Reporting Public Assistance Fraud in Georgia
Residents may wonder, “How can I report public assistance fraud in Georgia?” when they discover someone abusing the helpful programs that the state provides to families in need. Residents who report public assistance fraud in Georgia are attempting to save government funds from programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Informers can take a proactive role in ensuring the government funds are being utilized correctly and for the betterment of the community. The public assistance fraud reward program may also be available when a resident reports fraud and a substantial amount of government assistance money is saved due to the actions of the informed resident. When a program beneficiary commits fraud, there are severe penalties for public assistance fraud that may include paying back the fraudulent benefits or the inability to participate in government assistance programs again. To find out how to report public assistance fraud in Georgia, the penalties for fraud and the rewards for reporting public assistance fraud, read through the following sections.
Georgia Penalties for Public Assistance Fraud
The Georgia penalties for public assistance fraud are implements when a beneficiary receives undeserved government assistance and may vary depending on the situation. If the beneficiary reports public assistance fraud after mistakenly receiving too many benefits or continuing to receive benefits after eligibility has ceased, then he or she may simply be ordered to pay back the benefits. Mistakes made at a department and office level may cause an overpayment of benefits, which should be reported to the department immediately to begin repayment.
More severe penalties for public assistance fraud in GA are enforced when a program beneficiary attempts to sell government assistance benefits to another party for cash. This type of public assistance fraud is called trafficking and is against the law in Georgia. Residents may also report public assistance fraud in Georgia when a government assistance applicant lies on the application with the motive to receive extra benefits each month or maintain false eligibility for TANF and other welfare programs. This type of welfare fraud warrants more severe penalties for public assistance fraud, including the refusal to allow participation in any government assistance programs in the future.
In addition to the public assistance fraud reward program, the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal government departments are implementing advanced strategies and techniques to prosecute fraudulent government assistance beneficiaries swiftly and severely. Stricter penalties for public assistance fraud are enforced by local departments because fraudulent claims steal government financial assistance from residents who are truly in need of the federal funds. These welfare fraud penalties may include a suspension from the government assistance program for one to two years for a minor claim or a permanent disqualification from obtaining government benefits for a severe fraudulent claim. After reporting public assistance fraud in Georgia, the claim is investigated by authorities. If a fraudulent government assistance recipient is found guilty, then he or she is charged with repaying the overpayment and additional fees may be added to the amount due. To find out more about how can you report public assistance fraud and the penalties a fraudulent claimant may face, download our informative online guide.
The Georgia Public Assistance Fraud Reward Program
Residents who ask, “How can I report public assistance fraud in Georgia?” may have already witnessed an action that indicates a beneficiary is fraudulently accepting assistance from a government program or manipulating the system to his or her advantage. A resident is encouraged to report public assistance fraud immediately to the local government’s respective department if he or she witnesses or suspects any suspicious activity. To embolden residents to report fraud, the public assistance fraud reward program is available in certain states.
The government assistance rewards program issues a monetary reward that is a percentage of the amount of benefits recovered through a case to the resident who reported the fraud correctly. There are additional criteria that must be met for a public assistance fraud monetary reward, including a significant amount recovered and the reporter’s extensive involvement in the case. In addition to the public assistance reward program, residents who report government assistance program fraud are also assisting their communities in recovering important funding for needy residents. While a monetary public fraud assistance reward may not be available, residents who report these claims are an integral part in helping stretch federal funding to assist more local needy citizens. Residents may report fraud for beneficiaries collecting from one program or from bundled government benefits.
How to Report Public Assistance Fraud in Georgia
A resident who wishes to report public assistance fraud in Georgia can do so through the Department of Human Services (DHS). An online public assistance fraud reporting form is available for residents who prefer to submit information virtually. Residents can also claim government assistance fraud in GA by calling the DHS or mailing information about the incident to the department. The information provided when attempting to report public assistance fraud should include:
- The name of the alleged fraudulent government assistance
- A brief description of the incident and why the reporter feels the beneficiary has committed fraud.
- The reporter’s name and contact information, if he or she does not wish to remain anonymous.
After submitting a report of public assistance fraud, the department investigates the beneficiary. If the reporter offered his or her contact information, then a department representative may contact him or her for further information during the investigation. To learn more about what happens after reporting government assistance fraud in GA, download our comprehensive guide.