The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is designed to help households make ends meet, but sometimes people abuse the system. SNAP fraud commonly includes selling food stamps for cash, receiving benefits in more than one state and lying about the household income or assets to qualify.
Not only is SNAP fraud illegal, but it costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year. If you suspect fraud in Ohio, you can report it to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Service or the United States Department of Agriculture Office of the Inspector General.
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Report Food Stamp Fraud Ohio
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services investigates reports of public assistance fraud. You may file an online fraud report against a store or a recipient. When you visit the webpage, you'll find a "Food Assistance Recipient" that takes you to the fraud report form.
First, you'll be asked to provide the suspect's full name and contact information. You'll need to then follow up with a detailed account of the type of fraud you think they're committing and any evidence you have of them doing so. If possible, tell the department when you think the fraud began as well. You can also provide their employer's name and contact information if you know it.
Lastly, you are asked to provide your name and contact information in case the investigators have any questions, but you can choose to remain anonymous. Due to the state's privacy laws, the JFS will not be able to discuss the results of the investigation with you. You may also report fraud by phone at the Fraud Hotline at 800-627-8133.
Consider also: How to Report Food Stamp Fraud Online
Report Fraud to the USDA
The USDA runs SNAP on a federal level. If you suspect fraud, you can report it directly to the USDA Office of the Inspector General. You can report fraud to the OIG several different ways.
- You can call 800-424-9121 or 202-690-1622 and follow the prompts for an option to report fraud.
- You can send an email with details about the suspect and potential fraud to email@example.com.
- You can mail a written explanation of the fraud to the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector at the following address: General PO Box 23399 Washington, DC 20026-3399.
- You can complete the online form at "Submit a Complaint" on the OIG Hotline website. You'll see a "Submit a Complaint" button on the right side. Like with the Ohio form, you can stay anonymous if you want, and you should provide as much detail about the suspected food stamp fraud as possible through the multiple steps.
Your identity remains confidential under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989.
Welfare Fraud Charges
If there's enough evidence, a hearing is held to determine if the accused intentionally committed SNAP fraud. If found guilty, the person can face welfare fraud charges.
Under Ohio law, convicted individuals may be disqualified from the program for 12 months on the first offense. A second offense results in a 24-month disqualification. If the individual violates a third time, he is permanently disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits.
Consider also: Food Stamp Program Facts