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May Is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month

5/4/2018


Media contact(s):
Robert McEvoy, (216) 987-7420; robert.mcevoy@jfs.ohio.gov


CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio, and Cuyahoga Job and Family Services (CJFS) is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.” CJFS has launched a countywide campaign to inform public transportation riders of fraud prevention. It is also using its external communications, including social and digital platforms, to inform the public.

In 2017, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services disbursed about $2.2 billion in SNAP food assistance, $238 million in Ohio Works First cash assistance and nearly $632 million in child care provider subsidies. In Cuyahoga County, this translates to $496,198,251. 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.

“The funding we provide for food, child-care, and cash assistance is critically important to assist individuals and families that are in need, providing them with the resources and support they need to thrive,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “If we have individuals providing false information, it takes away from those that are truly in need. Cheating the system cheats us all.”

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 Cuyahoga County may report suspected public assistance fraud by calling the Cuyahoga Job and Family Services, Fraud Prevention Hotline (216) 987-6950 or going to www.jfs.ohio.gov/fraud.