Welcome To Swain County

Social Services

Welfare Fraud

The Fraud Program is committed to the elimination of fraud and abuse of the public assistance programs and to ensuring the quality and accuracy of the public assistance programs. Program Integrity assures citizens receive benefits to which they are entitled and in the correct amount. It also prevents payments to families and detects and determines client misrepresentation. Program Integrity recovers all overpayments made in public assistance programs due to client error, client fraud or worker error. Recipient fraud can occur when a recipient makes a false statement or fails to report information to their county department of social services and receives public assistance benefits to which he or she is not entitled. The Swain County Department of Social Services Fraud Investigator is responsible for investigations, prosecution, and recovery of these overpayments. The Program is designed to:

  • Prevent fraud, misuse, or abuse of the public assistance programs so that benefits are available for the truly needy.
  • Identifying overpayments caused by error, abuse, or fraud in the public assistance programs
  • Assuring that recipient overpayments are recouped

When applying for assistance through a local county Department of Social Services it is very important that a person does not withhold important information.

Under North Carolina law, persons who do not give caseworkers necessary information to determine eligibility for programs such as Work First Family Assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Energy Assistance, special and emergency assistance, and surplus commodities commit a crime.

The crime welfare fraud is committed when people receive or try to get help by giving false and inaccurate information or withhold information

What happens when a person is found guilty of committing welfare fraud?

A person who is found guilt of welfare fraud can be: fined, placed in jail or fined and placed in jail.

People guilty of welfare fraud may receive an even stiffer penalty. That penalty could include all fo the following: a fine, jail sentence, and mandatory repayment of all benefits restored.

If you suspect fraudulent activity involving any public assistance recipients, please call the Fraud Hotline at 1-800-662-7030 or 828-488-7856. You may also email us at welfarefraudreporting@swaincountync.gov. All information you provide will be kept confidential.


Department of Social Services
80 Academy Street
Bryson City, NC 28713

Mailing Address
PO Box 610
Bryson City, NC 28713


Sheila Sutton, Director
Phone 828-488-6921
Fax 828-488-8271

Office Hours