U.S. Senate cracks down on lottery winners
While the lottery faces constant scrutiny on providing winners on food stamps funds while they still collect government money, the U.S. Senate is looking to remedy this financial error.
During the 2013 LEgislative Session, many long debated topics have come up for consideration for both state and the National Legislation. Among the topics presented is the ever-scutinized lottery systems. Many people believe it is unfair for winners of the lottery to continue to receive government welfare and food stamps after they have won prizes that exceed values of $1 million or more.
In May 2012, it was reported that a woman in Michigan who had won $1 million from the lottery was still receiving food stamps. After this story, many people began to question the lottery systems and discover that more people were receiving government food stamps and welfare while receiving lottery winnings. Michigan alone received the most scrutiny for lottery winners receiving funds from the government. The Michigan government has since worked to remedy their errors, and the U.S. Senate is looking to do the same for all lotteries.
The United States distributes food stamps per states through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program helps no to low-income families receive funds necessary to feed themselves and their loved ones. It is necessary for some families to receive the nutrition necessary to live. While most people use SNAP to feed themselves, there are always the people who will take advantage of the government’s good intentions.
The U.S. Senate is discussing a proposed law that would no longer allow lottery winners to receive government benefits such as SNAP and welfare. Many members of the Senate believe fraud in the SNAP system is unfair to those who truly need it, and lottery winners no longer qualify as those in need of financial assistance. the Senate wants to more closely monitor SNAP in order to eliminate as much fraud as possible, which is an idea welcomed by many state officials.
Currently, lottery winners fo $20,000 or more are reported to the Department of Revenue and State Auditor, according to CPA Practice Advisor. Winners of this amount or more are receiving enough money to no longer be consider no/low-income. Lottery winners of high prizes are not reported to the departments that handle welfare, and have therefore been able to go under the radar if they receive both lottery winnings and SNAP benefits.
The current bill in front of the Senate has been called the Farm Bill, and will change how SNAP as well as other aspects of the Department of Agriculture benefit the country. IF it passes, it will help regulate lottery winners and others who try to commit fraud against the government. The Farm Bill will help ensure that government assistance is only given to those who are in need of it, and not the instant winners of lottery prizes.
The U.S. Senate has approved the Farm Bill 66-27, and will begin to help regulate how lottery winners are awarded to ensure that no one is able to to take advantage of the system.