Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online Policy Manual

Overissuances and Claims




Food Stamp Table of Contents



(1)   Establishing Claims Against Households

The Department shall establish a claim against any household that has received more food stamp benefits than it is entitled to receive, except as provided in (2) of this section. Claims shall be classified as follows:


(a)   Inadvertent Household Error Claims


A claim shall be handled as an inadvertent household error claim if the overissuance was caused by a misunderstanding or unintended error on the part of the household. Instances of inadvertent household error, which may result in, a claim includes but are not limited to, the following:


1.      The household unintentionally failed to provide the state agency with correct or complete information; or

2.      The household unintentionally failed to report to the state agency changes in its household circumstances and the recipient or responsible person states that he/she did not understand his/her responsibility to provide full information or to report changes in circumstances or he/she did not understand the eligibility requirements and the record does not show that all of these considerations were explained; or

3.      The household received benefits, or more benefits, than it was entitled to receive pending a fair hearing decision, because the household requested a continuation of benefits based on the belief that it was entitled to such benefits.


(b)   Administrative Error Claims


A claim shall be handled as an administrative error claim if the overissuance was caused by the Department. Instances of administrative error which may result in a claim include, but are not limited to, the following:


1.      A county office failed to take prompt action on a change reported by the household.

2.      A county office incorrectly computed the household's income or deductions or otherwise assigned an incorrect allotment.

3.      A county office incorrectly issued duplicate allotments to the household.

4.      The county office continued to provide a household food stamp allotment after its certification period had expired, without benefit of a recertification.


(c)    Intentional Program Violation


An IPV shall consist of having intentionally:


        Made a false or misleading statement, or misrepresented, concealed or withheld facts; or

        Committed any act that constitutes a violation of the Food Stamp Act, the Food Stamp Regulations, or any State statute for the purpose of using, presenting, transferring, acquiring, receiving, possessing or trafficking of benefits, or electronic benefit cards or devices that deliver benefits.


A claim shall be handled as an intentional program violation claim only if:


1.      An administrative disqualification hearing official or a court of appropriate jurisdiction has determined that a household member committed intentional program violation as defined in Section 1240-1-20-.02; or

2.      The household member is disqualified as a result of signing a waiver of his/her administrative disqualification hearing; or

3.      The household member signed a disqualification consent agreement in cases of pre-trial diversion.


(2)   Instances When Claims shall not be Established


A claim shall not be established against any household if an overissuance occurred as a result of the following:


Procedural Errors


The county office failed to ensure that a household fulfilled the following procedural requirements:


(a)   Signed the application form; or

(b)   Completed a current work registration form; or

(c)    Was certified in the correct project area.


(3)   Calculating the Amount of a Claim


The amount of a claim for an overissuance shall be equal to the difference between the allotment the household received and the allotment the household should have received for each month of overissuance. Once the amount of a claim is established, the claim must be offset against any amount of lost benefits that have not yet been restored to the household.


(a)   Inadvertent household and administrative error claims shall be calculated based on the amount of overissuance which occurred during the 12 months preceding the date the overissuance was discovered.


(b)   Intentional Program violation claims shall be calculated back to the month the act of intentional program violation occurred, but no more than six years prior to discovery, providing case record and issuance information are available. No claim shall be calculated for any month prior to March 1, 1979.


(c)    In cases involving reported (or unreported) changes, the county shall determine the month the overissuance initially occurred as follows:


1.      If the household inadvertently or intentionally failed to report a change in its circumstances within the required time-frame, the first month of overissuance shall be the first month in which the change would have been effective had it been timely reported.


2.      If the household timely reported a change, but the county did not act on the change within the required time-frame, the first month affected by the county's failure to act shall be the first month the county would have made the change effective had it timely acted.


3.      In no event shall the county determine as the first month in which the change would have been effective any month later than two months from the month in which the change in household circumstances occurred.


(d)   When a household has failed to report earned income in a timely manner, no earned income deduction, as described in 1240-1-4-.17 shall be allowed in determining the amount of overissuance that has occurred.


Glossary of Terms

Food Stamp Table of Contents