Wisconsin Continues Fight Against Welfare Fraud

MacIver News Service | September 11, 2011

[Madison, Wisc…] Fraud continues to be discovered within the controversial child care program known as Wisconsin Shares.

A total of $305,619 in overpayments to suspended providers were newly reported to lawmakers last month, bringing the cumulative total overpayments to suspended child care providers in the program to more than $8.1 million.

The program, aimed to help low-income families pay for child care, continues to be riddled with waste, fraud and abuse according to the latest report from the Department of Children and Families. In July, the Department of Children and Families spent $205,200 on fraud prevention and investigation, and had $44,300 in expenses related to recovering overpayments due to error or fraud.

As a result of those $249,500 in expenditures, DCF recovered $249,689 in overpayments and/or restitution in July ($57,210 in child care overpayments to individuals and $192,479 in overpayments to child care providers).

The Department has been required to provide the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance with monthly reports since mid 2009 after widespread reports of abuse within the program.

During July, seven more child care providers were suspended from participating in the Wisconsin Shares program.