May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio, and the Fulton County Job and Family Services is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.”
In 2013, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services disbursed about $3 billion in SNAP food assistance, $300 million in OhioWorks First cash assistance, $600 million in child care subsidies and $1.8 billion in state and federal unemployment compensation. Individuals who mislead caseworkers or lie on an application for benefits are believed to account for a small percentage of the funding disbursed, but the department takes even small fraud cases very seriously.
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 Fulton County may report suspected public assistance fraud by calling (419)337-0010 extension 1836 or (800)-937-2834.