May is Public Assistance Awareness Month in Ohio, and Fulton County Job and Family Services (FCJFS) is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.”
FCJFS held two special events in May to promote fraud awareness that included Wear Green Day in support of Fraud Awareness on Thursday, May 11, and Family Fun Day on Saturday, May 13.
“Fraud is not something we take lightly in Fulton County,” said Marsha Horner, FCJFS fraud investigator. “Recently, we’ve partnered with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office to assist us in investigations, which has really helped us crack down on this problem.”
In 2016, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services disbursed about $2.4 billion in SNAP food assistance, $237 million in Ohio Works First cash assistance, and $617 million in child care provider 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 seriously.
Last year in Fulton County, Job and Family Services investigated 79 claims, with a total claim amount of $121,514.30. The total claim amount collected was $61,572.07.
Fraud is noted in all aspects of SNAP food assistance including Medicaid, Cash Assistance, and Daycare.
Applicants and recipients of public assistance programs are encouraged to report their circumstances accurately and timely in order to avoid facing potential criminal charges, program disqualification, and repayment of benefits issued improperly. Residents of Fulton County may report suspected public assistance fraud by calling Marsha Horner at 419-337-0010, option 2 for Public Assistance, then option 4 to report fraud. They may also visit jfs.ohio.gov/fraud.