State Representative John Cavaletto, who represents the local 107th District, has announced that House Bill 3311 was signed into law by the governor. Cavaletto was a co-sponsor of the bill, which should bring an end to the practice of distributing welfare benefits to dead people. Under this new law the Illinois Department of Human Services will begin a monthly review of state death records to determine if any of the deceased are still receiving aid.
Representative Cavaletto commented that “this is the kind of action we need to take throughout all branches of our state government to rein in waste and fraud to ensure that the limited dollars we have go to real people who need the help.”
The legislation comes on the heels of two audits showing that millions of taxpayer dollars had been paid out to people who were no longer living. In February, Auditor General William Holland found that the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services last year paid out $3.7 million for medical services to 1,111 people who already had been recorded as dead. That came after Holland found the state had overpaid $12.3 million for medical care to 2,850 dead people in 2013.
The new law requires the department to cross-reference its roster of public aid recipients with electronic death records from the Department of Public Health each month. A public aid recipient who is found to have a death record shall be subject to an immediate cancelation of their public aid benefits, including the deactivation of their LINK card.