Bonus cheque a welfare bug : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Tuesday, January 11, 2000

'Bonus' cheque a welfare bug

By CAROLINE MURRAY, Ottawa Sun Sorry Graham Eva, the Ontario government does not give Christmas bonuses to its welfare recipients.

The 21-year-old Hawkesbury man had hoped otherwise when he and 894 other people in Prescott and Russell were recently paid, not once, but twice by the Ontario Works program.

"I thought it was an extra Christmas bonus," said Eva.

By the time the error was detected Jan. 3, some recipients had already spent the bonus bucks.

Prescott and Russell's social and family services -- which is still trying to get the rest of the cash back -- won't say how costly the mistake proved to be.

"We were able to recoup practically everything," administrator Stephane Parisien said yesterday.

Welfare cheques were mailed out just before New Year's to avoid possible complications with Y2K -- which proved to be a big bust, anyway.

A couple of days later, the 895 clients of direct bank deposit discovered a second payment had been added to their accounts.


"I was like, 'What do I do? Do I spend it or do I keep it there?' " said Eva, who chose the latter and let the money sit.

The mistake was brought to the attention of social services by honest clients, said Parisien.

"Most of them realized it wasn't their money. You always have the odd person who will cash both, but it's because of the time of the year."

The office has been working for a week straight -- with the help of banks -- to fix the problem. Parisien said it was not Y2K-related.

"It was just a coincidence that it happened on the first of January," Parisien said.

-- Homer Beanfang (, January 11, 2000


One of those just a coincidence that it happened on the first of January thingies

-- hic ha (can', January 11, 2000.

LOL, but maaybe it was the "foreign lottery" winners?

-- Hokie (, January 11, 2000.

"I thought it was an extra Christmas bonus," said Eva.

Can Eva really believe that social services gives out Christmas bonuses to welfare recipients? A tip of the hat to those recipients who brought the mistake to the agency's attention.

-- (, January 11, 2000.

this just goes to show how the media does not question statements made to them or really even look at the info that is in front of them.the sent checks out early because of feared y2k problems. while not a computer error it was y2k related. even though at the end it says it is not. this is retarted, this would not have happened at any other time but right now. this isnt a y2k falure its a y2k contingincy falure. im really starting now to wonder on all these other "non-y2k" falures. this is just getting stupid why cant the media even by honest about whats going on?

-- billy (, January 11, 2000.

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