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Exam Details:

Exam Info:

The Montgomery County Personnel Department announces an open competitive examination for Social Services Fraud Investigator. The eligible list resulting from this examination will be used to fill vacancies as they may occur within four years of the establishment of the eligible list unless the Montgomery County Personnel Officer deems another examination necessary. All candidates who meet the open competitive qualifications and wish to participate in this examination are encouraged to file an application.

LOCATION OF POSITIONS: This title exists in Montgomery County Social Services

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT: Candidates must be a legal resident of Montgomery County.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Graduation from high school and either:

  1. Four years of investigative experience* of which two years must have been in field investigation**; OR
  2. Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered two year college with an Associate’s Degree in criminal justice and two years of investigative experience* OR
  3. An equivalent combination of experience and training as stated in A & B.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENT: Possession of an appropriate New York State Motor Vehicle Operator’s license at time of appointment

*Investigative experience is interpreted to include experience with a law enforcement agency, credit bureau, retail credit, bank, insurance company, internal revenue, social security, or a private investigation agency, or the conducting of investigations beyond the primary source (client).


**Field investigation is interpreted to include experience in a law enforcement agency such as: military police, sheriff’s department, state or local police, FBI, or private investigative experience with a detective or security agency or experience as an insurance investigator.


CANDIDATES PLEASE NOTE: It is vital that you submit, with your application, all information, including college transcripts, degrees, or diplomas, necessary to show your qualification for examination. APPLICATIONS WHICH DO NOT SHOW TRAINING AND/OR EXPERIENCE TO MEET MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS WILL BE DISAPPROVED, AND WE WILL NOT REFER TO OTHER APPLICATIONS ON FILE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS: This position involves research and field investigation of individuals and vendors in cases where there is allegation or suspicion of improper amounts of payment and/or attempted or actual welfare fraud. Incumbents are responsible for gathering evidence and documentation, including individuals’ statements, to develop legally acceptable cases. The work includes attempts to persuade defaulters to make payment and negotiating or renegotiating agreements according to changing personal and financial situations. The work is performed under the general supervision of the Social Service Investigative Coordinator with discretion permitted in carrying out the details of the work. The incumbent does related work as required.

TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES: (Illustrative only)

  • Investigates complaints charging recipient or vendor fraud in welfare cases;
  • Studies public assistance laws and rules and obtains information to determine type of fraud involved and discusses the possibility of placing criminal charges with supervisor and county prosecutor;
  • Interviews clients, their relatives and others and initiates proper procedure to obtain support or gather information concerning violation of social service laws;
  • Makes field visits to question recipients’ neighbors, acquaintances, employers, and others to secure information for the possible prosecution of fraud cases;
  • Interviews unwed mothers in an effort to determine feasibility of pursuing court action to determine paternity;
  • Assists in securing evidence and affidavits required by the District Attorney for indictment and prosecution of fraud, support, and desertion cases;
  • Prepares reports for each case describing all steps taken, visits made, witnesses questioned, and facts established for submission to appropriate authorities;
  • Attempts to locate missing respondents;
  • Answers correspondence and inquiries concerning support or fraud matters from other government agencies, beneficiaries and respondents.

The above examples of duties are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position.

FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS: Good knowledge of investigative techniques used in determining financial practices and status of vendors and individuals and in locating missing persons; good knowledge of office terminology and modern methods used in keeping and checking financial records and reports; working knowledge of Federal and State social service and related laws and regulation in regard to support, desertion, and fraud; ability to be courteous yet firm with the public; ability to develop materials for legal actions according to prescribed regulations; ability to prepare written reports; ability to analyze facts and use them in making judgments in support, desertion and fraud cases; physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.

APPLICATIONS: Applications are available on our website,, or in person at our office located at 20 Park Street, Fonda.

Subjects of examination: A written test designed to evaluate knowledge, skills and /or abilities in the following areas:

  1. Evaluating information and evidence

These questions test for the ability to evaluate and draw conclusions from information and evidence. Each question consists of a set of facts and a conclusion based on the facts. The candidate must decide if the conclusion is warranted by the facts.

  1. Investigative techniques

These questions test for knowledge of the fundamental concepts in the area of field investigation. The questions will cover such areas as: obtaining the cooperation of individuals involved in an investigation, preparing for the investigation and/or interview, investigative principles, interviewing principles and practices, behavior and attitudes of the investigator and others, gathering of data and evidence, and presenting the results of an investigation.

Many of the questions are situational in nature and attempt to measure the candidate's ability to apply basic investigative techniques. The questions are generic rather than dealing with investigations in a particular field.

  1. Preparing written material

These questions test for the ability to present information clearly and accurately, and to organize paragraphs logically and comprehensibly. For some questions, you will be given information in two or three sentences followed by four restatements of the information. You must then choose the best version. For other questions, you will be given paragraphs with their sentences out of order. You must then choose, from four suggestions, the best order for the sentences.

  1. Understanding and interpreting written material

These questions test for the ability to understand and interpret written material. You will be presented with brief reading passages and will be asked questions about the passages. You should base your answers to the questions only on what is presented in the passages and not on what you may happen to know about the topic.

