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Benefits Fraud

Benefits Fraud


The MDHHS Office Inspector General’s (OIG) mission is to prevent, detect and investigate fraud, waste and abuse of MDHHS program funds and recover taxpayer dollars. OIG agents investigate allegations of fraud related to the Food, Medicaid, Cash and Child Care assistance programs.

In general, fraud is defined as providing false or misleading statements; intentionally giving incomplete or inaccurate information; or withholding or misrepresenting facts to receive, maintain or increase program benefits or eligibility.

Report fraud at

Examples of Welfare Fraud:

  • Providing false or untrue information to receive MDHHS assistance benefits.
  • Not reporting income.
  • Hiding assets (bank accounts, property, etc.).
  • Not reporting mandatory group members that also reside in the home.
  • Trading or selling your food benefits or Bridge Card.
  • Purchasing beverage(s) that require a bottle deposit, dumping/discarding beverage(s) and then returning the container(s) to obtain the cash deposit refund.
  • Accepting food benefits/Bridge Card for unauthorized items (retailers only).
  • MDHHS may hold an administrative hearing, bring criminal charges against you or ask you to voluntarily sign disqualification and repayment agreements if you are suspected of fraud. You will have to repay MDHHS back and may also be disqualified from receiving benefits.

    What are the penalties for committing Fraud?

    There are standard disqualification periods for each program unless a court order indicates a different disqualification period. The length of time of the standard disqualification period is determined by if this is a first, second or third Intentional Program Violation.

    If an individual receives benefits on two or more cases at the same time, the disqualification period is ten years.
    A lifetime disqualification is imposed if an individual or any member of the household is:

    • Found guilty in court of trading, buying or selling food assistance program (FAP) benefits.
    • Found guilty in court of trading FAP for firearms, ammunition, or explosives.
    • Found guilty in court for a second offense for trading FAP for drugs.