Flood of food stamp applications raises fraud concerns

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The number of South Carolinians approved for flood-related food stamp benefits is nearly double the number of people that have asked for federal flood aid.

The Greenville News reports figures from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State Department of Social Services show the state approved 184,173 applicants for one-time Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits in 24 counties, while a total of 96,132 people have registered in those same counties.

Some lawmakers have suggested that obtaining disaster food stamp benefits has been too easy, particularly in areas that weren’t as hard hit by October’s record rains. Others have raised the possibility of fraud.

DSS spokeswoman Karen Wingo says the difference is caused by more narrow requirements for FEMA aid.

Fraud can be reported at (800) 616-1309.

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