The Employment & Human Services Department (EHSD) works with citizens to provide a variety of benefits sometimes collectively called welfare. These benefits include CalWORKS, CalFresh, Medi-Cal, General Assistance, Energy Assistance and others. All of these programs have specific eligibility guidelines that must be met to qualify and benefits are not granted unless the guidelines are met. Welfare fraud happens when someone receives welfare benefits because of the intentional misuse of the welfare system by withholding information or giving false or inaccurate information.
What are the most common types of welfare fraud?
- Absent parent in the home
- Unreported household income
- Unreported people living in the household
- Ineligible child or children
- Child or children not living in the home
EHSD workers do their best to obtain accurate information during the eligibility process. If they think they are not receiving all the necessary information or the information is inaccurate, they will ask additional questions or request additional verifications. They may also ask one of our Social Services Fraud Investigators to help find answers to the questions they have. The Fraud Investigator may visit the home, contact neighbors, places of employment, schools and others to determine if the information provided to us is correct and complete.
If someone has reason to believe that public welfare benefits are being collected wrongfully or that someone is not eligible to receive benefits, they are encouraged to report this information to the EHSD Welfare Fraud Office at You can also report welfare fraud directly to the California Department of Social Services at When welfare fraud is detected, the matter may be referred to The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office for criminal investigation and prosecution.
When an overpayment of a public benefit has been established, whether through fraud or unintentionally, EHSD is obligated to collect the amount of the overpayment. Clients’ may call the Collection Unit at to negotiate a monthly payment arrangement if they are unable to pay the balance in full. We accept payment by check, money order or by VISA or Mastercard credit cards. Our mailing address is EHSD PO Box Martinez, Ca. Clients may also pay by cash at any district office.
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding the CalWORKs overpayment collection threshold and discharge policies. This guidance supersedes ACL
Effective July 1, , the overpayment collection threshold for closed CalWORKs cases is increased from $35 to $ Counties cannot demand collection of any non-fraudulent overpayments with a balance of $ or less if the liable individual is no longer receiving CalWORKs. The $ threshold includes claims related to Welfare-to-Work supportive services. The overpayment collection threshold applies to each individual claim, not to the total of multiple overpayment claims.
There is also a new discharge process for CalWORKs overpayments. If the liable individual has not received CalWORKs for 36 consecutive months or longer, the county must deem a non-fraudulent CalWORKs overpayment uncollectable and must discharge it. This rule applies even when there is a repayment agreement or a civil judgment if the overpayment is non-fraudulent. This discharge rule applies to each individual overpayment claim, not to the total of multiple overpayment claims. Counties must send a notice of action informing individuals when they are no longer liable for the overpayment.
The discharge policy does not apply to cases where fraud is alleged. If a fraud investigation is pending when the 36 month timeframe occurs, collection is placed in suspense until the result of the investigation. Collection can restart if the investigation determines there was fraud.
The discharge policy is not effective until it is programmed into the new single statewide computer system CalSAWS. However, when the discharge policy is programmed into CalSAWS, counties must apply it retroactively to any outstanding non-fraudulent CalWORKs overpayments established on or after December 1,
In addition, effective July 1, , counties must now report any mass overpayment of CalWORKs benefits to CDSS. A mass overpayment is an overpayment caused by the same action or inaction that impacts either eight percent of the county’s CalWORKs caseload or more than 1, CalWORKs recipients, whichever is greater.
Also effective July 1, , a civil or criminal welfare fraud action cannot be commenced if case record, or any consumer credit report used in the civil or criminal case for the purpose of determining the overpayment, has not been made available or has been destroyed after the three year retention period.
These policies also apply to Refugee Cash Assistance, Entrant Cash Assistance and Trafficking and Crime Victims Assistance Programs. (ACL , November 12, )
There are many reasons the county might say you were overpaid CalWORKs. Some of these reasons could be that your income is too high, you have too much property, you did not turn in paperwork to the county or the county may have made a mistake calculating your benefits.
The county must give you a written notice telling you that your CalWORKs will stop and why. If you think the county is wrong, you can appeal and have your case heard by an independent hearing officer.
If you think you were overpaid because of a mistake made by the county, you may not have to repay benefits if you cannot afford to do so.
You have 90 days from the date of the written notice to appeal your case. If you have a very good reason for appealing late, you can appeal up to days after the date of the written notice. If your notice does not meet legal requirements, such as not giving a reason or not being in your primary language, you can appeal even after that.
