I am very concerned about our national debt, and the abuse of the welfare system. I am a Christian and want to know if it is my place to report the welfare abuse of two individuals who live in my area or to just let it go.
I wrote the Welfare Fraud Department in my state and this is what they had to say concerning if you had to report someone committing welfare fraud or not. Welfare fraud laws seem to be the same in most states, the only difference is some allow you to submit anonymously while other states do not.
“There is nothing in our law that requires reporting of welfare fraud. There is a requirement to report abuse and neglect that involves children. However some of our policies require the reporting of fraud by employees and contractors of our department, but I am unsure if they would apply to your situation.”
The only welfare fraud you must report by law is the abuse or neglect of children or if you work for the state in some way, shape or form. I cannot say this is true for the entire country, but it seems to be consistent with most states. Since there is no requirement to report a crime, then we also must look at what God would have you to do in the situation since there are options.
Comes down to why are you reporting it?
You said the national debt is what has you concerned, even if all the welfare fraud was caught and cleaned up we still would go deeper into debt. America will most likely not recover from its over spending. No president or politician will change that.
The government overspends in most everything as do Americans; hence, we represent what our government does best. We cannot be motivate by desiring to cause other people problems. To do so will cause you trouble. "He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished" (Proverbs 17:5). Sometimes people only want to do so because in some roundabout way they see it as affecting them. The motivation then becomes one of vengeance which is wrong. "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him" (Proverbs 24:17-18). Personal desire for vengeance is what is behind tattle-tales and why we see it as wrong.
In addition, we need to make sure we are being even handed. We can't report arbitrarily, that is skipping over those who may be our friends while turning in those we don't like. If this is a matter of justice, justice demands impartiality.
We must always look to do what is right. If it is to protect another person or to keep someone from being harmed, then the motivation is no longer personal vengeance. If someone is abusing the system, then it is a crime that should be reported.
Often one sin leads to another. Getting one problem addressed can prevent greater problems. "Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" (Ecclesiastes 8:11).
If you are dealing with a fellow Christian, you ought to take time to talk with them directly in an attempt to get the matter resolved without involving the government. "Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?" (I Corinthians 6:1). Though this is not a matter of a problem between two individual Christians, still the principle of trying to settle problems with those who hold to the same moral standards is appropriate.
I also want to say thank you for the question, I realized someone I know is committing welfare fraud or was. Not sure which at the moment, and I now have a responsibility to warn that person of their sin, especially since they are a Christian.