What is a Claim?[index]
The power of the FCA derives from its broad definition of a claim:
"Claim defined.--For purposes of this section, "claim" includes any request or demand, whether under a contract or otherwise, for money or property which is made to a contractor, grantee, or other recipient if the United States Government provides any portion of the money or property which is requested or demanded, or if the Government will reimburse such contractor, grantee, or other recipient for any portion of the money or property which is requested or demanded."
It is easy to recognize the direct claims: billing medicare and medicaid for patient care, submitting a bill for work as a defense contractor, or, as in the Berge case, applying for a grant that is directly funded by the federal government. Folks at a university or governmental lab make claims every time they spend a dime, given the "any portion" test for whether the federal government is the payor. Even wholly private companies are at risk if they do business with the government, or with contractors who do.
Next - When is a Claim False?
Previous - History of the False Claim Act
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