Once you appeal, there will be a hearing scheduled for you to explain why you think you were not overpaid or why it was the county’s fault and for a hearing officer to decide if the county is right or wrong. If the hearing officer decides you are right, the hearing Officer can say you do not need to repay benefits or can tell the county to re-calculate the benefits you should have received.
Look on the back of the written notice for instructions about how to appeal. You can also appeal online at the State Hearings Division.
Overview of collection of overpaid CalFresh benefits
The CalFresh office has many ways of collecting overissued (overpaid) CalFresh benefits. Most commonly, it reduces the amount of CalFresh benefits that the household currently gets until all the overpaid benefits have been paid back. Sometimes the CalFresh office can repay itself from any back benefits that it owes the household. This is called offsetting underissued (underpaid) CalFresh benefits.
The county may also ask the household to enter into a payment plan to pay back the overissued CalFresh benefits voluntarily. If the household is no longer receiving CalFresh benefits and does not agree to one of these voluntary arrangements, or if it misses a payment it agreed to make, the claim may be considered “delinquent.” In that case, the CalFresh office can take steps to recoup the CalFresh benefits by intercepting state or federal tax refunds, suing the person, or other means such as taking unemployment compensation benefits or Social Security payments. [7 C.F.R. §§ (f)-(j), (n).]
Counties can only collect administrative error and inadvertent household error overissuances for three years from the date of discovery of the overissuance. [ACL (implementing settlement of Brown and Espinosa-Tapia v. Lightbourne litigation).]
Counties can only collect overissuances for three years from the date the claim is considered delinquent. except for federal tax intercept through the Treasury Offset Program (see below). [ACL ; 7 C.F.R. § (e)(8)(ii)(E).] A claim is delinquent if not paid within 30 days of the date the Notice of Action is mailed, or when a payment is not made in accordance with a repayment agreement. The current California regulation, MPP § , is invalid because it gives counties discretion to continue collection after three years by means other than treasury offset. [Id.]
The state can write off overissuances that are established and delinquent more than three years, unless the agency intends to do a tax intercept under either the state or federal program. [7 C.F.R. § (8)ii.] CalFresh regulations discuss whether a claim is delinquent, but only provide for writing off debts under $25 or if the household cannot be located. [MPP §§ and ] However, states can establish a cost-effectiveness threshold and decide to not collect overissuances under that amount. California determined that it is not cost-effective to collect overissuances under $ for administrative errors or inadvertant household errors in closed cases and will no longer take collection action in those cases. [ACL ]
These various methods are described below.The household does not have to agree to “voluntarily” pay back more each month than the limits on recovery of overpaid benefits established under federal law. See the related section about the overissuance demand letter / notice of action for more details about the recipient’s rights in that situation.
Allotment reduction occurs when the county reduces a households monthly CalFresh benefits to get back benefits that were overissued. [MPP §§ and ; 7 C.F.R. § (g)(1).] Allotment reduction is the most common method used by counties to recover overissued CalFresh benefits.
The collection rate depends on the cause of the overissuance:MPP § (a) erroneously states that administrative errors can be collected at 10%. This is wrong. The county must only collect at 5%, per MPP § [ACIN I)]
- For overissuances the household caused by mistake, the allotment reduction is limited to 10% or $10, whichever is greater. [MPP § (a); 7 C.F.R. §§ (f)(1), (g)(1)(iii).] If the household gets less than $ a month in CalFresh benefits, the CalFresh office will reduce the CalFresh benefits by $10 a month. [MPP § (a); 7 C.F.R. § (r)(1)(iii).]
- The county can collect intentional program violations (IPV) claims at a 20% or $20, whichever is greater. [MPP § (b).] States have the option of basing the 20% recoupment amount on either (1) the amount of the household’s SNAP allotment i.e., the amount the household receives after the member who committed fraud is disqualified or (2) the amount of the household’s SNAP entitlement i.e., the amount the household would receive if the disqualified member were still receiving benefits. [7 C.F.R. § (g)(1)(ii).] California has opted for the former option, which is a smaller amount and thus causes less hardship to the remaining household members. [MPP § (b); see 7 C.F.R. § (g)(1)(ii).]
The county may reduce the allotments of any household containing an adult member who was liable for the overissuance. This includes collecting from more than one CalFresh benefits household at a time. [ACIN I, p. ]Example: If two sisters are in one household, and overissued benefits, and then move into separate households, the county may collect from each sister’s new CalFresh household, but it is responsible for figuring out the total collected.
