Legislators Seek to “Stop the Scam,” Eliminate Welfare Fraud in Ohio

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Columbus, OH – Thanks to legislation announced today by Senator William Coley, Representative Michael Henne, and Assistant Majority Whip Robert McColley, Ohio taxpayers could soon benefit from new tools to find and eliminate welfare fraud and preserve limited resources for the truly vulnerable.

Under Senate Bill 96 and House Bill 119, the state of Ohio would utilize new data and enhanced tools to verify welfare eligibility at application and monitor eligibility throughout the year.

The state would check state, federal, and commercial databases to verify the identity, income, residency, employment status, and other eligibility factors for every individual applying for food stamps or Medicaid. These checks will also be performed automatically on a quarterly basis to ensure that the recipient is still eligible for the program and signal officials to remove individuals who knowingly abuse the system and refer them for prosecution.

“We owe it to the people who are legally and rightfully in these programs to ensure there is no fraud and abuse of the system,” McColley said during a press conference earlier today.

SB 96/HB 119 come on the heels of an audit conducted last summer by Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost which concluded that millions of dollars of fraud, waste, and abuse were occurring in the system on an annual basis, including 1,862 deceased individuals receiving benefits during the examination period.

The Foundation for Government Accountability thanks Senator Coley and Representatives Henne and McColley for their leadership and commitment to protecting the truly vulnerable. In addition, FGA would like to recognize co-sponsors of SB 96 Senators Huffman and Hite, and co-sponsors of HB 119: Representatives Retherford, Becker, Hambley, Roegner, Dean, Seitz, Young, Schaffer, Vitale, Koehler, Thompson, and Huffman.

The Foundation for Government Accountability is a nonprofit, multistate think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and regulatory reform. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.

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