The Employment & Human Services Department (EHSD) works with citizens to provide a variety of benefits sometimes collectively called welfare. These benefits include CalWORKS, CalFresh, Medi-Cal, General Assistance, Energy Assistance and others. All of these programs have specific eligibility guidelines that must be met to qualify and benefits are not granted unless the guidelines are met. Welfare fraud happens when someone receives welfare benefits because of the intentional misuse of the welfare system by withholding information or giving false or inaccurate information.
What are the most common types of welfare fraud?
- Absent parent in the home
- Unreported household income
- Unreported people living in the household
- Ineligible child or children
- Child or children not living in the home
EHSD workers do their best to obtain accurate information during the eligibility process. If they think they are not receiving all the necessary information or the information is inaccurate, they will ask additional questions or request additional verifications. They may also ask one of our Social Services Fraud Investigators to help find answers to the questions they have. The Fraud Investigator may visit the home, contact neighbors, places of employment, schools and others to determine if the information provided to us is correct and complete.
If someone has reason to believe that public welfare benefits are being collected wrongfully or that someone is not eligible to receive benefits, they are encouraged to report this information to the EHSD Welfare Fraud Office at 925.521.5080. You can also report welfare fraud directly to the California Department of Social Services at 1.800.344.8477. When welfare fraud is detected, the matter may be referred to The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office for criminal investigation and prosecution.
When an overpayment of a public benefit has been established, whether through fraud or unintentionally, EHSD is obligated to collect the amount of the overpayment. Clients’ may call the Collection Unit at 925-677-2937 to negotiate a monthly payment arrangement if they are unable to pay the balance in full. We accept payment by check, money order or by VISA or Mastercard credit cards. Our mailing address is EHSD PO Box 2474 Martinez, Ca. 94553. Clients may also pay by cash at any district office.