[View Printable Version]
WELFARE FRAUD INVESTIGATOR
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS
The work involves responsibility for conducting field investigations, investigating welfare fraud, verifying eligibility and obtaining and preparing evidence and statements relevant to the prosecution of fraudulent acts to prove criminal fraud or to achieve recoupment of monies as prescribed by New York State Social Services laws and regulations. An employee in this class works in the Legal Division of the Department of Social Services. This is a specialized position involving investigative procedures and a knowledge of social services and penal law, and NYS forms, regulations and procedures. Investigations are usually done independently. Assignments are received in written or oral form from the supervisor who assigns and reviews cases and provides training and guidance in such matters as techniques of investigation, legal requirements and procedures. During the conduct of the investigation, the employee works with considerable independence. Supervision in not typically a function of this class. Certain assignments made to employees in this class will require reasonable access to transportation to meet field work requirements made in the ordinary course of business in a timely and efficient manner. Does related work as required.
TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES
Determines scope and method of investigation based on departmental policy, the accessibility of information and the seriousness of the matter to be investigated.
Investigates complaints charging recipient fraud in welfare related cases.
Reads social service assistance files and obtains information to determine type of fraud involved and the possible criminal charges.
Interviews program recipients and applicants, their relatives, neighbors, acquaintances, employers, etc., through field visits to secure information relating to the investigation.
Takes statements from individuals in an appropriate format taking care to include a full description of the facts needed in support of the investigation..
Secures evidence from all available sources, which might be required by the District Attorney in the prosecution of a fraud case.
Verifies information obtained by checking it against other sources.
Follows leads in order to assure a complete investigation.
Prepares reports for each case describing all steps taken, visits made, witnesses questioned, facts established, etc., for submission to the District Attorney.
Secures and prepares evidence and affidavits for submission to the District Attorney's office for indictment and criminal prosecution.
Works closely with the attorney in the social services and the District Attorney's office handling each fraud prosecution.
Contacts all sources which may have pertinent information in support of an investigation, including law enforcement agencies, finance companies, utility companies post offices, etc.
Prepares a concise factual report for each investigation, including steps taken, visits and contacts made, witnesses questioned, statements and affidavits taken and facts established.
Orally supports findings during conference with supervisor, co-workers and attorneys.
May locate and search public and private documents in order to locate an individual or extract pertinent information.
May testify before administrative or judicial proceedings regarding investigations.
May serve summons, subpoenas, show cause orders, or other legal documents for attorneys or family court.
FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Good knowledge of the techniques, procedures and sources used in conducting civil and criminal investigations.
Good knowledge of interviewing techniques.
Good knowledge of current state and local social services forms, procedures, policies, and eligibility guidelines.
Ability to read and understand all current local and state social services forms, procedures and policies and to apply them to fraud investigations.
Ability to plan, organize and conduct investigations and to evaluate findings.
Ability to obtain, develop and pursue leads in investigations.
Ability to detect discrepancies in statements or other evidence gathered.
Ability to prepare clear and accurate oral and written reports.
Ability to understand and carry out complex directions.
Ability to work and maintain cooperative relations with others.
Ability to deal with the public in a professional and lawful manner.
Ability to analyze findings and recommendations.
A. Three (3) years of work experience, or its part time equivalent, in field investigative work for an organized investigative program. "Field investigative work" must have involved contact with persons in the field for the purpose of verifying or authenticating information and complaints and discovering additional sources of information to be investigated in order to establish or disprove allegations; or
B. Two (2) years of work experience, or its part time equivalent, in field investigative work, as described above, which must have been welfare related investigative work for a welfare agency; or
C. Three (3) years of work experience, or its part-time equivalent, in examining, investigating or evaluating claims, veterans or unemployment benefits, insurance or a similar program operating under established criteria for eligibility, which must have included routinely determining initial eligibility for such benefits and authorizing such benefits where appropriate*, one (1) year of which must have involved the application of financial criteria in a federal, state or local governmental income maintenance agency.
NOTE: An Associate's Degree in Police Science or sixty (60) semester credit hours in a criminal justice program from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees may be substituted for one (1) year of the field investigative work experience.
*Note: Work experience as an Income Maintenance Worker does not qualify as routinely determining eligibility.