MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Some rural Minnesota counties are concerned expanding the state's welfare fraud efforts will overload investigators and weaken a successful program.
A restructuring of the program expands fraud investigations from 55 to 74 counties. The state sends about $1.5 million a year to counties to prevent welfare fraud. The Legislature added $228,000 to expand the program.
Clay County investigators will now cover Becker County, an hour or more away. Investigator Rick Ohren often has to verify if people are living at a certain address. Ohren says extra traveling will reduce the number of cases he can handle.
Clay County investigators each averaged about 290 cases a year in the past. Three hundred cases are considered high for an investigator's case load. That could reach 330 to 340 this year.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)