Paper jam causes welfare letters to go to wrong homes

A paper jam in a mail-inserting machine is being blamed for 2,845 welfare benefit renewal letters going to the wrong welfare recipients in Pennsylvania.

How many victims? 1,280 of the packets contained Social Security numbers.

What was the response? The state Department of Public Welfare has mailed notification letters to victims and placed a 90-day fraud alert on their credit files.

Details: The department is working with the inserter manufacturer to determine what went wrong. As a new policy, the vendor will hand check every 50th packet to ensure it is going to the right destination.

Source:, The Patriot-News, "Welfare renewals take a wrong turn," Aug. 26.


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