The CalFresh office may not take the household’s initial allotment of CalFresh benefits, even if they are paid late. [MPP § ; 7 C.F.R. § (g)(1)(iv).] If the CalFresh office is collecting the overissuance by reducing ongoing benefits, it cannot take any other action to collect the overissuance without the household’s permission, except possibly “offsets.”The list above is not necessarily exhaustive. A state SNAP program may use any method that does not conflict with the law. [7 U.S.C. § (b)(1)(D).] For example, in addition to all the options described here, Los Angeles County, California refers claims that are delinquent to the Los Angeles County Treasurer Tax Collector office and then out to a private law firm.
Under federal law, a household may be able to pay back less than the full amount of overissued CalFresh benefits by getting the SNAP program to agree to “compromise” or settle the overissuance if it believes the household cannot pay it back in three years. According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), a state’s compromise policy could take one of several forms. One good model is the policy in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which waives overissuances if the recipient was not at fault and repayment would defeat the purpose of the program or would be “against equity and good conscience” (i.e., would be a hardship). [20 C.F.R. § ] FNS has stated that this idea “does have some merit,” and that states already have authority to implement such a model. [See 65 Fed.Reg. , (July 6, ).] A state SNAP program might also agree to compromise any claim where the household’s income was under a certain percentage of the federal poverty line.
California has issued a policy for compromising claims when at least one member of the household is elderly or disabled. Counties will compromise Administrative Error (AE) and Inadvertent Household Error (IHE) overissuances for active and inactive households that include at least one elderly and/or disabled household member. AE and IHE claims for active and inactive households consisting solely of members who are elderly and/or disabled at the time of discovery of the claim will be reduced by percent. AE and IHE claims for active and inactive households that include at least one elderly and/or disabled household member and only an elderly and/or disabled household member is responsible for the claim will be reduced by percent. AE and IHE claims for active and inactive households that include at least one household member is elderly and/or disabled and one who is not and the non-elderly or disabled household member is responsible for the claim will be reduced by 50 percent. [ACL ]
The date of discovery is the date the county determined that an overissuance occurred.
For active and inactive cases, counties must use the most recently verified information to determine household composition at the time of discovery. [Id.]
Household members who become elderly and/or disabled during collection of an overissuance are eligible for reduction. The household must inform the county and verify their elderly and/or disabled status verified by the county to have their remaining overissuance claim reduced. [Id.]
Counties are only required to inform households of a reduction if the household’s claim is reduced by percent on an already established claim. No notice is required if a household’s overissuance is reduced by percent prior to establishment of the claim. Counties must give notice to households of a 50 percent compromise and of the remaining overissuance balance. [Id.]
The elderly/disabled policy does not affect claims already in collection. However, households can request a reduction if they become elderly or disabled after the new policy is in effect. [Id.]
The elderly/disabled compromise policy does not apply to overissuances incurred while waiting for a unsuccessful hearing decision, also known as aid paid pending overissuances. [Id.]
The elderly/disabled compromise policy is anticipated to become effective in Fall, CDSS will issue final guidance when the implementation date is determined. [Id.]
The CalFresh office can ask a household to voluntarily pay back any overissuances. Forms of voluntary repayment are:
- Recouping at a higher rate than 5% or 10% of the monthly benefit;
- Recouping from benefits already stored in the households EBT account;
- Accepting cash, either in a lump sum or via a payment plan.
[MPP § ; 7 C.F.R. §§ (g)(1)(ii)-(iv), (g)(2)-(5).]
Even though the CalFresh office does not have to agree to compromise any claims, it should accept installments payments when offered by the household member. [MPP § (county “shall negotiate” if the recipient chooses).] For those on aid, the installment payment must be more than the office would collect through reducing the monthly CalFresh benefits allotment. [MPP § ] If the office is reducing the household’s CalFresh allotment, the household can just let the CalFresh office continue to reduce their current benefits by 5% or 10% and not pay any additional amount. But if the person receiving CalFresh benefits offers to make installment payments and the CalFresh office accepts this, the household’s benefits cannot be reduced so long as those payments are made on time. [MPP §§ and (c).]
If the person is not currently receiving CalFresh benefits, the CalFresh office will ask them to make arrangements to pay back the overissuance voluntarily through installment payments, lump sum payments or unemployment benefit intercepts. If the person does not agree to do voluntary repayments, he can be sued or be subject to the intercept programs described below. [MPP §§ , ] If the household agrees to a payment plan, he must make the payments on time. If the person misses a payment, the CalFresh office may renegotiate a plan. (See the section about the overissuance demand letter / notice of action for more details.)