A Guide for the Written Test for Investigators is available at the New York State . Candidates not having access to a computer or the internet may request copy of the test guide from the municipal civil service office conducting this examination using the contact information found elsewhere on this announcement.


 APPLICATION FEE: An application fee of $7.50 is required for this examination. Either an application fee or a waiver (see waiver instructions below) must accompany your application. Please send a check or money order (no cash is accepted) payable to the Montgomery County Personnel Department and write the examination number(s) on your check or money order. As no refund will be made, you are urged to compare your qualifications carefully with the requirements for admission and file only for those examinations for which you are clearly qualified.

WAIVER OF EXAMINATION FEE FOR UNEMPLOYED OR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS: An exception to the fee requirement will be made only for unemployed heads of households and for persons receiving Supplemental Social Security payments or public assistance. To receive an examination fee waiver, the candidate must meet any one of the following criteria: 1. Individuals who are unemployed and primarily responsible for the support of a household; or 2. Individuals who are eligible for Medicaid, or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments; or 3. Individuals who are receiving Public Assistance in the form of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Family Assistance or Safety Net Assistance, or are certified eligible for Job Training Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs through a state or local social services agency. An Application Fee Waiver Request and Certification Form must be completed and submitted with the examination application. All claims for application fee waiver are subject to verification. If you can verify eligibility for an application fee waiver, please complete the “Application Fee Waiver” form and submit it with your application. This form can be obtained the Montgomery County Personnel/Civil Service website, or through contacting our office at (518) 853-8368.

PROPER COMPLETION OF APPLICATION: Applications must have the front and back completed. Resumes may be attached, but they do not take the place of the completed application. If a resume becomes removed from the application the qualification portion of the application process will be lost as well, therefore jeopardizing the candidates’ chances of being approved for the examination. ADMISSIONS NOTICE: Approved applicants will receive an Admissions Notice from our office providing the date, location and time of the examination. If you have not received your admission notice or a letter stating you do not qualify by the second week before the examination date, please contact the Personnel/Civil Service Office at (518) 853-8368 for information. Montgomery County will not be responsible for the notifications once they have been mailed. Therefore, it is your responsibility to contact this office if you have not received some form of notification as to your status in regard to taking the examination. No candidates shall be admitted to the examination without an admissions notice. All examinations are prepared and rated by the

NYS Department of Civil Service in accordance with Section 23-2 of the Civil Service Law. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS: Special arrangements may be made if you require a religious accommodation, are a disabled person, or are unable to participate in the examination on the scheduled date due to active military service.

THIS APPLICATION IS PART OF YOUR EXAMINATION: Unless otherwise indicated on this announcement, the candidate shall complete one Application for Examination or Employment form for each examination he/she wishes to take. No copies will be accepted. Applicants must answer every question on the application form and make sure that the application is complete in all respects. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant for proper completion, or ultimately disapproved for failure to fully complete. All applications shall be filed with the Montgomery County Personnel Department, either by mail or in person: 20 Park Street / PO Box 1500, Fonda, NY 12068. This office reserves the right to reject for lateness, application filed after the advertised filing period. The Montgomery County Personnel Department does not make formal acknowledgment of the receipt of an application or take responsibility for non-delivery or postal delay.

PROMOTIONAL EXAMS: Promotion exams are subject to sections 52(1) and 52(9) of the Civil Service Law.

ANTICIPATED ELIGIBILITY: If you expect to complete the educational requirement(s) within 90 calendar days following the examination date, you can be admitted to this examination. If successful on the examination, you will not be certified for appointment until you have submitted acceptable proof of completion of the requirements to the Montgomery County Personnel Officer. It is your responsibility to provide this documentation.

CROSS FILING: If you have applied for any other Civil Service examinations for employment with New York State or any other local government jurisdiction, you must make arrangements to take all the examinations at one test site. If you have applied for both State and Local government examinations, you must make arrangements to take all your examinations at the State examination center by completing a cross-filer form with the local agency no later than two weeks before the test date. If you have applied for other local government examinations, call or write to each Civil Service Agency for which you have filed for examinations to make arrangements no later than two weeks before the date of the testing date.

CHILDREN OF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY: In conformance with section 85-a of the Civil Service Law, children of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty shall be entitled to receive an additional ten points in a competitive examination for original appointment in the same municipality in which his or her parent has served. If you are qualified to participate in this examination and are a child of a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty in this municipality, please inform this office of this matter when you submit your application for examination. A candidate claiming such credit has a minimum of two months from the application deadline to provide the necessary documentation to verify additional credit eligibility. However, no credit may be added after the eligible list has been established.

