Don’t jump to conclusion that state welfare system is rife with fraud

Re “Confidence in welfare system depends on preventing abuse” (Editorial, March 3): The Globe got it right when it said that what’s most unfortunate about the welfare controversy is how it undermines critical programs that help prevent hunger and homelessness for thousands of children and elders in Massachusetts.

But it’s also unfortunate that the Globe gave the impression that programs are rampant with eligibility fraud. The inspector general’s report did not find fraud. It did not find that $25 million in welfare benefits are wasted. It did not say that the families were ineligible or were overpaid. The report found gaps in the agency’s record-keeping. As the inspector general pointed out, once the Department of Transitional Assistance fills these gaps, the state might find that all the families were eligible for benefits.


The fraud found by the state auditor amounts to less than one-fifth of 1 percent of welfare and food stamp benefits.

It’s time to stop repeating the myth of widespread abuse, as it will only pressure the agency to delay or deny benefits to desperately needy residents.

Georgia Katsoulomitis

Executive director

Masssachusetts Law Reform



Carol J. Trust

Executive director

National Association

of Social Workers,

Massachusetts chapter


Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com