In some instances the state will consider the overissuance “delinquent”. [MPP § ] If the household is already paying off a prior overissuance through recoupment or through a payment plan, the CalFresh office will not consider a new overissuance to be delinquent as long as it expects to start collecting the new overissuance once the prior over issuance is paid off. [MPP § ; 7 C.F.R. § (e)(5)(iv).]
Once delinquent, the county may move to other methods of collection, such as referring the debt to a collection agency, suing the person, or relying one of the collection methods described below. [MPP § ; 7 C.F.R. § (e)(5).] Although federal law permits states to write off debts delinquent more than three years, if not pursuing tax intercept, California does not do this unless the debt is less than $25 or the household cannot be located. [See 7 C.F.R. § (8)(ii); MPP §§ and ]
Paying by installments may protect a person who is not currently receiving CalFresh benefits from tax, Social Security or other intercepts. [MPP § ] But if a household misses an agreed upon payment and has an intentional program violation (IPV), the county may collect and need not reach agreement on a new payment plan. [MPP § (b)(3).] For other non-IPV claims, when the household misses payments, California requires the county to allow a new payment plan if the household makes up the missed payments. [MPP § (b)(i).] (See the section about when the CalFresh office thinks the household has committed fraud for related information.)
Offsets to restored benefits
Another way the CalFresh office can collect an overissuance is by deducting the amount of the overissuance from the amount of an underissuance that is owed to the household. This is called an “offset.” Unfortunately, the CalFresh office can only correct underissuance errors that occurred within one year prior to the date they were discovered, or within one year of the date that the household requests correction of the underissuance. [MPP §§ , , and ; 7 C.F.R. § (a)-(b); see also, 7 C.F.R. §§ (d)(4), (g)(3).] (See the section about getting too few CalFresh benefits for more details.)] The period the state can go back in figuring overissuances, however, is three years from discovery for agency and household mistakes, and six years for intentional program violations. [MPP § ]
In California, an administrative-error overissuance may not be “offset” or “applied”. [MPP § (Handbook); see also, Lopez v. Espy, 83 F.3d (9th Cir. ) (offset of past erroneous food stamp underissuances and overissuances contrary to plain meaning of 7 U.S.C. § (e)(11)).] If the overissuance was caused by the agency, the CalFresh office may not offset the overissuance against the underissuance. [MPP § ] Note that 7 C.F.R. § (g)(3) was amended after the Lopez decision to allow offsets of underissuances and overissuances in administrative error cases. Because of that change, it is uncertain whether Lopez remains good law.
If the agency’s claim for an overissuance is more than the benefits owed (i.e., the amount of the underissuance), the entire amount of the restored benefits can be taken. The CalFresh office will take the household’s restored benefits even if the overissuance is already being recouped from ongoing benefits. [MPP §§ and ; 7 C.F.R. § (g)(3).] But it may not take any of the first CalFresh benefits allotment after application, even if those are issued late. [MPP § ; 7 C.F.R. § (d)(4).]
The CalFresh office may also offset “dormant” or “expunged” amounts on a person’s EBT card. [MPP § and ] Expunged amounts are amounts left on an EBT card where no activity has occurred for days. [MPP § ] Dormant amounts are those where no activity has occurred on the card for 90 days. [MPP § ] For dormant amounts, the CalFresh office must give 10 days notice prior to recouping those amounts. [MPP § ] This will give the household a chance to object. [See ACL (December 22, ); ACL (September 14, ).]
Even so, if the person is no longer getting CalFresh benefits because she thought the amount was not worth the trouble of reapplying and the household has an overissuance, it may be a good idea to reapply for CalFresh benefits. Becoming a CalFresh recipient again and allowing allotment reduction — even if all of the CalFresh benefits are recouped — will protect the person’s tax refunds or Social Security payments from being taken to repay the overissuance. [MPP § ]
Intercepts of tax refunds, unemployment benefits and other payments
NOTE: Franchise Tax Board collection of CalFresh overissuances is suspended until the end of because of COVID Treasury Offset Program intercepts to collect CalFresh overissuances are suspended until August 7, because of COVID [ACWDL, July 30, ; ACWDL, April 16, ] Counties may, but are not required to, approve refunds for individuals for circumstances related to COVID during the suspension period. [Id.]
