MAY IS WELFARE FRAUD AWARENESS MONTH
Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services in cooperation with the State of Ohio is making the public aware of welfare fraud in our ADC and Food Stamp Program.
In 2017 Tuscarawas County issued nearly 3 ½ million dollars in Food Assistance and $241,000 in Cash Assistance. In that same year, we collected $116,000 from fraudulent claims. This would consist of applications for public assistance that include misrepresenting the number of people in a household or jobs worked – anything that would affect the dollar amount of assistance received.
We also established 180 overpayment claims and investigated 255 reported by the community and caseworkers. (A small number considering Job and Family Services assists over 5000 people.)
Food and Cash Assistance helps to maintain the well-being of individuals and families in our community who meet the income guidelines. It was designed for this purpose. Welfare Fraud affects everybody. If you pay taxes this affects you. If you rely on public assistance, you’re affected as well. Welfare Fraud hurts us all. Already this year we’ve collected nearly $70,000 from these fraudulent claims. That’s enough to buy 28,000 school lunches!
As parents, we try to teach our children right from wrong. They learn that they can’t steal another’s crayons or throw sand in the sandbox. So we as adults have an obligation to report fraud when we see it happening and to be accurate and honest when we ourselves request public assistance.
Our agency recognizes the month of May as Welfare Fraud Awareness Month. Look for our posters at local libraries and post offices and our billboards will be in several locations around the county asking for the public’s assistance in reporting fraud.
We also have been recording radio spots to raise public awareness that FRAUD COSTS ALL OF US.