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Public Assistance Fraud

Some people do not give important information or do not tell the truth when applying for help through their county Department of Social Services.

Under North Carolina law, persons must give caseworkers all information needed to decide if they can receive benefits such as Work First Family Assistance, Food and Nutrition Services, Medicaid, Energy Assistance, Special and Emergency Assistance, and surplus commodities. Those who do not report correctly, commit a crime.

The crime--public assistance fraud--is committed when people

  1. get or try to get help by giving caseworkers false and incorrect information, or
  2. do not give information.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A PERSON IS FOUND GUILTY OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FRAUD?
A person found guilty of public assistance fraud can be

  1. fined,
  2. placed in jail, or
  3. fined and placed in jail.

People guilty of Food and Nutrition Services fraud may get an even stiffer penalty. That penalty could include all of the above, and you may not be allowed to get Food and Nutrition Services for:

  • 1st offense - 1 year.
  • 2nd offense - 2 years.
  • 3rd offense - permanently.
  • 1st time court finding of purchasing illegal drugs with Food and Nutrition Services - 2 years.
  • Misrepresenting identity or residence to get Food and Nutrition Services in more than one place - 10 years.

WHAT CAN I DO?
If you think someone is not being truthful with your county Department of Social Services, contact the local office. You may also call DHHS Customer Service Center at 1-800-662-7030 , Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The call is toll-free. Or you may send an email.

 

 

We strive to keep this information as accurate as possible. If information on this page needs to be updated, please Email us.

 

Page Modified 10/15/2012

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