California Franchise Tax Board State Tax Refund Intercept Program
The federal law allows states to use “other means” to collect from households. [7 C.F.R. § (f)(5).] This includes California’s Tax Intercept Program, administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). [MPP § et. seq.; see California Government Code § ; California State Administrative Manual § ]
The county will refer a claim to CDSS and the State Franchise Tax Board for collection. When a person subsequently files their taxes and is eligible for a tax refund, the state will “intercept” all or part of that refund to pay back the CalFresh debt. [MPP § ] Methods other than tax intercepts are supposed to be used first, if they will result in collection. [MPP § ] Advocates should also note that California law allows offsets of other state payments due the person, such as lottery winnings. [California Government Code § ]
To refer a debt to the intercept programs, the county must have determined that the debt is “legally enforceable” and that the county has a “right to recovery.” This right to recovery has been interpreted as the ability to collect based on the regulations, All County Letters (ACLs), and court cases. [MPP § (i)(1); ACIN I, page 3; MPP § ] California counties submit a list of debts to the state for referral to the Tax Intercept Program and/or the U.S. Treasury Offset Program (TOP) on an ongoing basis. [MPP §§ , ]
No intercept is allowed if:
- The current CalFresh allotment is being adjusted;
- The time to request a fair hearing has not lapsed; or
- The time to request a fair hearing is pending; or
- Regular restitution is being paid.
[MPP § ] Note that under MPP § , the time to appeal does not run if the individual has not received notice of the claim.
Under MPP § , claims may be referred to offset if the county determines:
- The claim is not being recouped and there is a court order to repay an intentional program violation (IPV);
- There is an order of restitution resulting from an IPV disqualification hearing; or
- The household failed to respond to a demand letter.
Franchise Tax Board intercepts are suspended through July 31, because of COVID [ACWDL, April 8, ] Counties can approve refund requests for individuals with circumstances related to COVID for Franchise Tax Board collections that occurred starting March 1, through the end of the suspension of Franchise Tax Board intercepts. [Id.]An argument can be made that if the county cannot “prove up” the debt with a real paper trail, it should not be sent for tax intercept because there is not a “legally enforceable” debt or a “right to recovery.”
Federal Treasury Offset Program (TOP)
The CalFresh office can also “intercept” federal tax refunds, unemployment compensation benefits, Social Security (not SSI) and other federal payments to collect a CalFresh overissuance through the federal Treasury Offset Program (TOP). [MPP § and ; 7 C.F.R. § (n).] Unemployment benefits cannot be intercepted unless the person agrees in writing or a court orders the intercept. [MPP § ; 7 C.F.R. § (g)(6).]
Federal law permits TOP intercept referral only for debts delinquent more than days. The starting point for counting the days is the delinquency date, which is defined as the due date of the missed installment payment unless the claim was delinquent prior to entering into a repayment agreement, in which case the due date will be the due date on the initial notification/demand letter. [7 C.F.R. § (e)(5)(iii).]California regulations allow intercept when the debt has been delinquent for not less than 90 days but not more than 10 years . [MPP § ] Absent an installment payment agreement, the date of delinquency is the due date listed on the initial notice of the overissuance. (MPP § ) Note that the California regulation may be out of date because federal law no longer limits TOP submission to 10 years from the date of delinquency. [31 U.S.C. § (e)(1).]
Under federal law, if a CalFresh claim is delinquent for or more days, then the county or state may refer the claim to the U.S. Treasury Offset Program (TOP). [7 C.F.R. § (n)(1).] The state must certify that the debt is “legally enforceable.” [Id.]
Once the claim is referred to the Treasury Offset Program to pay the debt, the federal government may take payments that are owed by the federal government to the household, such as federal income tax refunds, federal salary, and federal retirement benefits. [7 U.S.C. § (d).] It may also take the amount of the social security payments over $ per month, up to 15% of the monthly social security payments. [31 C.F.R. § (e).] (Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits can not be intercepted in this way.) In addition, the federal government can charge “collection or processing fees.” [7 C.F.R. §§ (n)(2)(D)(ii), (n)(3)(ii).]
Pre-intercept Notice of Action (NOA) and hearing rights
When a referral to the Treasury Offset Program is made, the CalFresh office must send a notice informing the household about the referral. [7 C.F.R. § (n); see ACL (transmitting form notices).] California’s state tax intercept program also requires a pre-offset notice. [MPP § ] The notice should have information about the right to appeal and where to get further information. [MPP § ; 7 C.F.R. § (n)(2).] This notice or “pre-offset warning” must also advise the household of the right to an administrative “review” by the county. Federal statute says that failure to receive the notice does not prevent the intercept. [31 U.S.C. § (c)(7)(B).] The fee is limited to the actual cost to the federal government of operating the program. [31 U.S.C. (c)(4).]
