An overpayment is the excess amount of financial assistance that was incorrectly issued to or on behalf of a recipient.
The difference between what the individual actually received and the amount the individual should have received is the overpayment/overissuance amount.
This amount includes any benefits paid to a recipient pending the outcome of an administrative appeal, if the individual loses the appeal. All overpayments/overissuances must be repaid in full to DFA regardless of the length of time the overpayment/overissuance has existed.
To determine the amount of financial assistance that was overpaid, treat the information that caused the error as if it had been reported timely using the actual or maximum (whichever is less) time frames for individual reporting and DFA action.
When a case has received an overpayment/overissuance, investigate—and obtain verifications for—the month of discovery and any additional time that benefits were received during the 12-month period before the month of discovery.
Exception: If an overpayment has occurred due to an intentional program violation (IPV), the 12-month time limit does not apply.
• Recoupment action can only be taken against the individual who was the casehead at the time of the overpayment.
• Recoupment is required from any TANF case in which a previously overpaid casehead is the current casehead (e.g., casehead, payee relative not included, incapacitated spouse, etc.) or an open member.
Before taking any recoupment action, ensure that Form BV0019, Demand Letter for Overpayment, and DFA Form 810, Notice of Rights and Responsibilities, were generated to the individual.
If the individual wishes to repay voluntarily, have them complete DFA Form 759, Repayment Agreement.
The cause of the overpayment has no impact on the circumstances for repayment. The overpayment must be repaid regardless of circumstances.
Causes for overpayments of FANF financial assistance are:
• alien sponsor’s error;
• inadvertent household error; or
• intentional program violation (IPV).
An alien sponsor can cause an overpayment or overissuance by providing incorrect information. A sponsor is someone who completed an affidavit of support to help an alien obtain lawful permanent resident status.
• When the sponsor was at fault for the incorrect information, both the alien and the sponsor are responsible for repaying the overissuance. Establish the claim against the person most likely to repay first. If the sponsor is the first object of the claim but they fail to respond to the demand letter within 30 days of receipt, establish a claim against the alien household.
• When the sponsor provided the incorrect information inadvertently or with good cause, only the alien household is liable for repayment of an overissuance.
An inadvertent household error is when a household causes an overpayment through a misunderstanding or an unintended error. It is also considered an inadvertent household error when DHHS cannot prove intentional program violation.
- The household unintentionally failed to provide correct or complete information.
- The household unintentionally failed to report changes in household circumstances.
- The household received benefits pending an administrative appeal decision, and was subsequently denied entitlement.
An intentional program violation is when a household causes an overpayment by engaging in actions described in PART 713, INTENTIONAL PROGRAM VIOLATIONS (IPV). The Office of Special Investigations (OSI) pursues recoupment from intentional program violations.