Calif. SSI payouts insufficient, lacking in oversight

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Capital Public Radio’s Kelley Weiss explored how cuts to California’s Supplemental Security Income were impacting older disabled Californians and, in a second story, the lack of oversight in the massive state program. According to Weiss, the state doesn’t track how the money is spent by recipients or whether the $845 a month is enough to live on. Weiss even found recipients who admitted using the money to buy everything from beer to crack cocaine.

When Weiss questioned the director of California’s Department of Social Services, which oversees the state’s portion of SSI, about audits or reports that evaluated whether the program is working, he had a somewhat surprising answer:

“I don’t have any, I don’t have any background on this…yeah, we’ll have to set up a different time for that.”

Learn more about the national system here.

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