1142.000.00 FOOD STAMP CLAIMS DETERMINATIONS

1142.005.00 LEGAL BASE

IM-#40 May 28, 2008IM-#142 December 2, 2005

Establish a claim against any individual, age 18 or over, who was a member of an eligibility unit (EU) that received more Food Stamp benefits than the EU was eligible to receive, or against an individual that was found guilty of trafficking Food Stamp benefits.

1142.010.00 CLAIMS PROCESS

IM-#40 May 28, 2008IM-#142 December 2, 2005

Register and track all possible overpayments in the Claims Accounting and Restitution System (CARS). This possible overpayment is called a "discovery claim referral". Refer to CARS User guide REGISTERING A DISCOVERY CLAIM REFERRAL AND ESTABLISHING A CLAIM for instructions.

If it is determined there is no overpayment, the claim is less than the threshold, or the claim period does not fall within the time-frame/look-back period, reject the discovery claim referral. This allows another worker or reviewer to see that the claim has already been explored. Refer to CARS User guide REJECTING A FOOD STAMP DISCOVERY CLAIM REFERRAL for instructions.

Thresholds for referring and establishing a claim are applied according to whether the EU is active or inactive at the time the claim is discovered, unless the potential overpayment is identified through the process of completing a quality control review or there is a suspected program violation. All claims are established that are identified by a quality control review. Suspected program violation and intentional program violation claims are established subject to look-back periods defined in this memorandum.

Thresholds for Establishing Claims
Participating EUs Non-participating EUs
AE
IHE
SPV/IPV
AE
IHE
SPV/IPV
$70
$70
$0
$400
$400
$0

Calculate administrative error (AE) claims back no more than twelve months including the month of discovery.

Calculate inadvertent household error (IHE) claims back no more than twenty-four months including the month of discovery.

Suspected program violation (SPV) claims may be calculated back for a period up to seventy-two-months including the month of discovery.

Once it is determined that an overpayment exists, a claim is established in CARS listing the responsible EU members.

CARS generates a demand letter to the EU the day the claim is established.

The EU is given the opportunity to request a hearing and choose a repayment agreement.

Claims in which an intentional program violation is suspected are referred to the Welfare Investigation Unit (WIU) for investigation as suspected program violations (SPVs). WIU may accept the claim for investigation or return it to the county office for county staff to pursue an Administrative Disqualification Hearing. FSD staff will not refer claims known to be AE or IHE to WIU for investigation of fraud.

All administrative error and inadvertent household error claims will be considered for compromise when contacted by the EU. If a hearing is not requested, 30 days after the claim is established, Food Stamp benefits of any person responsible for the claim may be reduced to repay the claim, unless the debtor has made a repayment agreement and is making agreed payments.

The billing process begins 30 days from the date the claim is established, or 30 days from the hearing decision if a fair hearing is requested.

Any claim that is delinquent for 180 days or more may be referred to the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) for collection.

Expunged Food Stamp benefits may be used to repay the claim.