County Executive

Posted on: October 5, 2018

Press Release / Curran, Schnirman Announce Millions in Taxpayer Cost Savings

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Curran, Schnirman Announce Millions in Taxpayer Cost Savings Rooting Out Medicaid Waste, Fraud and Abuse

MINEOLA, NY – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran this week joined Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman to announce Nassau County’s continued efforts to root out waste fraud and abuse among essential services such as Medicaid, Day Care, SNAP and Public Assistance.

In the past 18 months, the Nassau County Department of Social Services Investigations Unit (DSS-OI) has worked to save nearly $30,000,000 in taxpayer funds and preserve services intended for Nassau’s neediest residents. An incredible $103 million in taxpayer funds has been saved since 2014.

“We are here today to highlight the outstanding work of our DSS Investigations Unit and my administration’s commitment to fiscal integrity,” said Curran. “My administration is 100 percent committed to preventing the unlawful use of assistance resources and recovering every taxpayer dollar lost through fraud and abuse. We want to ensure that all eligible recipients receive the benefits they need.”

By utilizing the latest advances in detection technology, the DSS Office of Investigations continues to discover new schemes and scams by individuals who attempt to cheat the system.

“The team at DSS and our service providers and advocates throughout Nassau County work tirelessly to make sure those that need care and assistance are supported. That is why it is important we root out instances of fraud and eliminate waste, so that we can deliver these vital services as efficiently and effectively as possible,” said Schnirman.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said, “Medicaid and food assistance programs provide essential support to those with the greatest need, and anyone who rips off the taxpayers and deprives the most vulnerable will face serious charges. When people steal public funds they undermine an important system that connects thousands of New Yorkers with necessary medical services and food assistance. I remain committed to the strong and productive relationship between my office, the County Executive, the Department of Social Services and the Comptroller's Office, that has resulted in the prosecution of these fraud cases.”

Department of Social Services Commissioner Imhof added, “It’s important to note that while the DSS-OI works to save taxpayer funds that are intended for use only by the neediest of our citizens, the detection of fraud, waste and abuse does not define nor characterize the overwhelming majority of our honest residents who lawfully follow all application procedures in accordance with State regulations.”

While more than 99 percent of public assistance recipients provide true and accurate financial and employment information, there are still those who try to cheat the system and steal money from those who are eligible for help.

“Through the collaboration of our DSS-OI and the Office of the Nassau County District Attorney, the County will continue to ensure the integrity of vital social services assistance programs, maintaining vigilance in the fight against fraud, waste and abuse, and bringing to justice those who attempt to defraud and abuse the public welfare system,” said Curran. “That is responsible, ethical government.”

Over the past 18 months the total cost savings includes:

  • Nearly $16 million saved through Public Assistance civil recoveries from pursuing liens on property and estates by the Liens and Recovery Unit.
  • $11.7 million in cost avoidance which includes tracking clients who are incarcerated and have active cases; clients who apply for benefits in 2 states and clients who use SNAP benefits out of state.
  • $304K in restitution and restitution agreements by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office

“To those who try to game the system, the message is plain and simple – you will not get away with trying to steal public assistance dollars, which are essential funds available for our neediest residents,” said Curran.

To report questionable practices in programs such as Day Care, Medicaid, SNAP (Food Stamps), and Public Assistance, please call 1-877-711-TIPS (8477). All calls are completely confidential, and callers can remain anonymous.

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