I am an adult who lives with my parents. My parents are committing welfare fraud. I am really upset about the implications this has on me. I am now stuck in a dilemma where I don’t know if I should report them or not. I spoke to a priest and nun about this and both told me I had no obligation to report them because it could be detrimental to our relationship and my emotional health.

I was doubting the response of the priest and nun so I asked an apologist on another website who said I was obligated to make a report.

To complicate things more, my parents are the ones who pay for the bills, food etc. therefore I am benefiting from the fraud they’re committing.

I am very stuck. Please help!!

I hope this helps you.

The fourth Commandment teaches us to honour our father and mother. And, if you read Ecclesiasticus 3:3 it tells us that whoever honours his father expiates sins.
I think that the priest and nun were correct to tell you that this will damage your relationship with your parents and that your duty is to your parents to whom you owe life, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Trust in God and say your prayers.

Listen to your own priest and stop going out on the internet and getting random opinions.

You’ve posted some very scrupulous posts here recently, please get help for that. You cannot go around policing everyone and everything.

Do you live at home due to disability or choice?

Why do you think they are committing fraud? Are you sure it’s not your scrupulosity seeing things that aren’t there?

Praying for you & your family.

You spoke to a priest and nun, who have the authority to advise you…and ignored their answer and went on asking a different apologist, and now us AGAIN.

Clearly you will not be satisfied until you are told to report them and have done so, so why keep asking?

You have the option to move out of their home and thus no longer be party to this situation that you find so worrisome, or perhaps find a licit way for yourself to earn money to help with bills in the home.

What are the consequences of making this report?

If you do not have that information you had best get it before you go any further, they can be dire.


Pray, dear Olive456.
I feel for you.
This can be a very burdening situation.
Pray for your parents and for Divine guidamce.
Maybe you can also go to that first priest and nun again and explain to them that you are still very upset. Are they people who know you, at least to some degree? That would help if you suffer from scruples, or have any othe rkind of problems that might influence your spirituality.
May God bless you and guide you…

p.s. do you talk to your parents about this at all? Do they know that you are concerned about this?

First …some have said you suffer from scrupulousity …perhaps this is true perhaps not. It is a given that I cannot tell that from internet posts. Discern carefully if this is the case. Investigate the facts …not emotions or feelings.

I will say this …there is probably not one instance of fraud perpetrated that is not known by some family member, friend or neighbor - whether its welfare fraud, disbility fraud or a theft from an employer like a bank … and those people who ignore it, turn a blind eye to it are condoning theft. Thus they become culpable to varying degrees.

My mother used to complain about a person whose back was too injured to work. As soon as he received his Disability decision he suddenly could ‘do’ many physical activities. But it was his relatives and neighbors who allowed this. Like the gentleman who feigned paralysis and comas to avoid court -in the news this past week. His wife wrote letters about his fradulent condition …

The result is that this theft robs from the people the funds are meant to help and places in peoples hearts the idea that all people who take this support are “playing” the system. Thus people who really are in need may not recieve the assistance the deserve, people may be relunctant to seek aid because the don’t want to be percieved as a cheater and/or people don’t support paying for programs that are easily abused and subject to fraud.

IF your parents are in fact committing fraud you should tell them you cannot participate and they need to stop, if they do not then remove yourself from the house by whatever moral and legal means possible, and notify the appropriate authorities of your suspisions. Then move on with your life.

It is not honoring your parents to condone illegal activity … and i do not think if you’d come here and said you thought your parents had robbedthe neighbors at gun point or robbed a bank or molested the kid down the street - you’d have been told to honor your parents with your silence…

The priest I spoke to seemed too lenient. I am trying to get help for scrupulosity. I have a nun who I have built rapport with.

I live at home for cultural reasons. In my culture, we typically don’t leave home until we are married.

I am certain they are committing fraud and I have spoken to them about that.

The consequences will be very dire. Moving out of home is not the option at the moment. Helping with bills may be a better idea. However, I have benefited from the fraud previously, I don’t know how I could make restitution for that.

I will go back to the priest or nun. Thank you :slight_smile:

I understand your point. It has been a very worrying situation for me.

Just because a thought could have been triggered by scrupulosity, doesn’t mean that it was, nor that you should ignore it. Secondly, a lot of commenters here seem to have missed that (according to you) the priest and nun said that you don’t have to report them. That is quite distinct from telling you what you should do. I think you did fine to seek stronger, more committal opinions in this instance.

I tend to second YADA’s perspective. The commandment to honor your parents yields (if it is in conflict) to the commandment against theft. You may want to analyze what you’ve done, and try to discern if you’ve personally done anything to perpetuate the fraud as you don’t want any personal liability. You may want to analyze whether there are any other hidden dangers.

Tough situation, you have my deep sympathy.

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