Investigations Unit Print

Report Fraud

The Investigations Unit is responsible for ensuring program integrity and the eligibility of Social Services applicants and recipients. By preventing, detecting and prosecuting fraud against those who obtain public benefits they are not entitled to, the Investigations Unit protects the interests of those in genuine need and conserves taxpayer resources.

Fraud Investigators investigate allegations of fraud against households or individuals applying for or in receipt of:

  • Temporary Assistance, including Emergency Assistance
  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps
  • HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program)
  • Child Care Subsidy Assistance (Day Care)
Referrals are received from multiple sources, including DSS staff and members of the community. Investigators conduct field investigations, home visits, office interviews, obtain collateral verification, including Federal and State database matches. A case referral can be made to the District Attorney for prosecution or to New York State for an Administrative Disqualification. Other case investigations may result in action to recover benefit overpayments through grant reductions, money judgments and direct repayment to DSS.

Any incorrect benefit issuance must be evaluated as to the cause and a repayment must be pursued if appropriate. Repayment is made for fraud, client error and agency errors.

Another responsibility of the Investigations Unit is researching, securing and recovering appropriate assets which DSS has a claim as the result of assistance previously provided. This may include taking mortgages on real estate, placing liens on lawsuits and filing claims against estates. The Investigations Unit also determines eligibility for indigent burials.