[NFBMO] Official news release FW: Gov. Greitens Announces Results of Investigations into Possible Blind Pension Fraud

Cory McMahon cory.j.mcmahon at gmail.com
Fri Mar 23 19:09:46 UTC 2018

Here's the official news release from the Governor's office.




Cory McMahon


From: Briden, Parker <parker.briden at governor.mo.gov> 
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2018 12:56 PM
Subject: Gov. Greitens Announces Results of Investigations into Possible
Blind Pension Fraud


For Immediate Release

Contact: Parker Briden,  <mailto:parker.briden at governor.mo.gov>
parker.briden at governor.mo.gov

March 23, 2018


Gov. Greitens Announces Results of Investigation into Possible Blind Pension


Today, Governor Eric Greitens announced the results of an investigation into
possible fraud in Missouri's Blind Pension system. The investigation showed
that hundreds of people currently claim to be blind, and receive
taxpayer-paid benefits for it, while also claiming the ability to drive.


"We're rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in our government to guard
taxpayer dollars, and to protect Missouri's most vulnerable citizens. Our
team found people in Missouri who were taking money from the taxpayers
because they claim to be blind-all while driving, speeding, and even driving


That's right. We did an investigation, and we found that 436 individuals who
get a Blind Pension benefit-at least $738 a month of taxpayer money-also
have a valid driver's license. One had a license to drive a commercial
truck. One had multiple driving violations and a DWI. One was already under
investigation for providing false information for a different program. 


People who are abusing this system aren't just stealing from taxpayers,
they're stealing from the most vulnerable-the people who need those funds.
They can't rip you off on our watch. We're holding them accountable," said
Governor Greitens


An investigation launched by the Department of Social Services, with the
help of the Department of Revenue, found that 436 individuals who received a
Blind Pension benefit also had a current or had renewed/obtained their
Missouri driver's license while receiving a blind pension. Each one receives
$738 a month, as well as state-funded health insurance. The Department of
Social Services, Family Support Division (FSD) decided to investigate after
an increasing number of Blind Pension applicants presented a valid Missouri
driver's license. A person has to have better vision to qualify for a
driver's license than to qualify for a Blind Pension. Therefore, FSD
questioned why there were so many blind pensioners with a Missouri driver's


At least one hundred individuals are currently under investigation by the
DSS Welfare Investigations Unit (WIU), which investigates reports of
possible fraud, waste, or abuse of welfare benefits.


According to the Department of Social Services, WIU referrals included:

*      A truck driver with a commercial driver's license;

*      An individual with multiple driving violations including DWI, fleeing
from multiple speeding tickets; and

*      An individual already under WIU investigation who may have also
presented false information to support an application for a housing subsidy.


The Blind Pension program is financed entirely by state funds. The program
provides assistance for blind persons who do not qualify under the
Supplemental Aid to the Blind law and who are not eligible for Supplemental
Security Income benefits. Each eligible person receives a monthly cash grant
of $738, as well as state funded MO HealthNet coverage. 



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