County of Alameda

Welfare Investigator I (#6774)

Bargaining Unit: ACWFIA - Welfare Investigators (064)
$39.33-$47.11 Hourly / $3,146.40-$3,768.80 BiWeekly /
$6,817.20-$8,165.73 Monthly / $81,806.40-$97,988.80 Yearly

Under close supervision at the lower level and under general supervision at the higher level, performs investigative duties associated with cases of suspected fraud by recipients of public assistance programs; gathers, prepares, and presents evidence for use in legal action and performs related duties as required.


Welfare Investigator I/II is a flexibly-staffed class series with the tasks associated with investigative work normally performed at the II level, but with initial selection possible at the I (or entry) level. Incumbents hired at the I level will be expected to gain experience and demonstrate proficiency, which qualifies them to promote to the II level after satisfactory completion of probationary period

Incumbents in these classes investigate cases of suspected fraudulent receipt of public assistance. Cases are referred from Social Workers, Eligibility Technicians, the District Attorney's Office, or complaints originating from any other source.

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Evaluates and analyzes cases to determine the most effective way to obtain the facts pertinent to fraud investigations.

2. Conducts a variety of interviews with suspects, witnesses, attorneys, employees, staff, recipients and other relevant persons.

3. Informs suspects of possible charges against them; obtains written and recorded statements.

4. Performs field investigations at financial institutions, schools, past and/or present employers and landlords to obtain evidence of recipient’s assets, income, household composition, and residency.

5. Compares evidence received with records in case file in order to determine nature of investigation, gathers case facts, and determines fraud or intent to defraud.

6. Prepares and serves search warrants.

7. Collects wage information and/or other evidential data.

8. Reviews welfare case file information, and evaluates case facts in order to make a recommendation regarding County's most appropriate course of action; prepares budget information, including periods of overpayments of cash assistance and/or overissuance of food stamp benefits.

9. Maintains detailed written case information and chain of custody evidence until case is adjudicated.

10. Prepares memos and correspondence to suspects, attorneys, and other agencies.

11. Appears at criminal trials or admonition hearings, giving testimony and presenting evidence; works with other departments and government agencies to obtain and exchange information.

12. Prepares Reports of Investigation at conclusion of investigation to the Federal or County Prosecutors, Central Collections, other Social Services Agency Departments or other government agencies as appropriate. The Report of Investigation shall include the facts of the alleged fraud, the amount of public funds involved, documentation and witnesses’ statements, in accordance with the rules of evidence. Also prepares clear and concise fraud referrals (or reports) to the Federal or County Prosecutors Office.

13. May detain and arrest suspects.

14. Performs surveillance activities of suspects and locations; locates witnesses or suspects through interviews, surveillance activities, and searching of various information data systems.

15. Reviews, evaluates, and investigates applications for aid as part of the early fraud detection program.

16. Performs research to determine if cases involve duplicate aid, forged documents (i.e., birth certificates or driver's licenses), or fictitious persons; performs follow up investigations related to such cases.

17. Investigates cases involving allegations of forged County warrant.

18. May analyze handwriting and fingerprints.

Either I


The equivalent of two years of full-time experience in the class of Eligibility Technician III or in an equivalent or higher level eligibility classification in the Alameda County classified service.



The equivalent of two years of full-time experience in investigative work that included interviewing and preparing reports of findings. (A Law degree or bachelor's degree in Administration of Justice or a related field may be substituted for one year of the required experience.)


Possession of a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's Class C license.

Special Requirements:

Successful attainment of a POST (Peace Officer Standards Training) certificate within one year after appointment. Persons appointed must meet the minimum requirements for Peace Officers (per Section 1031 of the Government Code) which includes:

Be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship one year prior to submission of their application for employment.

Within one year of appointment, persons must successfully complete the Post Specialized Investigators Basic Course.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the "Examples of Duties" section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• Investigative techniques, and locating various sources of information.
• Principles of identification, preservation, and presentation of evidence.
• Legal procedures, including rules of evidence, search and seizure, and arrest, with particular reference to fraud investigations.
• Interviewing techniques, including the effective methods of obtaining information from hostile or reluctant witnesses.
• Financial and credit transactions, including the general principles of finance and accounting.
• General functions of a public welfare department.
• Automated information data systems.

Abilities to:

• Conduct investigations to obtain valid information and evidence.
• Learn, interpret, and apply provisions of the welfare laws, and other civil and criminal laws applicable to fraud investigations.
• Locate and interview reluctant witnesses under difficult conditions.
• Interview citizens, recipients, and public officials.
• Work independently.
• Collect and analyze complex data and draw valid conclusions.
• Prepare and present accurate evidence, including appearing in court to give testimony.
• Tactful and effective interpersonal relations.
• Clear and effective oral and written communications.
• Prepare written correspondence, reports, referrals, etc.
• Use logic in making decisions and sound judgement.
• Retrieve, analyze, and evaluate automated data.
• Restrain an individual for purposes of arrest and conduct related searches.
• Knowledge of surveillance techniques and techniques involved in locating individuals.

TT:Lm h Revised: 8/85
TB:pb Revised: 7/87
BVA:pb Revised: 7/90
Old doc name: 0665h
New doc name: 6674-6776.doc
VS:co 03/14/00
VS:co 6/6/00
DB:pf Revised: 9/18/00
Csc date: 10/11/00


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Management Paid Leave**
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.

** Non-exempt management employees are entitled to up to three days of management paid leave. Exempt management employees are entitled to up to seven days of management paid leave.

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