MT.GILEAD — May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio, and Morrow County Job and Family Services is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.” The Morrow County Job and Family Services Fraud Department purchased billboard space, to display the “Fraud Costs All of US” logo and contact information during the month of May. The billboard is located across from the Community Services building on Marion Road in Mount Gilead.
Morrow County Job and Family Services takes all reports of fraud seriously. In 2019, the Benefit Recovery unit received 137 claims of fraud. Of which, 72 claims resulted in over payments and the collection of over $109,497 through involuntary benefit reductions, voluntary payments, income tax refund offsets, and court collections.
Countless over payments and fraudulent acts were prevented and/or halted through regular fraud investigations.
In 2019, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services disbursed about $2 billion in SNAP food assistance, $200 million in Ohio Works First cash assistance and nearly $600 million in child care provider subsidies.
Individuals who mislead caseworkers or provide false information 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.
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 Morrow County Job and Family Services at 419-947-9111 or by going to www.jfs.ohio.gov/fraud.