TOPEKA – The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) is strengthening its efforts to combat welfare benefits fraud by offering an online submission form to report suspected incidents of fraud. The online form was made available to the public this week.
The DCF Anti-fraud Unit works to aggressively investigate, detect, prevent and prosecute welfare recipient fraud in all public assistance programs administered by DCF, including cash assistance, food assistance, child care assistance and utility assistance.
The fraud referral submission form is housed on the DCF website, and it’s expected that this new online tool will contribute to the increased detection and prevention of benefits theft. The detection, deterrence and prevention of welfare fraud saves taxpayer dollars that would otherwise be wrongfully received by individuals who are not entitled to receive assistance.
“Offering the public multiple, convenient ways to report fraud will encourage Kansans to share that information for investigation,” Secretary Gilmore said. “These are scarce public resources, and our job is to ensure the integrity of the program, so these safety net services are available for those who truly qualify to receive them.”
In State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2014, the Anti-fraud Unit obtained more than 316 fraud judgements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program. These DCF fraud findings resulted in more than $1.3 million dollars being returned to the State. Additionally, in the same fiscal year, more than 79 fraud judgements were confirmed in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program as well, totaling more than $200,000 in fraud findings.
In Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2014, Kansas ranked second in the nation in the number of SNAP judgements obtained. Then again in FFY 2015, Kansas ranked third nationwide in the number of SNAP judgements. FFY 2016 and FFY 2017 rankings are not currently available.
DCF’s Anti-fraud Unit consists of four human service consultants, 11 regional attorneys and 16 special investigators.
“I am proud of the work the Anti-fraud Unit has done and am appreciative that we are continuing to strengthen their efforts,” Secretary Gilmore said. “The work they do is so important because taxpayers deserve to know their hard-earned money is benefitting families in need, not criminals.”
Those who suspect benefits fraud are encouraged to fill out the “Fraud Report Form” online at www.dcf.ks.gov. You can also call 800-432-3913.