The pre-offset notice is sent on the 31st day after the notice of action alleging the overissuance is sent. [ACL ] Specifically, the pre-offset notice must contain the following information:
- The amount of the delinquency;
- The right to contest the referral for an intercept;
- The name, address and phone number of the county’s contact to contest the intercept;
- The right to an “administrative” review including a face-to-face meeting; and
- Possible reasons the household might disagree with the action.
[MPP § ]
The Treasury Offset Program process is suspended if the household requests an administrative review within 60 days of the date of the pre-offset notice, an administrative hearing within 90 days of the overissuance notice or the household files bankruptcy. [ACL ]
An agency review may be requested at any time during the calendar year in which an intercept occurred. When the household requests it, the review must include a face-to-face meeting. The review must be conducted by an impartial person (in the agency). The person may ask that the meeting be held right away, i.e., within 10 days. The agency official must review the case information that proves the debt is “recoverable” and “legally enforceable”. A written decision must be sent by the agency within 10 days. [See MPP § ]
If the person is unhappy with the result of the agency review, the person can request review by the federal Food and Nutrition Service within 30 days. CDSS has taken the position that a state hearing is not available to challenge the result of the agency review. [ACL ]Advocates may also be able to raise the issue of the validity of the underlying overissuance if an adequate notice was not sent, since the day deadline to request a hearing would not have run. This includes when the notice went to the wrong address, when no notice was sent to the individual (such as when there were several adult household members and the notice was sent only to one person and did not list the individual against whom the intercept is proposed), and when it is not language compliant. [See MPP § ]
Any excess benefits intercepted must be promptly restored. [7 C.F.R. § (h); MPP § ] Once it determines that the intercept was incorrect, the county must pay the person back immediately, i.e., within ten days, even if the state hasn’t returned the money to the county. [ACIN I (Attachment 1, page 6, No. 5).] In addition, the county must correct all records, any automated systems, and update the CDSS intercept referral list. [MPP § ]
Canceling or terminating claims
The CalFresh office may also decide to terminate an overissuance (i.e., stop trying to collect it) or write-off an overissuance (i.e., remove it from its books). The CalFresh office will not collect agency or household error claims that are $35 or less if the household is on CalFresh at the time of the allotment reduction, or $ or less if the household will not be on aid when collection would begin . [MPP § and ACL ] The county can also suspend claims after sending a demand letter if it decides that it would not be cost effective to pursue the debt. [MPP §§ (b), (regarding intentional program violations). Note here that California’s rules permit “suspension” of claims, but do not require it.
Also, when all the adult household members have died, a claim should be cancelled. [7 C.F.R. § (e)(8)(ii)(B); MPP § ] The CalFresh office must also terminate and write-off a claim if it cannot locate the CalFresh household. [7 C.F.R. § (e)(8)(ii)(F); MPP §§ ; (b) and ] The county can terminate a claim if no recovery action has occurred for three years. This is called being “in suspense”. [7 C.F.R. § (c)(8)(ii)(E); MPP § ] Counties can also appear in bankruptcy hearings to object to a discharge or to petition to revoke a discharge. [MPP § ]
Even after a claim is “cancelled” or “terminated,” the county may still be able to offset the amount against a corrective payment, but only if it is not an agency error overissuance. [MPP §§ , (Handbook).]
Overview of collection of overpaid CalFresh benefits
Beginning in March, , all CalFresh households have been receiving maximum amount of CalFresh. Households entitled to less than the full allotment have been receiving the difference between their entitled allotment and the full allotment as an emergency allotment. For any month a household receives an emergency allotment, there cannot be an overissuance unless the household is found to have been completely ineligible. [ACIN I]
Nonrecurring lump sum payments, including any government stimulus payment or retroactive unemployment insurance payments, do not count as income for CalFresh. [Id.]
When determining if an overissuance is administrative error or inadvertent household error, counties must consider the circumstances at the time of the overissuance. These circumstances include various waivers because of COVID including waiver of periodic reporting and extension of certification periods, and elimination of the interview requirement at initial certification and recertification. In addition, COVID created significant application and call volume and changes in county operations that may have resulted in a households inability to complete required reports. Counties must consider these circumstances when establishing an overissuance claim. These circumstances are likely to have impacted a household’s ability to report timely, increasing the occurrence of overissuance claims caused by administrative error. [Id.]
Overpayment number calworks collection
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