Changes in household composition and unreported income could all result in changes to your benefit amount. You are responsible for reporting these or any other changes within 10 days of occurrence. Receiving more than you are entitled to could result in overpayment penalties or charges of fraud.
Once the alleged fraud is reported, our agents begin an in-house and field investigation. Cases determined to be overpayments/frauds are transferred to our Benefit Recovery Unit.
Usually, restitution arrangements are made. When they are not, they are referred to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and then to the Summit County Prosecutor’s office for prosecution.
Penalties can be severe. When a case is prosecuted, the charges consist of Grand Theft and Tampering with Records—both F3 Felonies. Clients who received an overpayment are required to pay the money back in full and are disqualified from receiving food assistance (12 months for the 1st offense, 24 months for the 2nd offense, and permanently for the 3rd) and cash benefits (until fraudulent assistance is paid in full).
To report benefit abuse anonymously, call 330.643.7315.