Table of Contents:
- How to Report Food Stamp Fraud in Michigan
- How to Report Food Stamp Fraud in Louisiana
- How to Report Food Stamp Fraud in Indiana
Fill out an online form to report welfare benefits fraud. This can be done at the Michigan Department of Human Services website found in the References section. You can file a client complaint, a business complaint or a DHS employee complaint straight through their website.
Call the USDA's Office of Inspector General for the Midwest Region, which includes the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Eastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. The number is (312) 353-1358.
Fax a letter regarding your concerns about food stamp fraud to the USDA Office of the Inspector General to (312) 353-8963.
Write a letter to the Office of the Inspector General.
USDA, Office of Inspector General 111 N. Canal Street, Suite 1130 Chicago, IL 60606-7295
Contact the Michigan Department of Human Services via mail at:
Department of Human Services 235 S. Grand Ave. PO Box 30037 Lansing, Michigan 48909
Call the Michigan Department of Human Services by phone at (517) 373-2035, or fax them a letter at (517) 335-6236.
Low-income households or individuals can receive assistance in buying food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. As of 2015, the Department of Children and Family Services served 364,134 families through the program. However, some applicants falsify their information in order to gain access to the program. According to Title 46-114 of Louisiana's Revised Statutes, food stamp fraud is defined as lying to get benefits, or not reporting changes in circumstances or income. Investigating abuses falls on DCFS's Fraud and Recovery Section, whom you can contact by email, fax, or phone.
A phone complaint is appropriate for allegations that require an extended discussion. Assemble the facts, including when and where the alleged fraud occurred, who committed it, and any corroborating details. Call DCFS's Fraud Hotline number, which is 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578). Then ask to speak with an investigator. If you suspect a retailer of exchanging food benefits for alcohol, lottery tickets or tobacco, call the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services Compliance Section at 1-800-424-9121.
If you feel uncomfortable talking on the phone, visit the "Reporting Fraud" section of DCFS's website. You may remain anonymous, if you wish. Just be aware that DCFS may contact you for additional details it needs to verify your complaint. Click the online complaint form link. Fill in whatever details you can provide of the suspect's age, appearance, contact information and Social Security number. State when, where and how the fraud occurred. Indicate how the department may contact you, whether it's by email, letter or phone.
Email, Fax or Letter Contacts
DCFS offers several ways of submitting complaints in writing. Notify the department if you're sending additional documents by clicking the relevant box on the electronic reporting form. Make photocopies and send them to: Fraud and Recovery Section P.O. Box 91147 Baton Rouge, LA 70821-9147, or email: DCFS.Fraud@LA.GOV. You also may fax materials to (225) 219-1663. If your complaint involves a retailer, write: USDA Office of Inspector General, PO Box 23399, Washington, DC 20026-3399, or email: email@example.com.
The risks of committing food stamp fraud are considerable. Title 46-114 gives DCFS the authority to collect overpayments by court action, and strip benefits for 12 months. Second offenses trigger a 24-month loss of assistance. while a third means permanent disqualification from the program.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program of Indiana, more commonly known by the acronym SNAP, is a joint venture between the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. This joint association provides people with both federal and state options to report potential instances of SNAP -- food stamp -- fraud.
SNAP fraud involves three specific actions.
- Trafficking occurs when a SNAP recipient sells food stamp benefits. Application fraud occurs when a recipient falsifies information on a SNAP application. Retail fraud happens when a retailer removed from the program due to past abuse lies on an application to gain reentry.
General Reporting Procedures
Neither the USDA nor the FSSA has a form to report food stamp fraud. However, the FSSA recommends that you provide as much detail and evidence as possible. This includes:
- The name of the person or business committing food stamp fraud. A statement detailing how the fraud occurred or is occurring, the address where it took or is taking place and the dates. As an option, include the names of any witnesses who can verify the allegations.
All reports are classified as confidential under the Whistleblower Protection Act, and you also have the option to remain anonymous.
To the State
Indiana has four ways to report food stamp fraud.
- By telephone: call 800-403-0864 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Select option 1, then option 6 and enter your zip code.
- By e-mail: include the relevant information in an e-mail addressed to ReportFraud@fssa.IN.gov.
- By postal mail: send a letter containing the relevant information to FSSA Compliance Division, Office of General Counsel, Room E-414, 402 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
- By fax: send the information to 317-234-2244.
To the USDA
Report food stamp fraud to the USDA Office of Inspector General over the telephone, via e-mail or by postal mail:
- The telephone number is 800-424-9121.
- The mailing address is: United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, PO Box 23399, Washington, DC 20026-3399.
- The e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
While either option is acceptable, the USDA recommends that you report trafficking and application fraud to the Indiana FSSA.