Homeless man finds $850, turns it in and gets benefits cut for his honesty
A homeless man who turned over $850 he found on a New Jersey street is a bit poorer for his honesty now, after the Hackensack Human Services Department cut his newly-granted Medicaid and housing benefits for failing to report new income.
James Brady, 59, a former news photographer, found an envelope with $850 in it in April, and turned it in to the Hackensack police, The Bergen Record reported. Brady became a minor celebrity after word spread of his good deed, with honors from the city council and media coverage shedding light on his plight.
After his story drew attention, Brady had begun to receive psychiatric help and medication for emotional trauma — a canceled business meeting at the World Trade Center on 9/11 left him reeling for years, The Record reported. He received housing and subsistence vouchers from the city, and is beginning to turn his life around.
He also got the $850. No one claimed the money after six months of waiting.
But when he received the money, he didn’t realize that he needed to report the income to human services. And the department subsequently cut him off through Dec. 31 from benefits, including the valuable housing voucher, because he failed to report new income he received, USA Today reported.
Still, help appears to be flowing toward him. Bergen County’s United Way set up an account for people to make donations of support for Brady through its Compassion Fund.