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Bronx Welfare Fraud Lawyers

Welfare fraud charges can result in serious penalties, and if you’re facing any type of welfare fraud charge, it’s essential that you put together a strong defense with the assistance of a Bronx welfare fraud lawyer.

There are many ways that someone can commit welfare fraud, as the term welfare applies to a wide range of different government programs. This guide will brief you on what is considered welfare fraud, what the penalties can be and how you can defend yourself against this type of charge.

What Is Welfare Fraud?

Welfare fraud is any act involving false information to obtain welfare benefits. The false information could be used to establish eligibility for welfare, maintain eligibility for welfare or obtain a higher amount in benefits than deserved.

Of course, to understand welfare fraud, it’s important to understand what welfare is. Welfare is any type of public assistance provided by the government. It includes medical assistance, food stamps through SNAP and housing assistance, to name just a few of the many types of welfare.

Examples of Welfare Fraud

Since there are so many types of welfare, there are also quite a few different ways people commit welfare fraud. Among the most common is lying on an application for public assistance. For example, if you provide a lower household income than you actually have to receive housing assistance or food stamps, that would constitute welfare fraud. Another example would be if you claimed to have more people in your household than you really do.

When you’re in a welfare program, it’s your responsibility to keep your information current with the organization that’s handling your welfare benefits. If you fail to notify them of a change, such as an increase in income, that would be another example of welfare fraud. If you can prove that it was only an honest mistake and not an intentional act of fraud, penalties will be less severe.

The Five Degrees of Welfare Fraud

In New York, the degree of your welfare fraud is determined by the value of your fraudulently obtained benefits.

The lowest degree is welfare fraud in the fifth degree. This is a class A misdemeanor covering fraud up to a value of $1,000.

Next is welfare fraud in the fourth degree. This class E felony covers fraud over $1,000 and up to $3,000.

Welfare fraud in the third degree goes up to a class D felony, and it cover fraud over $3,000 and up to $50,000.

Welfare fraud in the second degree, which is a class C felony, covers fraud over $50,000 and up to $1 million.

The highest level of welfare fraud is welfare fraud in the first degree, a class B felony that covers fraud over $1 million.

Welfare Fraud Penalties

The most common penalty for welfare fraud is restitution for the fraudulently obtained benefits and a fine. However, there can be jailtime involved, as well, especially for high amounts of welfare fraud. Another issue is that it can leave you disqualified from ever getting welfare benefits again.

To protect yourself against charges and potential charges of welfare fraud, you need an experienced welfare fraud lawyer to check out what evidence there is against you and figure out the best course of action for your defense. Our firm of Bronx welfare fraud lawyers can defend you at every stage of a welfare fraud case, from advising you on what to do before charges are filed to representing you in court, if your case ends up going to trial.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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