Code of the District of Columbia

§ 4–218.01. Fraud in obtaining public assistance; repayment; liability of family members; penalties.

(a) Any person who, with the intent to defraud, by means of false statement, failure to disclose information, or impersonation, or by other fraudulent device, obtains or attempts to obtain or any person who knowingly aids or abets such person in the obtaining or attempting to obtain: (1) any grant or payment of public assistance to which he is not entitled; (2) a larger amount of public assistance than that to which he or she is entitled; (3) payment of any forfeited grant of public assistance; or (4) a public assistance identification card; or any person who with intent to defraud the District aids or abets in the buying or in any way disposing of the real property of a recipient of public assistance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500, or to imprisonment not to exceed one year, or both.

(b) Any person who for any reason obtains any payment of public assistance to which he is not entitled, or in excess of that to which he is entitled, shall be liable to repay such sum, or if continued on assistance, shall have future grants proportionately reduced until the excess amount received has been repaid. In any case in which, under this section, a person is liable to repay any sum, such sum may be collected without interest by civil action brought in the name of the District. Any repayment of General Public Assistance required by this subsection may, in the discretion of the Mayor, be waived in whole or in part, upon a finding by the Mayor that such repayment would deprive such person, his spouse, parent, or child of shelter or subsistence needed to enable such person, spouse, parent, or child to maintain a minimum standard of health and well-being. Collections of overpayments from TANF, POWER, or former Aid to Families with Dependent Children or former GPA recipients shall be made in accordance with rules promulgated by the Mayor.

(c) Any person who is a member of a family that applies for or receives TANF or POWER and who is found, by a federal or District of Columbia court or pursuant to an administrative hearing, on the basis of a plea of not guilty or nolo contendere or otherwise, to have intentionally:

(1) Made a false or misleading statement or misrepresented, concealed, or withheld facts; or

(2) Committed any act intended to mislead, misrepresent, conceal, or withhold facts or propound a falsity for the purpose of establishing or maintaining the eligibility of the family for aid or of increasing or preventing a reduction in the amount of the aid shall have his or her needs removed from the grant for a period of 6 months upon the first offense, 12 months upon the second offense, and permanently upon the third or a subsequent offense.

(d) The Mayor shall impose the disqualification penalties set forth in subsection (c) of this section upon any person who is a member of a family that applies for or receives TANF or POWER and who is found, after an administrative hearing, to have violated subsection (c) of this section, provided that only the person convicted of fraud shall be penalized and not the entire applicant family unit.

(e) The Mayor shall provide each applicant for TANF or POWER a written notice of the penalties for a finding of fraud pursuant to subsection (c) of this section at the time of his or her application for TANF or POWER.