Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

New Hampshire audit finds state improperly gave refugees cash or health insurance benefits, while shortchanging refugees for housing cash benefits

Posted by Christopher Coen on June 2, 2010

The state of New Hamshire has uncovered quite a bit of incompetance in a state agency responsible for refugee benefits (here).

According to a recent audit the state improperly gave refugees cash or health insurance benefits that the individuals were not entitled to.

The auditors also discovered that refugees who lived in housing they pay for privately have been getting shortchanged in cash benefits since 2002

CONCORD – The state improperly gave refugees cash or health insurance benefits that the individuals were not entitled to but underpaid to compensate for housing costs, according to a critical audit of the state Office of Energy and Planning.

The audit, released Tuesday, blamed the problem on a lack of worker training and understanding of state law.

“Lack of effective training and oversight of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services employees responsible for the determination of client eligibility and disbursement of refugee cash and medical benefits resulted in benefits being paid to ineligible clients during fiscal year 2009,” the audit concluded.

About 300-400 refugees a year come to New Hampshire having had to flee home countries for fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group.

Two nonprofit groups, Lutheran Social Services of New Hampshire and the International Institute of New Hampshire, process the refugees once they arrive in New Hampshire….

…Auditors found 22 percent of recipients checked for testing purposes were ineligible for refugee benefits.

HHS workers later did their own analysis and determined improper payment of $20,692 in cash benefits and $18,739 of ineligible health care coverage to clients in the budget year that ended June 30, 2009…

…Meanwhile, the auditors also discovered that refugees who lived in housing they pay for privately have been getting shortchanged in cash benefits by small amounts since 2002.

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One Response to “New Hampshire audit finds state improperly gave refugees cash or health insurance benefits, while shortchanging refugees for housing cash benefits”

  1. [...] story is a few weeks old but I just saw it this morning at Friends of Refugees blog.   A recent audit of New Hampshire’s budget has uncovered excess spending for refugees [...]

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