LINCOLN PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) - A Lincoln Park woman has been cut off from her state food assistance now that it has been revealed she won $1,000,000 in the Michigan Lottery.
Amanda Clayton won the money last fall, but reportedly continued to collect $200 a month in state food assistance benefits. Joshua Ormanian says he was dating Amanda at the time.
"She got the money couple days after. She got the whole large sum ... probably $700,000," says Ormanian.
He says he's the father of one of Clayton's two children and claims he figured she was no longer getting her state food assistance after she won the lottery. When it was revealed this week that Clayton was still collecting the state aid, the Michigan Department of Human Services said she has been cut off from those benefits.
The Michigan DHS released this statement on behalf of Maura D. Corrigan, DHS Director.
“Under DHS policy, a recipient of food assistance benefits must notify the state within 10 days of any asset or income change. DHS relies on clients being forthcoming about their actual financial status. If they are not, and continue to accept benefits, they may face criminal investigation and be required to pay back those benefits.
Michigan DHS does not currently have the ability to verify a person’s lottery winnings in determining benefit eligibility, but bills pending in the state legislature would require the Michigan Lottery to notify DHS of lottery winners. We fully support this proposed change. Our Office of Inspector General will continue to vigorously pursue any and all abuse and fraud in the welfare system."
Ormanian says he wishes only the best for Clayton and isn't speaking out as a scorned ex-boyfriend.
"If someone collected (won) one quarter of that ... why are they still collecting? It's not right," he says.
There are two bills pending in the state legislature. One requires the MI Lottery to notify DHS of lotto winners of more than $1,000. State Representative Dale Zorn is behind that legislation.
"Those that win those riches should step up to the plate and should say I’m no longer in need of public assistance. Give it to someone who needs it," says State Representative Zorn.
Action News did speak to some of Clayton's Lincoln Park neighbors who said they support her decision to continue collecting since she didn't do anything illegal.
We tried speaking to Clayton, but no one came to the door at her Lincoln Park home.
A woman we reached by phone, believed to be Clayton's mother, said "no comment."
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