May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio, and the Morrow County Job and Family Services is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.” Staff will be distributing promotional items to visitors to the agency during the month of May. A “Fraud Costs All of Us” billboard will be displayed near the agency.
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 very seriously.
In 2016, the Income Maintenance Unit, at Morrow County Job and Family Services, disbursed over $5.5 million in SNAP food assistance benefits and over $470 thousand in Ohio Works First cash assistance. Morrow County’s Fraud Department investigated 144 claims of fraud and has recouped over $75,000 in fraud overpayments.
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 Morrow County may report suspected public assistance fraud by calling the Morrow County Job and Family Services at (419) 947-9111 or going to jfs.ohio.gov/fraud.