Why does this public assistance scam re babies without declared fathers not raise a red flag?

This in Maryland.

Co-worker at a wedding meets couple there that has 3 kids together. Couple is deliberately not married despite having made three kids together. At every birth mother claims father is “unknown” and thus can collect some sort of social assistance for each child. The man and woman live together as (effective) husband and wife and collect benefits for the kids.

My co-worker claims the scenario described to him is 100% true and the man had no shame in admitting this was their setup.

Even after all the welfare reform since the 80’s Is is really possible for a woman to say “no baby daddy” three times in a row and still get full benefits?

And how does this coworker of yours know that the man she is living with is the actual father of these children and that she is collecting these benefits by claiming she doesn’t know who the father is? Is this something that came up through casual conversation right before the vows were exchanged?

This was a conversation at the reception between guests to the wedding. None of those involved were getting married. The father admitted that the kids were all his though paternity was undeclared.

In my state,which is not Maryland, a woman is required to cooperate with child support enforcement as a condition of receiving benefits. If she claims the father is unknown, she is asked to identify any possible fathers based on the probable time of conception. Cooperation includes truthful testimony at trial, participation in DNA testing, etc. Failure to cooperate can result in termination of benefits. Given staffing shortages and so forth, there is often some period of delay during which she can collect benefits while efforts are made to locate/contact potential fathers.

When I lived in Houston I had a female neighbor who was a pharmacist no less doing something similar I think, all I know for sure is that her husband was still living with her but parking a few streets over and walking to house late at night. She requested that should anyone come snooping around or asking questions I either say I knew nothing about my next door neighbors or at least deny I had seen an adult male at the house.

Nobody ever came around that I know of, I didn’t answer my door as a matter of course anyway.

In my state i think everything is based on household income, so she would have to disclose his income to get any benefits, no matter who he is. Not doing so would be fraud. It may be different in Maryland, but that’s the simple solution to that problem. I’m a single parent and am not aware of any benefits available to me that aren’t available to married parents, but it would be easier to lie and say you live alone if you aren’t listed as married.

But I could be wrong, I don’t receive any benefits and this is based on things I get from daycare and school informing parents about what programs are available. Everything I’ve seen is based on household income.

I sometimes wonder if some of these “scamming the systems” stories come from people that think they are being all clever and getting away with something but really are not: they are getting the benefits they would anyway, because they are basing their actions on how they assume it works.

It does raise red flags. But in many cases there aren’t enough resources to do anything about it.

The question is whether it is cheaper to have an enforcement division that checks to make sure that every dollar goes where it is supposed to , or to have some spillage of funds to shose who shouldn’t get it.

My wife, a social worker, has had clients on disability who talk about how they got on it by scamming the system. In reality, they just don’t want to admit to people they’re actually disabled/need assistance. I doubt that’s the case here, but something to keep in mind.

I wouldn’t be too surprised if what the couple claimed were possible. Quickly looking at a list of programs offered in Maryland, there might be a some where single mothers get a greater benefit, but most appear to be income based and so it’s likely that she claims the father is unknown so that she can more easily not claim his income. Like Fubaya said, that would be fraud. In any case like that that I’ve ever heard of, any benefits they received by defrauding the state would have to be repayed and of course there’s the possibility of imprisonment if they were ever discovered.

It would be possible for this couple to get away with it because there just aren’t enough government employees with enough time to verify the information. There was recently the case of the woman who won a lottery who continued to collect assistance. The state continued the payments because it was unaware she had won. The burden was on her to notify the state of her change in status. Because she did not, she is under investigation for fraud.

Though I guess I don’t understand how this couple could get away with it if they’re willing to go on about their fraud to some random person at a wedding.

This could also describe Ohio. I worked briefly as a child support/paternity establishment lawyer for the county prosecutor’s office back in the mid-Nineties, and the law is even more stringent today.

Watch Judge Judy.

Aside from the courtroom entertainment she provides today, she worked in Family Court for a zillion years, and she knows ALLLLL the stories.

