One of the things that people do to get assistance from the government is to commit welfare fraud. At times, this is unintentional as you might leave off a part-time job or forget to report that a change has been made in your living situation, such as a decrease in the amount of rent that is paid. While these are still fraud situations, it’s not as severe or looked at as harshly as someone intentionally leaving off or not reporting information in order to get more help. Some people also commit social security fraud in the same manner.
If you make any amount of money, it’s supposed to be reported to social security or a welfare office. However, there are some people who don’t report money that is made if they get paid in cash instead of a payroll check. This is a common way to commit this kind of fraud. If there isn’t a paper trail of the amount of money that is made, then it can’t be traced. Some people will have a part-time job in order to show that they are trying to work while making cash on the side without reporting the cash that is made.
Another way to commit fraud is by not reporting the number of people who live in the home. This is often seen more with welfare benefits, such as medicaid and food stamps. It’s not really seen as much with social security as the office usually doesn’t look at the number of people in the home to determine how much you would get each month since it’s based more on how much you have paid into the government. If you report that there are more people in the home than there really are living there, then you would get an increase in the amount of benefits that you receive. You also need to let the office know if anyone has moved out of the home as this would result as a decrease in the amount of benefits for most people. The amount of benefits is based on the number of people in the home and how much is made, so it’s important to report correctly so that you can get the proper amount of benefits. If you make a mistake in reporting or if you neglect to report on purpose, then it could result in not receiving benefits for a certain period of time or paying back the amount that you received.
A common way to commit welfare fraud for food stamps is with trafficking. This is when you would sell the food stamps that you receive for money, drugs or other items. Some people do this when they are low on money and need to pay a bill while some will do it to get money for gas or to get clothing. There are various reasons as to why someone would exchange food stamps for money or items, but it’s still fraud, and you can be punished if you are caught. Stores also participate in welfare fraud, especially if it’s a smaller store. The worker might ring up something that isn’t supposed to be bought with food stamps, such as beer or cigarettes, so that the person can buy the item without using cash. The item wouldn’t be scanned at the register in the traditional manner. Instead, the worker would key in a grocery price so that it looks like the person bought food instead of something else.
If you have been charged with social security of welfare fraud, it’s important to seek the assistance of an attorney. The attorney can help determine whether you intentionally committed the fraud or if there was a mistake that you made as each incident is punished differently. You should have all of the paperwork involved with the fraud allegation as well as current information so that it can be checked against what was reported.
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