Benefits applicant answering questions on a laptop

Software quizzes applicants before doling out benefits

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), in an effort to prevent identity theft and fraud, is using LexisNexis Risk Solutions to authenticate people applying online for public assistance. The software can dig through years of records on an individual to build a profile and quiz them on their history to verify their identity.

The LexisNexis technology has been integrated into the state’s Automated Community Connection to Economic Self Sufficiency (ACCESS) program to help DCF officials confirm that applicants are who they say they are before processing their benefit applications, officials said in a release.  

“By verifying and authenticating the identity of the customer before processing their application, we know whether the person seeking benefits is truly the individual applying for them,” Suzanne Vitale, deputy secretary for Florida DCF, said in a statement. “We expect this new approach to fighting fraud will save taxpayer dollars, expedite application processing and make certain that only those who need benefits receive them.”

LexisNexis online identity verification and authentication services can filter through volumes of data and records stored in public and business databases to find identities and historical information associated those individuals, in some cases as far back as 30 years or more, Clint Fuhrman, national director of government health care programs for LexisNexis Risk Solutions, told GCN.

LexisNexis’ Instant Authenticate technology creates a unique profile of a person using data capture and identity resolution. The technology then verifies a person’s identity based on customer-supplied information. The authentication technology includes a decision engine that lets organizations set up quizzes for online applicants. For instance, a question might be, “What county did you live in in 2006?” Fuhrman noted. 

Instant Authenticate has a question library that can be expanded to include categories such as relative, educational and government identifier questions. Organizations can give certain questions more weight than others, rather than having each question carry the same weight in the final scoring process, according to LexisNexis.

LexisNexis processes requests of current DCF ACCESS Florida customers to verify and authenticate the identities of individuals seeking benefits from its Food Assistance, Temporary Cash Assistance and Medicaid programs. If a customer’s identity cannot be verified and authenticated using the LexisNexis technology, DCF will further investigate. 

Economic and budget realities have turned the spotlight on fraud, waste and abuse across federal, state and local government organizations, and agencies are employing new technologies that can detect collusive relationships and combat some of the more sophisticated fraud schemes.

Georgia is using the LexisNexis Tax Refund Investigative Solution to mitigate identity fraud.The state’s tax officials use identity-based filters, which screen tax refund requests against billions of LexisNexis identity records collected from public databases and commercial sources.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services is using social network and predictive analytics from SAS Analytics to identify potential fraud and prevent improper assistance payments. The Data Mining Solution for Child Care Welfare Fraud Detection, based on the SAS Fraud Framework for Government and SAS data mining techniques, debuted in May 2011. Using the software, DPSS investigators detected two conspiring groups and mapped a network of participants and providers to display their relationships.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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