April 17, 2011

"By-Passing" the Qualifications for RI Social Service Benefits?

Monique Chartier

First of all, kudos to Terry Gorman of RIILE for obtaining the information contained in this post under Rhode Island's Access to Public Records law ("RI Gen Law 38-2-1 et seq" for other curious folks).

When someone goes to the State of Rhode Island and applies for social services, one of the first pieces of information for which they are asked is a social security number. However, there are instances when the applicant/recipient may not have one (more on that in a sec). When that happens, the staff at the Dept of Human Services is permitted to enter a "666" by-pass number - a nine digit number that starts with 666.

Know how many people are receiving benefits under a 666 by-pass number?


Now, per the attorney for the Department of Human Services, here's who might need a by-pass number:

newborns, citizens or legal permanent residents in the process of obtaining a copy of their Social Security cards and foster care children

However, all four of these instances would be very temporary situations; the social security number/card is obtained and the correct number is then plugged in, replacing the 666 by-pass number.

Are we to believe that there is a steady new batch of 3,300 applicants continuously coming into the system who need to use the by-pass number while waiting for a social security number or a copy of their card to arrive? What is the follow-up procedure prescribed by the Dept of Human Services? More specifically, how long have the cases represented by each of those 3,388 numbers actively been receiving benefits? Weeks, while the SS card is obtained? Or years, because no one from the state asked them for their card after a reasonable amount of time had lapsed?

Or is it possible that the by-pass number, purportedly for babies and foster care children (and how could you argue with that purpose, you hard-hearted person???), is being used to distribute social service benefits to adults who do not qualify because they simply do not have a social security number and do not dare to apply for one because they migrated here illegally?

There is a pretty straightforward solution to this: everyone gets re-qualified and, in the process, goes through e-verify. We are told repeatedly by advocates of illegal immigration that "undocumented immigrants" do not qualify for social service benefits. So there could be no objection to re-certification. In fact, better oversight (of Medicaid, at least) was exactly the recommendation of the Acting Auditor General Dennis E. Hoyle Friday.

The auditors said the state needs to improve oversight for processing Medicaid claims, determining eligibility, and disbursement of other program benefits, among other recommendations.

Could the re-certification process cost more in increased staffing? Maybe. Here's a suggestion: modernize (at least to the 20th century; ya don't want to move too fast on these matters) the state's completely assinine boiler laws and move the FTE's from the boiler inspection division over to human services. The increased taxes needed to fund unqualified social service benefits are a far greater threat to the well-being of the state than the danger posed by modern, forty four gallon hot water boilers.


Michael Morse checks in to say that the hot water heater which he and his wife harbor at their small business, and which was subjected to a state inspection, is all of four gallons. In fact, the pertinent Rhode Island General Law, 28-25, "Boiler Inspection and Pressure Vessels", does not specify a minimum size or vintage that shall fall under the scope of the inspectors. Accordingly, in the eyes of the state, no boiler is too small or too new to escape inspection.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Or modern four gallon electric water heaters! I sent letters to the Boiler inspection people, my state rep, and the rep representing the area my business is in, after getting my "bill" of $120.00 for a certificate of inspection for my boiler, haven't sent the check, and haven't heard from anybody except my state rep.

And, I ain't paying. Period.

Posted by: michael at April 17, 2011 9:38 AM

WOW, way to go Terry Gorman! I think this could possibly be the tip of a very, very large iceberg!

Wasn't it just reported that the cost of social services has increase 62% over the last 10 years?

Isn't that a lot of money and doesn't that correlate to the rise of ILLEGAL ALIENS mentioned by the PEW Center?

Posted by: Roland at April 17, 2011 2:42 PM


Too funny the stuff that goes on in this progressive infested little state.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at April 17, 2011 3:08 PM

Terry Gorman was onto this some years ago.
No one listened.
They apparently listen to that *ssw*pe punk Peter Asen who routinely slanders Terry as a racist.
Terry is nothing of the kind.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 17, 2011 3:43 PM


I don't know why it isn't already part of their continued eligibility, or why it would cost anything to re-certify the 666ers. There are DHS workers who are responsible for the people on these DHS rolls, and they should be the ones to follow up.

Elderly people in nursing homes who are on Medicaid are re-certified regularly, in my experience annually.

Posted by: riborn at April 17, 2011 4:12 PM

666 is code for fraud. Much more of this and change it to S.O.S....the good ship Rhode Island is sinking.

