May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio, and Fulton County Job and Family Services (FCJFS) is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.”
Community members are encouraged to wear green May 8 to bring awareness of public assistance fraud.
On Saturday, May 11, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., FCJFS is hosting Family Fun Day at Homecoming Park Pavilion in Wauseon to further promote fraud awareness and showcase the available resources in the county.
In 2018, eligible Fulton County residents received $50.4 million in Medicaid benefits, $3.6 million in SNAP food assistance, $228,274 in Ohio Works First cash assistance, and nearly $700,000 in child care subsidies. While the amount of fraudulent benefits administered is a minor portion of the benefits administered, the department takes fraud cases very seriously.
Last year, Fulton County established over $132,000 in claims for 55 cases. The county ranked fourth in the state for its average assistance group size.
“Fraud is something that is not talked about nearly enough,” said Marsha Horner, FCJFS fraud investigator. “Fulton County uses all of its resources to be sure that benefits are being used for households they are issued for.”
She noted the county does not take fraud lightly in cases of buying, selling, trading food assistance or misusing Medicaid services. She recommended contacting Job and Family Services if fraud is suspected.
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 of Fulton County may report suspected public assistance fraud by calling Horner at 419-337-0010, using option 2 for public assistance, then option 4 to report fraud.