In 2007, Walter Carver thought he hit pay dirt when when he won $10 000 on a $2 scratch card, but unfortunately for him his earnings were confiscated by NY’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance because they argued he had to repay them for money he had received from public assistance from 1997-2000.
At the time Mr Carver expressed shock and dismay, who was unaware there was a lien against him, and the fact that he had been long off public assistance.
How did the State react?
nypost: In order to collect benefits, Carver had to work 35 hours a week in the Work Experience Program, first in the mailroom at Coney Island Hospital and later cleaning up at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan.
But put another way, the arrangement effectively had Mr Carver working for below minimum wages when taking into account his 35 hour work week in lieu of public assistance.
He sued the state, claiming that the repayment would mean he had been forced to work for well below the minimum wage.
That said, Mr Carver recently won a reprieve against the Supreme Court with his case been now sent back to a lower court.
Which raises the question: What’s the value in receiving public assistance when the government demands that you pay it back the moment you come across some money. Even 7 years later? Well at least it doesn’t ask you to pay back your unemployment assist money or medicaid money- or is that about to change too one day?