XENIA — During Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio, the Greene County Department of Job & Family Services is working to raise awareness that “Fraud Costs All of Us.”
The agency is reminding Greene County residents that falsifying circumstances in order to receive cash assistance, food assistance, Medicaid, and subsidized child care is considered fraudulent activity.
In 2017, the agency disbursed $16.7 million in SNAP food assistance, $1.9 million in Ohio Works First cash assistance, and $5.5 million in child care subsidies. Individuals who mislead caseworkers or lie on an application for benefits account for a very small percentage of the funding disbursed, but the department takes even the smallest fraud cases very seriously.
“While most of our clients give honest, accurate accounts of their need, we take allegations of fraud very seriously, because taxpayers expect public programs to be trustworthy,” said Beth Rubin, Director of Greene County Department of Job & Family Services. “Our staff investigate allegations, collect overpaid benefits, and pursue penalties for those who intentionally give us false information. As a result of our investigations, numerous overpayments and fraudulent acts are prevented or stopped each year. Last year in Greene County, we investigated 126 reports of fraud and reclaimed over $121,000 in overpaid benefits.”
Individuals found to be committing fraud are removed from the program, must repay any improperly obtained benefits, and may face criminal charges and jail time. Residents may report suspected public assistance fraud by calling the agency at 937-562-6000 or by going to jfs.ohio.gov/fraud. Both methods allow reporters of fraud to remain anonymous.
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