United Council on Welfare Fraud

What is it and Why should I join?
The United Council on Welfare Fraud (UCOWF) is an organization of investigators, administrators, prosecutors, eligibility workers, and claims collectors from local, state, and federal agencies from the United States and Canada who have combined their efforts to fight fraud, waste, and abuse in the social service programs.  The focus of UCOWF is the detection, elimination and prosecution of those who fraudulently obtain or attempt to obtain government benefits.

Membership is available to anyone who is directly involved in or responsible for the prevention, detection, elimination and prosecution of welfare fraud or the identification and recovery of benefit payments made as a result of fraud or an intentional program violation.


There are four classes of eligibility for memberships:  Regular membership is available to any person directly or indirectly involved in the prevention, detection, and prosecution of welfare fraud;  Lifetime Membership is by recognition of past purchase of lifetime membership in the Council and/or the National Welfare Fraud Association, by election as President of the Council and/or NWFA, by Honorarium, or by special recognition of the Board of Directors;  Affiliate Membership is available to groups of members of state or provincial welfare fraud control organizations, as approved by the Board of Directors; Student Membership includes any student active in the formal study of social work or criminal justice, or other related program.  Student members shall not have voting rights at membership meetings or caucuses, and shall not be eligible for election to the Board of Directors.

Membership benefits include:
  • Continually updated News from within and outside of UCOWF
  • Searchable UCOWF Membership Listings which provides access to member contacts all over the United States and Canada
  • The UCOWF Forum to participate in discussions involving public assistance fraud issues and solutions from across North America
  • Opportunity to participate in Annual Training Conferences
  • Reduced member registration fee for UCOWF Annual Training Conferences
  • Opportunity to become a Certified Welfare Fraud Investigator (CWFI), and access to the  CWFI Study Guide that helps members prepare for the CWFI Exam, given annually at the Training Conference and at many state association conferences

All this for the low annual membership dues of $35.00 for one year from date of payment.

The United Council on Welfare Fraud is committed to assisting its members with their professional advancement by providing a desirable and effective certification program.  This program is referred to as the Certified Welfare Fraud Investigator (CWFI) program.  To be eligible for certification under this program a person must:

  • Be a UCOWF member in good standing;
  • be a current and full time investigator, supervisor, administrator, etc., who is also involved in fraud investigation activities;
  • have a minimum of TWO years of ongoing, continuous experience in public assistance fraud investigations;
  • in the case of employment by a state or providence whose welfare delivery system is state-supervised and locally administered, spend 50% or more of your time in fraud investigation activities (i.e. fraud prevention investigations or back-end investigations);
  • agree to perform all professional duties in accordance with applicable government standards;
  • complete and pass the CWFI Certification Exam; and
  • agree to obey all federal, state and local laws and the UCOWF Code of Ethics.
membership 2

So why should you join UCOWF?  If you’re involved in welfare fraud prevention, detection, recovery efforts or you are responsible for public assistance program integrity policy or administration, the real question is why shouldn’t you join UCOWF?

To join, simply click on the “Join Now” button.  Your membership will be activated upon verification of eligibility and receipt of payment.

If you need additional information, contact us at:

United Council on Welfare Fraud
P.O. Box 604
Clear Lake, IA 50428