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Old 07-07-2011, 06:56   #1
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Paid for Being Homeless ?

I've been writing for years on the topic of living aboard but this is a story I never heard before. I'm floored by it. I have no reason not to believe the people who told it. They said they had friends who sold their house for a huge bundle of money, put their affairs in the hands of an attorney, and lived fulltime on the go for some years. Each year they received $11,000 from the government because they were "homeless". They didn't cash the checks, knowing that would be fraud, and said their lawyer did the paper work involved in returning the money. (Oh, really?) Yet the checks kept arriving. Anyone know if there is a stipend for the homeless? Do you suspect their lawyer was involved in some hanky panky? I don't know if this was a state or federal program.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:02   #2
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

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Originally Posted by JanetGroene View Post
I've been writing for years on the topic of living aboard but this is a story I never heard before. I'm floored by it. I have no reason not to believe the people who told it. They said they had friends who sold their house for a huge bundle of money, put their affairs in the hands of an attorney, and lived fulltime on the go for some years. Each year they received $11,000 from the government because they were "homeless". They didn't cash the checks, knowing that would be fraud, and said their lawyer did the paper work involved in returning the money. (Oh, really?) Yet the checks kept arriving. Anyone know if there is a stipend for the homeless? Do you suspect their lawyer was involved in some hanky panky? I don't know if this was a state or federal program.
And just where was this?
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:04   #3
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

No, there is no "homeless" stipend or whatever you want to call it.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:12   #4
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

Sounds like an urban legend to me.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:20   #5
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

Since this is an International Forum - what country? If USA what State? Are they getting State or Federal money?
- - In the USA there is the federal "negative income tax" or EITC program for low wage earners.
- - If the "attorney" is really a "tax consultant" and/or whatever and he is handling and filing the couples tax returns - or - filing false documents, the ultimate responsibility falls to the couple. Whether they cash the checks or do not cash the checks they are responsible and could face civil or criminal penalties as being "parties" to the crime.
- - It is not uncommon for a government bureaucracy to get its "computer" system stuck in a endless loop that disburses money to somebody erroneously. It can take some mighty amount of persistence on the part of the recipient to get the problem fixed. One of the best ways is through their Congressional Representative who can take the problem to the highest level of the screw-up and get it fixed.
- - As a USA cruiser, you are really never "homeless" as your vessel qualifies as a "home" and you still must maintain a fixed, on-land address for various governmental licenses, voting and tax purposes.
- - I got involved in a hassles with a low level bureaucrat a couple of years ago who was adamantly insisting that Puerto Rico was a "foreign country" and therefore my documents submitted from there were invalid. It took a Congressman to embarrass the head of the particular government department to get the problem fixed. And wow, the fix was fast and successful.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:29   #6
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

>> Puerto Rico a foreign country

Reminds me of the scam many years ago when someone set up a currency exchange booth at the airport in Honolulu and offered to exchange U.S. dollars for Hawaiian currency.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:38   #7
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

Homeless people can get on welfare, if they qualify... but these people would have been required to Lie on the application regarding their financial needs in order to qualify.

Other than welfare and food stamps (which aren't so easy to get for actual homeless people), there is no money given to the homeless in the US, other than the occasional generosity of strangers.
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Old 07-07-2011, 13:14   #8
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

This was in a Southeastern state in the U.S. I have no reason to doubt the people who told the story secondhand. They heard it firsthand and I'm trolling to see if anyone else has heard of such a thing. Sounds to me like the attorney did something fishy to trigger such payments. People DO get cash credits from the government for the darndest things but heck, if most of us had such a deal going, we'd keep mum about it.
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Old 07-07-2011, 13:29   #9
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

My sister has worked in the non profit assistance field for many years and is very knowledgeable about government aid.

She says there is no federal program that delivers un-tracked funds and no State of California program either. And she highly doubts that any other state would have such a program with out her being aware of it. There ARE all kinds of aid and assistance avaliable but you must be a Philadelphia lawyer to access it and it is highly regulated.
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Old 07-07-2011, 14:12   #10
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

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My sister has worked in the non profit assistance field for many years and is very knowledgeable about government aid.

