How to Find Out If Someone Is on Public Assistance?

by Katelyn Coyne
Public assistance provides aid, such as food, housing and medical care, to those in need.

Public assistance programs, or welfare, are run by state governments. Although welfare was initially established by the federal government during the Great Depression, control of welfare systems has since been turned over to states. Each program varies from state to state and is regulated by state government officials. Most recipients of welfare view the process as a private matter. The relinquishing of information about who is on welfare is decided on a state by state basis. Prior to beginning the search for a name on the public assistance payroll, please check with your state's policy.

Contact your state's welfare program to learn about its policies on sharing information about who receives public assistance. If this information is kept strictly private, reconsider your search. It may be more legal trouble than its worth peering into these records. However, some welfare programs may be willing to share this information with potential employers.

If you are undeterred on your mission, begin gathering information about the subject of your search. This can include address, work history and phone number.

Contact a private investigator. There are both local and Internet resources for private investigation. Choose the one the fits your budget. Share the information you have gathered with the private investigator as well as your query about your subject's public assistance status.

Wait patiently for the results of the professional search to return. It may take a few weeks for the search results to be returned.

About the Author

Katelyn Coyne has been a freelance writer based out of Indianapolis since 2009. Her areas of expertise include theater, arts, music, dance, literature and popular culture. She has published work for the Indianapolis-based website FunCityFinder.com and other online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater with a minor in English from Butler University.

Photo Credits

  • welfare cheese image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com