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DSS, Rockland County Sheriff's Office Collaborate To Combat Fraud

Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said his department and the Department of Social Services are working to prevent ineligible inmates from receiving benefits.
Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said his department and the Department of Social Services are working to prevent ineligible inmates from receiving benefits. Photo Credit: File photo

NEW CITY, N.Y. -- The Rockland County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Social Services have teamed up to combat fraud by working to prevent ineligible inmates from receiving benefits by matching individuals incarcerated in the county jail with those receiving benefits.

In 2015, the DSS recovered or avoided payments totaling $155,376.46, and some $259,365.46 has been recovered or saved since the program's inception in 2013.

The Rockland County Correctional Center provides a monthly report to the DSS, which identifies all inmates who have been incarcerated at the center for more than 30 days. In receiving this information, the DSS is able to terminate or suspend benefits to incarcerated inmates who are no longer legally eligible to receive them. Before the system was put into effect, DSS had to rely on inmates self-reporting their change in status and then undertake efforts to recover the benefits.

Recipients of benefits such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance and SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) are supposed to notify DSS of any changes to the application they submitted, including any change in the number of people living at the home, a key component in determining benefit amounts.

“The Sheriff’s Office is committed to working collaboratively to ensure taxpayer dollars are only being used for their lawful purpose. This collaboration with the Department of Social Services is helping to reduce fraud in these essential and valuable public assistance programs,” said Sheriff Louis Falco.

To report possible fraud, call Information Rockland at 845-364–2020; callers can remain anonymous. Or email information to reportfraud@dfa.state.ny.us .

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