Palm Beach County Community Services Prevention of Improper Client Assistance Payments

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Palm Beach County, Fla., FL

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About the Program

Category: Financial Management (Best in Category)

Year: 2022

Palm Beach County’s Community Services Department (CSD) provides a comprehensive range of programs to assist low-income households with basic needs and remove barriers to self-sufficiency. One program is the Rental Assistance program, where Palm Beach County residents in need (meeting certain income thresholds) can receive assistance to pay their rent. Through the severe economic downturn, CSD has seen the need for this assistance rise sharply and has adapted to this increased need, along with the need to maintain social distancing, by moving to an online-application process through the Online System for Community Access to Resources and Social Services (OSCARSS). Unfortunately with the dramatic increase in applications, CSD has also seen a large increase in fraud attempts, as well as an increase in clients applying through multiple systems in an effort to receive assistance quickly. In order to prevent duplication of benefits, combat fraud and ensure that the limited available funding goes to the residents who truly need it, CSD has implemented a variety of robust quality assurance and fraud mitigation strategies and has prevented improper payments totaling $982,608 as of 3/31/2022.

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