May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio, and the Fayette County Department of Job and Family Services is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.”
On Monday, representatives from Fayette County Department of Job and Family Services met with the Fayette County Commissioners to declare May 2019 as Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month.
Department officials said they are committed to investigating all complaints of fraud. 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.
Each year, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services disburses more than $2 billion in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, more than $200 million in Ohio Works First cash assistance and more than $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 Fayette County may report suspected public assistance fraud by calling the Fayette County Department of Job and Family Services at 740-335-0350 or by visiting www.jfs.ohio.gov/fraud.