VETERANS CREDITS: As no credit may be granted after the establishment of the eligible list, it is important that any applicants claiming additional veterans credits notify our office of your intention to apply for veteran’s credits at the time of examination application, or at any time between the dates of the application but prior to the date of the establishment of the resulting eligible list. In order to be granted additional credit, a veteran must first obtain a minimum passing score on the examination. Disabled veterans are entitled to receive an additional 10 points on an open-competitive examination or an additional 5 points on a promotion examination. Non-disabled veterans are entitled to 5 points on an open-competitive examination and 2.5 points on a promotional examination. In order to be eligible for credits as a disabled veteran, the candidate must be certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs as having a service connected disability rated at 10% or more, which was incurred during a time of war. Points are added to earned scores provided they have not been used to secure permanent appointment or promotion previously. Candidates are allowed the option of waiving these credits after completion of the examination if the resulting ranking is sufficiently high without them. Effective January 1, 1998, the State Constitution was amended to permit a candidate currently in the armed forces to apply for and be conditionally granted veteran’s credit in examinations. Any candidate who applies for such credit must provide proof of military status to receive the conditional credit. It is the responsibility of the candidate to provide appropriate documentary proof indicating that the service was in time of war, as defined in Section 85 of Civil Service Law, and that the candidate received an honorable discharge or was released under honorable conditions in order to be certified at a score including veteran’s credits. For more information on applying for or using veterans credits, or for a copy of the application to use veteran’s credits, please contact our office at (518) 853-8368.

FILING OF EXAMINATION APPLICATIONS BY MILITARY PERSONNEL/MILITARY MEMBERS: Individuals serving on active duty in the armed forces during the filing period for a civil service examination, or individuals who have been discharged with other than a dishonorable discharge after the filing period for an examination has commenced, must be permitted to file for the examination no later than ten business days before the scheduled date of the examination or the last filing date, whichever is later. If qualified, the person must be provided an opportunity to compete in the examination under terms and conditions deemed appropriate by either the State or Municipal Commission. It may be necessary to schedule the examination for a candidate whose application is approved, on a different, later test date, due to a shortage of test materials or vacancies in a testing schedule. In order for a make-up exam to be administered, the eligible list resulting from the original examination holding would still have to be in existence. Persons eligible for military make-up do not have to wait until discharge from active duty to take the test. Completing the exam at the earliest possible opportunity is advisable. The applicant must make full disclosure in writing of ALL New York State and Municipal Civil Service examinations for which a military make-up exam is being or will be requested. The applicant must be able to sign the Alternate Test Date Affirmation. The applicant must submit to this office, a copy of a military order, DD214 or other official military document that substantiates the applicant’s active military service at the time of the examination and any subsequent service. Candidates must request a make-up exam no later than 60 days after release from active duty.

EMERGENCIES: If an emergency prevents you from appearing for the examination, please notify this office no later than 9:00 AM on the Monday following the test date (Tuesday, if Monday is a holiday), providing verifiable documentation of the reason.

ELIGIBLE LISTS: Appointments from an eligible list must be made from the top three candidates willing to accept appointment. The duration of an eligible list may be fixed for a minimum period of one year up to a maximum period of 4 years.

ADDRESS CHANGE: Failure to notify this office of a change of address may result in disqualification for examination or certification for appointment following examination. No attempt will be made to locate candidates who have moved.

ALTERNATE TEST DATE POLICY: Because considerable planning, preparation and expense goes into each examination scheduled by the Personnel Officer, it is expected that candidates exert every effort to appear on the announced examination dates. On occasion, candidates may have to sacrifice personal commitments to pursue their career goals. On the other hand, the Personnel Officer must also be able to respond to legitimate needs when candidates find that significant personal events preclude their taking written examination when scheduled. The Personnel Officer has determined the following reasons may warrant granting an alternate test date: A death in the immediate family or household within the week preceding the examination; Military commitment; Being a member of a traditional, religious or civil ceremonial party, such as a wedding baptism, bar mitzvah or a member of the immediate family or household of the individual for whom the ceremony is being held; Having a conflicting professional or educational examination. Professional examinations would include those for CPA, ACSW, and the Bar Educational examinations would include SAT, College Boards and Graduate Records; Vacations for which non-refundable down payments were made before the examination announcement was issued; Required court appearances; Medical emergencies involving a hospital confinement or certification from a physician that the candidate is unable to appear for the examination due to a specific medical problem of the candidate or member of the immediate family or household; Emergency weather condition, verified by the local public safety agency, that lead to the closing of specific roads, highways or independent transportation services which prevent a candidate from reaching the test center. Other reasons may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING ALTERNATE TEST DATE: For situations known prior to when the examination is scheduled for administration, the candidate should notify the Montgomery County Personnel office in writing as soon as possible before the test date. The request should contain a complete explanation of the reason the candidate cannot take the examination as scheduled and be supported by appropriate documents, if available. For emergency situations, the candidate must notify this office no later than Monday (Tuesday if Monday is a holiday) following the Saturday scheduled test date.

LIMITATIONS IN APPLYING ALTERNATE TEST DATE POLICY: Written examinations will not be administered prior to the scheduled date. Alternate test dates generally will be granted no later than the Saturday following the scheduled examination. Taking two civil service tests on the same day is not a basis for an alternate test date for one, as long as both are provided by the New York State Department of Civil Service. Alternate test date candidates must affirm in writing that they have not discussed the examination content with any individual. If the affirmation proves untrue, disqualification will follow.


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