing fraud “hide” support because they receive (a) cash support from their respective baby daddies or in rare instances baby mamas and (b) do not put the money in a bank account. Those kinds of cash payments are virtually untraceable so applicants for state funded services do not put down any monetary value of child support because he/she knows the cash payments cannot be traced.
Sadly, I know several people who have been doing this for years and have been living in low-income housing and not paying a penny for rent because they are jobless and claim they do not receive support. And the property managers of these low-income properties do not check because they get such a large stipend from the state for the rent payment and have “quotas” to fill (vacancies) that if they started digging into these low-income tenants’ financial backgrounds, 90 percent of those people would most likely end up being evicted and charged with housing fraud! So the property managers look the other way and do nothing while there are genuine persons in need of housing waiting years to get an apartment but can’t because of those committing fraud.
Apparently no one bothered to check Amanda Clayton thoroughly. The Michigan state workers just assumed she was telling the truth about being jobless, having no income and allowing her to continue to receive food stamps.
No fact checkers., no follow up. Everything accepted on face value.
Amanda Clayton is an example of what is wrong with the government fact-checking system in Massachusetts and perhaps in many other states. This subject has been the veritable thorn in my side (or rather an entire rosebush of thorns) as I am a single parent (I am 50 years old), I am raising my son alone (I have no family within 100 miles) and ironically enough, I have had the same job for ten years. My income tax return figures belie “financial poverty.”
I am a college educated, highly intelligent woman. But I knew I’d end up raising my son alone (my ex-husband is not in my son’s life by his choice) so I had to choose between working full time and pawning my son off to caregivers from sun up to sun down and never being able to spend time with him, OR, alternatively, work part time, sacrifice my employability to make $60,000 — $70,000 a year, and become a “financial poverty” statistic” BUT be available to my son when HE needed me, not when my “time” allowed.
Amanda Clayton does not know what ‘struggling’ is, trust me. And Amanda Clayton thinks she “deserves” state funded services” with a half million sitting in her bank account????? Now I have heard it all.
Let me explain something: my income “QUALIFIES” me for state services. I do not receive welfare because I have a job, but I do receive food stamps – a mere $59 dollars a month because my income “QUALIFIES” me for that amount. I rent a condo at $565 a month which is manageable with my part time income and my child support combined. And based on my income, I “QUALIFY” for fuel assistance, a small amount but a huge help nonetheless.
I waited FIVE YEARS to receive a child care voucher to help pay for my son’s after school program and his summer camp fees. FIVE YEARS. And guess who was in front of me all those years? People just like Amanda Clayton except with kids who think they “deserve” to get the vouchers AND the illegal immigrants about whom I wrote above. They get immediate child care vouchers because they are on welfare. Illegal immigrants. And I couldn’t get one for five years. I was back of bus competing with illegal immigrants and jobless people like Amanda Clayton who felt they “DESERVED” to get the free services.
And guess what else? Those same illegal immigrants – and people like Amanda Clayton who think they “DESERVE” to receive these free services – also receive free health care.
My employer is not required by law to provide health care as I am his only employee. With my income, there is no such thing as affordable heath care with private insurers. I have been without health care since January 2, 2012 because a state worker “lost” my application. My income QUALIFIES me for a different health care program within the state’s programs but for which I must now pay a premium. My health insurance will not be reinstated until April 1, 2012. I have been without health insurance since January 1, 2012.
I have had blood clots. I suffer from degenerative disc disease and I have a genetic mutative disease which puts me in a high risk category for cardiovascular disease and certain autoimmune diseases. I have to monitor my blood pressure because the clots put me in danger of a stroke. I do not smoke, I do not drink nor do I do drugs.
Amanda Clayton does not know what “struggling” means.
Every day, when i wake up, I am lucky that I get to live one more day. My son is terrified that he is going to find me dead in my bed because I can’t get to a doctor because I have no health insurance until April 1st. I cannot afford to pay cash for medical services in which I am in dire need, because I struggle as it is. While all my bills are current, I live within my means and do not have a half a million dollars sitting in a bank account which I could use to go to the doctors I need to see NOW.
I am 50 years old Maggie. I’ve never owned a home. I dream about that because if I owned a home, my son could have a dog. All boys need a dog. That’ why I want to own a home – so my son can have a dog.
Amanda Clayton could never understand that. She’s too busy telling the world she “deserves” to receive food stamps and buying a second home.
I am aware someone turned her in. But here is something even more important: Here in Massachusetts, people receiving state funded services are bound by law to report ANY CHANGES IN INCOME. If she won this money last fall, and has been receiving the state services since then, then she has perpetrated a fraud upon the state of Michigan by deliberately failing to report a change in her income. It’s a felony here in Massachusetts.
I have no problem with her having won the lottery. But to actually believe that she “deserves” to continue to receive food stamps because she is jobless, everything is “hard” and she is “struggling” —- with a half million in the bank? She needs serious psychiatric help. Or a little jail time might change the way she thinks very quickly.
End Massachusetts Mother’s email.
Here is her email on Massachusetts RomneyCare:
Maggie: In Massachusetts, people who qualify, based on income, may receive free health services. For many years, I was one of those persons. My Rxs were only 3 dollars and honestly, I was very rarely sick. My son was under my plan, but it was free. There is great dental coverage for children under Mass Health; extremely poor coverage for adults under Mass Health.
I never had a problem with Mass Health the years I was receiving free health care. When my doctor found the blood clots, I spent months going to the Coumadin clinic (couamin being a blood thinner) first – 3 or 4x a week plus getting my Rx every month. I had to be monitored. I can’t imagine the costs incurred for same. But I only had to pay for my Rx’s every month – $3.
Until the genetic disease was discovered, and before the blood clots, I was always in relatively good health. I very rarely used my Mass Health. I was in a car accident in 2004. Mass Health paid for my PT and all medical expenses. the blood clots didn’t show up until 2010. It’s been kinda downhill since
However, if your income changes and based on the income eligibility guidelines for Mass Health, you get kicked off Mass Health and offered alternative health care programs with monthly premiums.
Now here is the worst of this: If you income is too high and disqualifies you from the low cost programs, but not high enough to afford private health care insurance (many of these persons are self-employed or work, as I do, for an employer who is not required to provide health insurance) you end up uninsured AND the State of Massachusetts will levy fines against persons who fail to get health care.
If the fines are not paid, then the Dept. of Revenue will take your state income tax refund to pay the fines at the end of the year.
End Massachusetts Mother’s email on RomneyCare
When Clayton signed up for food stamps, she surely had to agree to let authorities know if and when her income situation changed. While on government assistance, and before winning the lottery, this healthy 24-year-old spent her money on at least one lottery ticket. Like mother like daughter, perhaps. Both Clayton and her mother have no sense of personal responsibility, or that taxpayers are cutting the checks, or that Government produces nothing. Everything comes from a working neighbor. As Massachusetts Mother said, maybe some jail would set her thinking straight, and at the least, Amanda Clayton should cut her own check to payback what she illegally received.
Critics point to the rise of electronic debit cards as making it easier to commit welfare fraud. In Mendocino County, California, a woman who owned two homes and 12 vehicles collected $79,000 in welfare benefits using a state-issued benefits card. The Boston Herald criticized Massachusetts’ handling of their assistance program, claiming cash withdrawn using EBT cards was often used to buy alcohol, cigarettes, and lottery tickets. Source
Move on from Michigan and Massachusetts and get a look at worthless pieces of human garbage who stand in a welfare line in New York City, and tell you why they are doing it – healthy young men who admit they simply do not want to work. View it here.
Amanda Clayton – Lottery Winner and Food Stamp Abuser (video)