Social Services (DCFS):Special Investigations Unit

Special Investigations Unit

Dept. of Community & Family Services (DCFS)
Sabrina Jaar Marzouka, Commissioner

A fraud investigation section, a front end detection function and a resource section comprise this section.

Fraud investigations are done on all cases referred from program staff, and reports from the public, of recipients fraudulently receiving benefits. The investigation includes field visits, obtaining collateral verification, computerized records, and interviews to determine if fraud was committed. Cases can be referred to the District Attorney or to New York State for an Administrative Disqualification.

Front End Detection is a federally mandated process that relies on “indicators” (such as working off the books) to target Temporary Assistance applicants for an intensive review during the eligibility determination process before a case is opened and benefits are provided. Collateral contacts, computer reporting systems checks and field visits are conducted to assist workers in determining eligibility.

The resource section responsibilities include researching, securing and recovering appropriate assets from assistance recipients. The duties include taking mortgages on real estate, placing liens on lawsuits, and filing claims against estates. Retroactive Supplemental Security Income benefits are received and a determination is made regarding what can be retained as repayment of assistance. The resource section also arranges for and pays for indigent burials. Working with the Accounting Unit, they determine and recover overpayments from assistance recipients primarily through recoupments and wage garnishments.