Ottawa sees surge in welfare fraud in response to Ontario Works change

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The City of Ottawa is seeing an unusually high number of welfare fraud cases this year after new eligibility requirements have been introduced for Ontario Works.

The city, which administers the provincial welfare program, has cut benefits to 260 people so far this year because of fraud.

The rise in fraudulent cases can be attributed to the increase of Ontario Works recipients. More than 500,000 people in Ontario receive income support benefits each month from the program, including more than 37,000 in the capital city.

Ontario has eased welfare eligibility requirements, which in turn has allowed more people to apply for benefits.

Previously, people were automatically ineligible to apply for income support when they had more than $2,500 in the bank. As of September 1, the asset limit had increased to $10,000.

Instances of fraud are discovered during random audits. If a recipient’s financial situation has changed and they’ve failed to disclose it, they may have committed fraud.

Read more at CBC News Ottawa

This article is summarized by Canadian Fraud News Inc.