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How to Report Social Welfare Fraud

Updated February 21, 2017

Social welfare fraud occurs when someone receives benefits he is not entitled to from a government agency. This type of fraud can include the recipient giving false information about the number of people living in a household, hiding or falsifying income, and concealing assets in order to receive benefits. All forms of welfare fraud should be reported as soon as possible to the local agency granting the benefit or to the state agency that oversees the welfare program. Most states allow for the person reporting the fraud to remain anonymous.

Contact the local department of social services by phone or mail. You need to report to the agency responsible for the area where the fraud occurred. Most agencies have fraud hot lines or mailing addresses specifically for allegations. These can be found at the agency's official website, in the government pages of your local phone book or at the social welfare office.

Contact the state department by phone or by mail. Certain departments oversee the social welfare programs for the entire state. Medicaid or low-income insurance programs might be run by the state department of health. Food supplemental programs for low-income individuals and families might be overseen by the state department of human services. Check with the local social services agency the fraud falls under to determine what state agency to report to and obtain contact information for the appropriate state agency.

Explain the fraud in detail to the county or state agent when you speak with him. Give all of the information you have, including any names and addresses of the involved parties. Bank account, household composition and employment information also can be helpful to fraud investigators. Check with the agent about the department's privacy policy regarding fraud allegations. You might have to decide between remaining unknown or disclosing your contact information to the agent when you call.

Write a letter detailing the fraud if mailing the report. Attach copies of any related supporting documents you have. You can block out information if you want to remain anonymous, but the receiving agency must have enough visible information to verify the document. Some counties and states have standard fraud report forms. Check with the local department of social services or relevant state agency to see if fraud forms are available for the case that you would like to report. Fill out any fraud forms as completely as possible.

Fill out a fraud report online. Some social service agencies have a fraud report Web page that allows you to directly submit the allegation. These online reporting sites also might be available through the designated state departments, such as the department of health or the department human and family services. Check the state or county agency's website to see if you can file your report on the Internet.

Warning

Never confront the person directly that you believe is committing fraud, as this could lead to personal harm.

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About the Author

Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.