Posted by: ANTHONY at April 17, 2011 10:49 PM

A related story...

My husband (a legal resident & green card holder who will be eligible to become a citizen next year) went to the DMV when we got married about 3 years ago to transfer his MA license to RI. After arguing with the clerk about how his paperwork was, in fact, not fake & being one of the few people there taking the exam in English, he got his ID. Thankfully, he had enough sense to look @ it before leaving the building as they had erroneously listed his birthday as "1-1-70". So back he went to stand in line yet again & get it corrected. When he approached the clerk again, she casually states "Oh; that's the default birthday". I wonder how many people are walking around RI with 1-1-70 on their license? And how many people with such a license get various forms of public assistance?

Posted by: Stephanie at April 17, 2011 11:22 PM

Elderly people in nursing homes who are on Medicaid are re-certified regularly, in my experience annually.
Posted by riborn at April 17, 2011 4:12 PM

Oh yeah. What happens when an illegal alien has to go to a nursing home.
Are they "certified"?
Or given a "666"?

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at April 18, 2011 8:21 AM

Just a tidbit:


This is why we have such intense regulation/inspection of 'boilers'. Same goes for fire regulations after the Station fire.

What interests me is how the rules were originally meant to regulate safety of legitimate dangers in industrial-scale equipment, but now we see that they empower local authorities to nitpick down to the personal scale. Realistically, there's no need to inspect hot water tanks and boilers for most businesses, they're built to satisfy underwriters' requirements, and that ought to be enough. Inspection should be reserved for equipment large enough to pose a significant threat if it malfunctions, not 'potential mop-up' levels of risk.

Posted by: mangeek at April 18, 2011 12:54 PM

Michael, I am definitely not a lawyer, but upon reading the actual law, a hot water tank doesn't seem to meet the minimum criteria to require inspection. It's not generating vapor/steam.

It seems to me that a 'hot water heater' is defined in 28-25-1, it's not the same as a 'boiler', and the rest of the law only references inspections of 'boilers'.

I imagine it was originally written and defined that way to -prevent- inspectors from getting involved with water heaters.

Posted by: mangeek at April 18, 2011 2:07 PM

And the 'exemptions' pretty clearly lay-out that hot water heaters and even many small boilers aren't supposed to need inspection:


Please tell these inspectors to buzz off. This should be a Target 12 investigation. If they're regulating and inspecting hot water tanks, they're operating way outside the bounds they should be, and charging you for it.

Posted by: mangeek at April 18, 2011 2:13 PM

In 2007, 2,479 of those using "666" were infants, less than a year old using the number because the federal government had not yet issued them a SSN so that leaves roughly 909. That's on the order of 0.5% of the number enrolled.


In response to suspicions of abuse, Sneesby says the state does not consider a Social Security number to be sole proof of citizenship, but asks for a birth certificate, naturalization documents or other proof as well. If someone applying for benefits claims to have lost his Social Security card and has forgotten the number, the case worker requires that the applicant apply for a new Social Security number and show proof of that application before he or she can receive benefits, he says.

If the federal government ultimately rejects that person’s application for a new number, the state may not find out for some time, Sneesby acknowledges. But the applicant will be required to provide a Social Security number when his case comes up for “recertification” in 6 to 24 months, depending on the program.

"Are we to believe that there is a steady new batch of 3,300 applicants continuously coming into the system?" YES!

Sorry to interrupt. Carry on with the great know-nothing snipe hunt.

Posted by: Russ at April 18, 2011 2:23 PM

Mangeek, they actually have a brochure outlining the inherent dangers of water heaters, and go so far as to warn that a ruptured 60 gal water heater has the explosion potential to send an average sized car 14 stories in the air. i kid you not, I saved the brochure and it is on the state's website, I can't remember where but it's the occupational safety section.

Posted by: michael at April 18, 2011 3:43 PM


I had to take the internet labels off the beginning, but just put the ww....in and you will get there.

Posted by: michael at April 18, 2011 3:51 PM

[Time to tone it down, Tommy. --- JK]

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at April 18, 2011 7:09 PM

That was a hoot! They apparently don't know the difference between a standard heater and a pressurized boiler. Hot water heaters can't even make water boil, so there's ZERO potential for explosion. Seriously, it's as if they read the law, ignored it, and decided to regulate things that are clearly outside of their purview. This really needs to go to court. I'll pitch in on legal fees. Absolute insanity.

Posted by: mangeek at April 18, 2011 7:26 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.