She says there is no federal program that delivers un-tracked funds and no State of California program either. And she highly doubts that any other state would have such a program with out her being aware of it. There ARE all kinds of aid and assistance avaliable but you must be a Philadelphia lawyer to access it and it is highly regulated.
There are a lot of programs, and they vary widely by state, but generally you will get a "caseworker" who will micromanage your life.

I was once approached by a government employee who wanted to enroll me on food stamps to boost his "numbers" so he could get an additional employee, (and additional budget). I refused because I was nowhere near indigent, even though he insisted my income would never be "checked".

It is impossible to determine how much "cheating" is occuring, but it would behoove your friends to investigate further, and insure their lawyer is not falsifying documents in their name. ( I know, What a lawyer lying?!?!,...Unthinkable!).
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Old 07-07-2011, 14:22   #11
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

Could be SSI disability checks? lots of fraud going on there! so much so that my lawer said that less than 30% get approved first try.
I ran out unemployment a while back.
BTW capn bill income does get checked! and now in FL you soon will have to pay for a drug test to apply.

best was the "drunk check" of 600 a month, alcholism used to be considerd a disability!
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Old 07-07-2011, 15:43   #12
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

When we got back from cruising, we had a friend whose former job was getting people on walfare. She worked for a hospital that was trying to recoup some of the money that went out the door with indigent clients and she had learned the 'system' backwards and forwards. She insisted we could get food stamps, housing payments as well as hospital bills covered for my wife's pregnancy and birth of our son. We didn't push it but looking at all the nice trucks that healthy people without 'jobs' were driving, when we went to the beach, it was obviously true.

Doubt if you'd get the money while out of the country and if you owned a boat, even if you lived on it, and were honest in the application. They don't want you to be one of those rich yachties and have assets, but they apparently don't check unless someone rats you out. Things have changed a lot since then but not in making things much tougher especially in regards to foodstamps. The government is practically advertising on prime time tv to belly up to the foodstamp trough with great success. 1 in 7 people are recieving food stamps today if what the gov't is saying is true.

Find it interesting that they are railing against the private jet tax breaks just like they did against yachts in the '90s. That was a great idea that put thousands of US boat workers out of a job and almost killed the US boating industry.
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Old 07-07-2011, 17:40   #13
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

There used to be a lot more interesting scams before computers became so sophisticated.
The best I came accross was back in the 1970s, a crazy old hermit lived in far north Queensland in a concrete WW2 bunker/gun implacement, that had never actually had a gun in it.
He lobbied, successfully, to get it on some register as having great historical significance. It was on the coast, but hundreds of miles from anywhere. Not even a road to it anymore.
But he was the 'part time caretaker', and for his style of living the money was plenty. Especially when suplimented with 'exotic herbs' he cultivated.
He had an old wooden boat that should have sunk about the end of WW2, and he'd sailed around to the Gulf of Carpentaria where he'd picked up, free, discarded rubber conveyor belting from the mines. He cut it into 18" tiles, or shingles, and made a roof over the round concrete part he called home.
As a tax paying citizen, I know I was paying for his lifestyle, but I really didn't mind.
The world needs some crazy, colourful characters, and they're money well spent, compared to heaps of idiotic stuff governments waste money on!
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Old 07-07-2011, 18:12   #14
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

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The world needs some crazy, colourful characters, and they're money well spent, compared to heaps of idiotic stuff governments waste money on!
Hear! Hear! and all that stuff.
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:39   #15
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Re: Paid for being homeless?

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BTW capn bill income does get checked! and now in FL you soon will have to pay for a drug test to apply.
Kinda depends on who is doing the "checking".

I'm glad Florida is finally reforming their system. There are other states that should as well.

Unfortunately right now there are more programs to help those who are determined to sponge off of the hard work of their fellow man, than there are to help those who just want a productive job, (and keep some of their paycheck).
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