County's Program Integrity Unit Hits Milestone
Unit Collects Over $1 Million
Durham, NC -- The Program Integrity Unit of Durham County Social Services hit a major milestone in May as it reached the $1-million mark in collections of erroneously issued benefits for Fiscal Year 2017-2018. The unit ensures the integrity of agency programs and to maintain accountability in the expenditure of public funds. They do this through the prevention, detection, and investigation of fraud and abuse by clients and service providers.
“We call our team ‘The Gators.’ We are a small group of 10 who have accomplished the goal of collecting over 1 million dollars before the fiscal year has ended on June 30th,” said Integrity Unity Supervisor Shelia Dorsett.
The largest percentage of claims are fraudulent (55%), with the rest being a mix of inadvertent issues due to clients forgetting to report that they have received a new job, their status has changed, or agency error. The money collected goes back to Federal, State, and County governments. Durham County will receive a percentage of the total collections.
“Our collections have been growing every year,” said Dorsett, the President-elect of the United Council on Welfare Fraud. “I had a feeling that this would be the year that we would hit the $1-million mark in collections. In this business you cannot collect what you do not establish. Our Gator Team has worked very hard to establish every dollar of collections.”
The Program Integrity Unit services the following programs: Food & Nutrition Program, Family & Children’s Medicaid Programs, Adult Programs, Special Assistance (SA), Child Care Services and Work-First Family Assistance (WFFA).