Assemblyman Ron Dancer is sponsoring a bill to prevent New Jersey from providing public assistance benefits like welfare and Medicaid to dead people. There's no evidence this is happening in the Garden State, but a recent audit shows it has happened in Massachusetts.

"When a state pays welfare or other public assistance benefits to people who are clearly ineligible or who have passed on they are doing a huge disservice to taxpayers and the individuals and families who truly need that assistance to survive," said Dancer.

His bill is designed to be a safeguard to stop the type of fraud in New Jersey that recently occurred in Massachusetts. A recent audit revealed that Massachusetts had given out $18 million in "questionable public assistance benefits." In fact, 1,160 people who were either dead or using the Social Security number of a dead person were given benefits.

"This proactive measure will ensure that state entities which overlook these programs are doing their due diligence in making certain that such benefits are not falling into the hands of those looking to scam the system," explained Dancer.

Under the measure, state agencies responsible for administering state or federal public benefit programs would be required to periodically verify a recipient's personal information, including that person's name, Social Security number and last known address against the New Jersey Electronic Death Registration System and information provided by the state registrar to governmental agencies concerning recent deaths in the state.