Last year, public assistance fraud investigators in Minnesota found about $5.5 million in overpayments, according to Minnesota Department of Human Services statistics.
That is up about $1 million from 2012.
Not being eligible for food or health care benefits accounts for most of the overpayments. "Most recipient cases are for failure to accurately report the amount of or other sources of income, or for not reporting changes to the household," the department said.
In all, 74 counties have a Fraud Prevention Investigation program that looks into public recipient eligibility. Of the 74, 12 have have their own programs. Others are part of one of 14 regional programs, such as the one for Wabasha, Goodhue, Winona, Houston and Fillmore counties.
The state department also has 22 investigators for recipient and provider fraud. The Surveillance and Integrity Review Section investigates fraud from providers, such as hospitals, doctors, pharmacies and personal care attendants. Last year, the state had 580 investigations, with personal care providers accounting for 325.