She is FOREVER haranguing couples who declare themselves “engaged” and then mention they have two kids, three kids, or more. She asks, “Why don’t you get married?” and is always answered with a shrug. She KNOWS why. The kids are supported by the State. Dad lives there, but not on paper. Oftentimes, if Dad says he’s working, and she wrangles from him where he is employed, she tells the couple that a copy of the tape will be sent to the Child Support Division where they live.

She gives blistering lectures to parents who don’t pay child support. The culprits give lame excuses, like, “Well, I bought diapers,” or “I try to send money when I can,” and she proceeds to mop the floor with them.

And for Colorado, at least in the early 90s. I had a friend who tried to claim “unknown father” for her baby, not to scam anything, but because she really didn’t want the guy to have any legal connection to the baby. As she was 21 at the time with no support other than what she could earn herself, she needed government help, and they made her cough up the dad’s name.

For what it’s worth, the whole thing worked out exactly as government assistance is supposed to - she had the baby, went to college with govenrment help, got a degree, got a job, was promoted, and now baby is 23 and in college, and mother is a high-powered marketing person at a very well known high-tech firm. She’s my poster child whenever someone pulls out the “everyone on welfare is a lazy scammer” spiel.

This is fascinating, and I will keep it in mind the next time I’m in a discussion about someone claiming a fantastic but hard-to-believe story about how they are scamming the system.

Ex welfare caseworker checking in.

Definitely possible. I saw it ALL the damn time when I was a caseworker. There are tons of legit single moms out there, of course, but there were also tons of technically single moms who were shacking up with the baby daddy, who usually had a job. IME the younger the child, the more likely Dad was still around.

The #1 motivation to lie about Daddy’s whereabouts, besides Food Stamps, is Medicaid. If you’re broke enough and a single parent, you can get a medical card for yourself (income guidelines for Medicaid for kids are much more liberal than that for adults). You do have to go after child support from the absent parent – UNLESS to do so would pose a danger to yourself and/or your kids. (I had this happen once in the 3 years I was a caseworker.)

Depending on how much Dad in your scenario earns, Mom’s probably scamming for the Food Stamps and maybe Medicaid for the kids. I’m willing to bet she’s NOT getting Medicaid for herself because it would be too easy to bust her.

Other than Food Stamps and Medicaid, they might be lying about Dad’s whereabouts for SSI purposes. If they’ve managed to get disability checks for the kids, if Dad and his income “officially” move in it could put them over income quite easily.

These assholes are what give every honest person out there who is getting a little bit of help a bad name.

My sons ex GF is due to have a baby, my son says the chance of the child being his is a possibility. The problem he is having is that the girlfriend wont give his name as the potential father. She told me that she wants to keep the courts out of it and that my son just gives her money. Thats a red flag to me, but there is a chance that the child could be his. We don’t have the money for attorneys and DNA, she is receiving medical coverage from the welfare. He is upset that he could be the babies daddy and she now refuses to take his calls, and wont allow him at the hospital. First child to be and he will never get that special moment, none of us will. Can he contact Jobs and Family Services and give his name as possible father? Any advice would be appreciated

This. The babymomma of one of my cousins’ firstborn pulled that shit in Germany, c. 1990: my cousin was officially her parents’ boarder, not her boyfriend; no DNA testing was required and she claimed she couldn’t even remember who the babydaddy might be due to how hard she partied. My cousin realized what a piece of work he was involved with when she wanted to repeat the play; he’s now married to a sane, decent woman and they have three kids.

penelope3d, have you actually checked the cost for DNA testing? Depending on location it can be below 100USD

I knew a woman who did it. She just said it was a one-night stand and she had no idea what his name was or anything. She claimed they met at some random bar or club or something. She was living with her boyfriend who was the father. There was nothing that could realistically be done about it.

Oh well. Name a system that doesn’t have any cheaters. You can’t because there’s not.

You should really start a new thread for your question. Tacking it to the end of an old thread not about the same question is not as likely to get a response. Post it in General Questions as it’s asking for a factual way to go about seeing he gets rights with the kid if it’s his.

I thought legal questions belonged in IMHO?