Suit seeks changes in CA public assistance program

AP News
Posted: Dec 09, 2011 12:50 PM
Suit seeks changes in CA public assistance program

A lawsuit has been filed against the state of California that claims safeguards aren't provided for government aid recipients whose funds are stolen.

The suit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court seeks a change to California civil code that would allow the reimbursement of money within five days for those who have had their benefits stolen.

Plaintiff Evelyn Carpio said thieves accessed her account via a state-issued debit card and withdrew $720 in October 2009 without her knowledge. She petitioned local and state officials, but was initially denied the return of the money.

After further investigation, according to the lawsuit, Carpio was reimbursed for the stolen funds this past April.

Michael Weston, a spokesman with the state Department of Social Services, couldn't comment because he hadn't seen the suit.