How do you report welfare fraud?


Quick Answer

Welfare fraud reporting procedures vary from state to state. Some states have a central authority who accepts and investigates fraud reports, such as an inspector general, while other states delegate this authority to individual counties. Individual states make reporting information available on their government websites and in their welfare offices.

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Full Answer

Forms of welfare fraud include fraudulently obtaining child benefits, Medicare fraud, unemployment fraud and food stamp fraud. All of these forms of fraud are punishable with fines and prison sentences. Anyone aware of welfare fraud should report the occurrence.

While people frequently debate this topic in politics, welfare fraud is uncommon in the United States. The Department of Labor estimates that less than 3 percent of unemployment benefit claims are fraudulent. Estimates of food stamp fraud are less than 1 percent of all beneficiaries. While food stamp fraud does occur, supermarkets and other businesses that accept food stamps as payment generally commit it.

Medicare and Medicaid fraud are the most common types of welfare fraud in the United States. Government estimates of medical benefit fraud range from 3 to 10 percent. While it is much more common, this type of fraud is similar to food stamp fraud in that, most often, businesses rather than benefit recipients commit it.

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