How to Handle Benefit Overpayment in California
California requires you to pay back overpaid CalFresh benefits in the event that you received an award for more than you were entitled. You will need to know how to pay CalFresh overpayments and if you are subject to a penalty as well. You are required to repay overissued CalFresh benefits in California as soon as possible. If you have received a letter notifying you that you must repay over-issued Calfresh benefits, the letter will explain how you were overpaid. It is important that you reimburse overpaid food stamp benefits as soon as possible so your future benefits will not be affected.
To learn more about the collection of overpaid CalFresh benefits in California and avoiding over-issued benefits, download our comprehensive guide.
Types of Overpaid CalFresh Benefits in California
An overpayment of food stamps in California can occur if you were paid for a period when you were not eligible or you were paid too high of an amount. Over-issued CalFresh benefits may have occurred because you made a mistake when you were filling out the food stamp application, your situation has changed or because you have committed intentional fraud. It is your responsibility to pay back overpaid CalFresh benefits through one of the avenues permitted by the state, which may vary depending on the circumstances of your case. There are two different types of overpaid California CalFresh benefits:
Non-fraud: This is when you have received an overpayment of CalFresh benefits but you are not at fault for the overpayment. If your over-payment was due to non-fraud, then in some circumstances you will not have to pay back overpaid CalFresh benefits. If this is the case, you will receive a letter telling you that the overpayment does not need to be repaid.
Fraud: A fraudulent overpaid CalFresh benefits occurs when you have intentionally provided false information or withheld important information when you were applying for the CalFresh program. This has resulted in you receiving CalFresh benefits that you were not entitled to. Giving false information or withholding information to obtain CalFresh benefits is a serious offence. You will have to return the overpayment and pay a penalty, you may also face criminal charges.
To find out how to complete the CalFresh application correctly and avoid later repayment penalties, download our free guide.
How to Pay CalFresh Overpayments in California
To pay back overpaid CalFresh benefits, you must complete the enclosed form that was included with the notification. California has many methods for collection of overpaid CalFresh benefits in which you may use for reimbursing the state. How you repay overissued CalFresh benefits may depend on if you are returning compensation through installations or in one disbursement.
You can make a pay CaFresh overpayments on the OPC website, which will provide all the information you need. If you do not have internet access, you can pay via phone by calling the local county welfare office. You can also send your payment by mail to your local county welfare office. Collection of overpaid CalFresh benefits in installments requires you to negotiate a payment plan. You will need to specific information to set up a CalFresh repayment plan with the local county welfare office. Your plan to repay overpaid CalFresh benefits will be based on your current income. Your case worker will help you to establish a reasonable monthly payment until the amount has been repaid in full.
CalFresh Benefit Repayment Penalties and Appeals in California
Even if you do agree to repay overissued CalFresh benefits, certain penalties may still apply. On collection of overpaid CalFresh benefits, California can set processing and late fees, if the overpayment was not paid on the agreed time. You will have a certain amount of time to pay back your overissued CalFresh benefits before your account is considered delinquent. If you are unable to pay back the money as you agreed, then you must explain why. You may be able to arrange another payment plan. If you do not pay back the amount as you agreed and you do not explain to your county office, then CalFresh may ask you to pay the amount in full immediately.
If you do not agree to pay back your overissued CalFresh benefits voluntarily, then your local county welfare department can use other ways to obtaining reimbursement. The county may take your state income tax refund to pay for the amount owed. They can also have the courts dock your salary until the debt is paid in full.
If you disagree with your county’s statement of overpaid CalFresh benefits, then you may request a fair hearing after receiving your notification letter. If you request an overpaid CalFresh benefits hearing before any action has been taken, your benefits may stay the same while you are waiting for your hearing. If the overissued CalFresh benefits hearing says the county is right, you will have to pay back your overpaid CalFresh benefits.
What Kind of Assistance Does the Department of Social Services Offer?
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) provides various types of assistance benefits to residents of the state. Through the CDSS, individuals and families can obtain temporary cash assistance, food assistance and more. Furthermore, applicants who are eligible for the benefits of one CDSS program will often qualify for the assistance benefits of another. Find out everything you need to know about the services and benefits provided by the Department of Social Services by downloading our helpful CDSS guide.
Who Can Benefit From California’s Department of Social Services?
To receive benefits from the CDSS, you and your family will need to meet certain eligibility criteria. The criteria used to determine an applicant’s eligibility typically include income, age, resources and citizenship, among other factors. Find out if you qualify for California DSS assistance benefits here.