Lottery Winner on Food Stamps

Lacye - posted on 05/19/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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A Michigan man who won $2 million in a state lottery game continues to collect food stamps 11 months after striking it rich.
And there's nothing the state can do about it, at least for now.
Leroy Fick, 59, of Auburn won $2 million in the state lottery TV show "Make Me Rich!" last June. But the state's Department of Human Services determined he was still eligible for food stamps, Fick's attorney, John Wilson of Midland, said Tuesday.
Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income and follows federal guidelines; lottery winnings are considered liquid assets and don't count as income. As long as Fick's gross income stays below the eligibility requirement for food stamps, he can receive them, even if he has a million dollars in the bank.
Food stamps are paid for through tax dollars and are meant to help support low-income families.
"If you're going to try to make me feel bad, you're not going to do it," Fick told WNEM-TV in Saginaw on Monday.
Wilson said Fick told the DHS officials he'd won $2 million but was told he could keep using the Bridge Card issued to him to buy groceries.
Fick could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Al Kimichik, director of the office of inspector general for DHS, said the department could not comment on individual cases but that it this week began the process of requesting a waiver from the federal government to close the lottery loophole. If it is granted, assets would be counted in determining food stamp eligibility.
Though the food stamp program is federal and states must follow U.S. guidelines, states sometimes request waivers of rules. Michigan was granted a waiver recently to stop college students from qualifying for food stamps.
"For Leroy Fick to continue to use a Bridge Card, paid for by the taxpayers, after winning the lottery, is obscene," said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge. "What a waste of taxpayer money."
Jones contacted DHS officials Monday about Fick's case, and was told the department's hands were tied by federal regulations.
"There is no liquid asset requirement for getting food stamps," Jones said. "The department is asking the federal government for an immediate change (in policy). They're hoping this case will help the federal government act."
Until then, Fick can collect food stamps and keep his lottery winnings in the bank.
"I am not going to sit and debate the ethics of this," Wilson said. "But from his standpoint, he did what he was supposed to do -- he informed the state, and the state said he could keep using the card. The problem is with the state."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_localdtw/2...

What the hell! I'm sorry but if I won the lottery I wouldn't be on food stamps. That is just wrong. I would take myself off of it so somebody else can have it.

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[deleted account]

Not even just winning the lottery..if we got fecking jobs in this recession.There's nothing more i would want then to not have to rely on handouts.I would happily say farewell food stamps etc.
So by winning the lottery and still wanting to get handouts i say thats greedy..in my personal opinion.
I mean handouts respectfully..not dogging anyone getting them, sure i am on them now.It sucks big time.I am grateful for the help but it still sucks.

[deleted account]

That's ludicrous!

Did he put it in the bank? Cuz over here it doesn't even matter if you have NO income... if you have over $2,000 in the bank (including your KID'S accounts).... you lose your food stamps.

America3437 - posted on 05/19/2011

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I work in retail and believe me someone will walk in wearing name brand's,gold jewerly and driven a bmw and turn around and use food stamps! This is why so many honest,hard working 2-income families can't get help. The whole system needs an overhaul!!!!

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[deleted account]

@America 3437.Even the honest in the system are pushed aside because of the greedy benefit people who fraud it for everything its worth.Half of them driving flashy cars is to right.Make you sick.The system is a joke.I can't wait to get out of it.We have to up and leave soon to get work overseas.I will not go any longer in this f'd up system&country.:-(

Lacye - posted on 05/19/2011

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Tracey: Sorry. I was half asleep when I wrote back to you earlier and wasn't thinking. :D

Teresa: Yes he does have it in the bank. But they said that since it is a liquid asset, they can't count it.

Sharon: I'm sorry that the government has treated you so badly that you would feel the need to do it. But the difference between you and him, You would feel bad about the other people getting fucked over, He doesn't.

Sharon - posted on 05/19/2011

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you know? I was outraged and disgusted when I read this. Then somewhere in my head something said "well fuck. At least its an american." and then another voice said "You'd do it too." and you know what? I probably would. At least for a little while. Our government has screwed me & my family for so long after all the goddamned taxes we've paid, we get shit for help. So fuck the government. I'm sorry my fellow americans are getting assfucked on this deal but I'd be making a point and getting what I deserved back.

Johnny - posted on 05/19/2011

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Well, some people just lack moral fibre. Unfortunately, there is nothing out there preventing them from winning the jackpot.

Sneaky - posted on 05/19/2011

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Lacye, it was more a moral 'why?' than a technical one. Fortunately family assistance in Australia does count liquid assets as assets and a lottery win would exclude you from welfare.
The 'why?' was more along the lines of - what is he thinking? He has been extraordinarily lucky, but feels no desire to give back, to be thankful for his luck. I just can't get my mind around what his reasoning is.

[deleted account]

I don't care if he still officially "qualifies" for food stamps based on their income guidelines. You win $2 Mil, the right thing to do is to let that food money go to someone who actually needs it, since he clearly does NOT need it. Selfish.

Lacye - posted on 05/19/2011

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The states reason behind this is because the lottery money isn't considered in the man's income. The money is considered liquid assets.

Sneaky - posted on 05/19/2011

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So you win the lottery, tell the state and the state says that you can keep using your food stamps . . and you do? Why??? I think that takes 'cheap' to a whole new level.

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