Gaston County Public Assistance Program Integrity (Fraud Investigation) Program
For more than 20 years, Gaston County has employed program integrity workers, who are responsible for investigating allegations of fraud and misuse of benefits in the following programs:
- Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), which provides food and electronic vouchers to buy food from authorized retailers, often referred to as "food stamps"
- AFDC/TANF (Aid to Families with Dependent Children/Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), which offer cash benefits, often referred to as "welfare"
- Medicaid, which provides health benefits to low-income individuals without insurance
Gaston's program integrity workers respond to complaints of suspected fraud by examining records for overpayment, or clients who receive more services/funds than warranted. Overpayment is usually due to client error or oversight - such as failing to report an increase in income - or staff/clerical error. Less than 6% of overpayments in Gaston County meet state and federal guidelines for intentional fraud.
When program integrity workers discover overpayment, they work to recoup that money from clients. When intentional fraud is suspected, staff work with the Gaston County District Attorney and Gaston County Police Department, which open criminal investigations and, where appropriate, pursue charges.
If you suspect someone is committing fraud with one of these services, or obtaining one of these benefits through fraudulent means, please call our Program Integrity Hotline at 704-862-7550.