Errors on Medicaid, SNAP applications can have costly consequences

Complete and honest answers are required when anyone fills out an application for Medicaid or SNAP benefits. This is especially important when it comes to reporting income and the people living in an applicant’s home.

The OIG’s Benefits Program Integrity division investigates when someone is receiving more benefits than they’re eligible for. In the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, BPI completed 3,777 investigations. Eighty-five percent of the investigations involved unreported income or an issue with who really lives in the home. Not reporting a household resident and their income, or claiming someone as a resident who doesn’t actually live in the same house, is a mistake. It can cause the household to receive more benefits than they are eligible for.

For example, BPI investigated a client in Young County who failed to report the father of her children, and his earned income, as part of the household on her benefits applications. The client submitted fraudulent applications from nearly three years, which resulted in a SNAP overpayment of $20,873 and a Medicaid overpayment of $14,027. The woman was charged with a third-degree felony. She was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication probation, a 12-month SNAP disqualification and ordered to pay $34,900 in restitution.

More information about BPI’s work is available in the latest OIG Quarterly Report at https://tinyurl.com/TxOIGQRs. The next OIG Quarterly Report will be published in June.