XENIA — May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio, the Greene County Department of Job & Family Services is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.”
The agency is reminding Greene County residents that falsifying circumstances in order to receive Ohio Works First cash assistance, SNAP food assistance, Medicaid, and subsidized child care is considered fraudulent activity.
In 2019, the Greene County Department of Job and Family Services disbursed $16.6 million in SNAP food assistance, $2 million in Ohio Works First cash assistance, and $7.3 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.
“The large majority of our clients give honest, accurate accounts of their need. We also take allegations of fraud very seriously, and taxpayers expect public programs to be trustworthy,” said Beth Rubin, director of Greene County Department of Job & Family Services. “It’s our responsibility to investigate allegations, collect overpaid benefits, and pursue penalties for those who intentionally give us false information. As a result of our work in this area, numerous overpayments and fraudulent acts are prevented or stopped each year. Last year in Greene County, we reclaimed over $84,000 in overpaid benefits and prevented many more from being erroneously issued in the first place.”
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 Greene County may report suspected public assistance fraud by calling the Greene County Department of Job & Family Services at 937-562-6000 or by going to jfs.ohio.gov/fraud. Both methods allow reporters of fraud to remain anonymous.