8/31/15: EC Special Investigations Division Receives Accolade for Pursuing Beneficiary Fraud

Modified: August 31, 2015 10:02am

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Date: 
8/31/15

Citation by NYS OTDA for Best Practices Adds to Active Year for SID

ERIE COUNTY, NY—Erie County is a leader statewide, recently being cited by the New York State Office for Temporary Disability Assistance (“OTDA”) for its best practices in conducting Administrative Disqualification Hearings (“ADHs”), a process that results in disqualifying individuals from the SNAP and Temporary Assistance programs for concealing facts pertinent to their eligibility for benefits. The Department of Social Services’ Special Investigations Division (“SID”) expects to conduct and win over 225 ADHs this year, an increase of 60% from 2014. 

“The Special Investigations Division performs a vital service in rooting out fraud and abuse in benefit programs, identifying and removing fraudulent claims and protecting the system for individuals who truly need the assistance,” said Commissioner of Social Services Al Dirschberger. “Abuse of the benefit system is a theft from everyone, and the efforts of the SID to catch abusers and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law should be a signal to all that these types of crimes are taken very seriously.”

This year, the Special Investigations Division is on track to calculate over 3,600 overpayment cases, the highest in its history. Its eight field staff will conduct over 1,600 investigations throughout every city, town, and village in Erie County. In addition, cost avoidance, a state-standardized measure of tax dollars saved which is used by all counties throughout New York State, exceeded $16 million in 2014.

In 2015 the SID Collection & Recovery units are poised to recover $6 million, marking the fifth year in a row that level of recovery has been achieved. Working closely with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Social Services continues to hold accountable the most flagrant violators of the welfare laws.     

 

For more information:

On the Erie County Department of Social Services, visit http://www2.erie.gov/socialservices