Texas HHS Prevents More Than $100M of Public Assistance Misuse

News Release
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Cecile Erwin Young
HHS Executive Commissioner
December 21, 2021
Ty Bishop, 512-424-6951
Texas HHS Prevents More Than $100M of Public Assistance Misuse Agency Receives Federal Grant to Host Fraud Prevention, Awareness Conference

AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services has prevented the misuse of more than $108 million since 2017 by identifying and stopping potential fraudulent payments for public assistance programs including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

HHS staff review applications for public assistance programs to ensure eligibility. Staff who identify potentially fraudulent information in an application send it to the HHS Integrity Support Services team for further review and analysis. Addressing potential fraud prior to benefits being issued helps prevent state and federal funds from being wasted.

“One of our greatest responsibilities is making sure applications are truthful and legitimate to safeguard taxpayer dollars and put the funds we administer to good use,” said Bill D’Aiuto, associate commissioner for HHS Access and Eligibility Services. “Through our aggressive fraud prevention efforts, we are able to secure benefits for the Texans who truly need them.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a grant of more than $282,000 to HHS to help the agency continue its efforts to educate the public and learn about fraud prevention in public assistance programs.

A portion of the grant will be used to host a conference next year in which HHS staff experts will train HHS employees about fraud awareness and new trends in fraud prevention methods. The team will also invite professionals from other states to attend the conference to discuss best practices in fraud prevention.

If someone suspects or knows about fraud, waste or abuse by clients or providers in health and human services programs, HHS urges people to call the HHS Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-436-6184 or visit ReportTexasFraud.com. Misuse of benefits can result in loss of benefits, fines and criminal charges.

About the Grant

The SNAP Fraud Framework Implementation Grant Program supports state agencies in efforts to improve and expand recipient fraud prevention, detection and investigation efforts. The grants are awarded annually through a competitive process.