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256J.38 Correction of overpayments and underpayments.

Subdivision 1. Scope of overpayment. When a participant or former participant receives an overpayment due to agency, client, or ATM error, or due to assistance received while an appeal is pending and the participant or former participant is determined ineligible for assistance or for less assistance than was received, the county agency must recoup or recover the overpayment using the following methods:

(1) reconstruct each affected budget month and corresponding payment month;

(2) use the policies and procedures that were in effect for the payment month; and

(3) do not allow employment disregards in section 256J.21, subdivision 3 or 4, in the calculation of the overpayment when the unit has not reported within two calendar months following the end of the month in which the income was received.

Subd. 2. Notice of overpayment. When a county agency discovers that a participant or former participant has received an overpayment for one or more months, the county agency must notify the participant or former participant of the overpayment in writing. A notice of overpayment must specify the reason for the overpayment, the authority for citing the overpayment, the time period in which the overpayment occurred, the amount of the overpayment, and the participant's or former participant's right to appeal. No limit applies to the period in which the county agency is required to recoup or recover an overpayment according to subdivisions 3 and 4.

Subd. 3. Recovering overpayments from former participants. A county agency must initiate efforts to recover overpayments paid to a former participant. Adults and minor caregivers of an assistance unit at the time an overpayment occurs, whether receiving assistance or not, are jointly and individually liable for repayment of the overpayment. The county agency must request repayment from the former participants. When an agreement for repayment is not completed within six months of the date of discovery or when there is a default on an agreement for repayment after six months, the county agency must initiate recovery consistent with chapter 270A, or section 541.05. When a person has been convicted of fraud under section 256.98, recovery must be sought regardless of the amount of overpayment. When an overpayment is less than $35, and is not the result of a fraud conviction under section 256.98, the county agency must not seek recovery under this subdivision. The county agency must retain information about all overpayments regardless of the amount. When an adult or minor caregiver reapplies for assistance, the overpayment must be recouped under subdivision 4.

Subd. 4. Recouping overpayments from participants. A participant may voluntarily repay, in part or in full, an overpayment even if assistance is reduced under this subdivision, until the total amount of the overpayment is repaid. When an overpayment occurs due to fraud, the county agency must recover ten percent of the applicable standard or the amount of the monthly assistance payment, whichever is less. When a nonfraud overpayment occurs, the county agency must recover three percent of the MFIP standard of need or the amount of the monthly assistance payment, whichever is less.

Subd. 5. Recovering automatic teller machine errors. For recipients receiving benefits via electronic benefit transfer, if the overpayment is a result of an ATM dispensing funds in error to the recipient, the agency may recover the ATM error by immediately withdrawing funds from the recipient's electronic benefit transfer account, up to the amount of the error.

Subd. 6. Scope of underpayments. A county agency must issue a corrective payment for underpayments made to a participant or to a person who would be a participant if an agency or client error causing the underpayment had not occurred. The county agency must issue the corrective payment according to subdivision 8.

Subd. 7. Identifying the underpayment. An underpayment may be identified by a county agency, by a participant, by a former participant, or by a person who would be a participant except for agency or client error.

Subd. 8. Issuing corrective payments. A county agency must correct an underpayment within seven calendar days after the underpayment has been identified, by adding the corrective payment amount to the monthly assistance payment of the participant or by issuing a separate payment to a participant or former participant, or by reducing an existing overpayment balance. When an underpayment occurs in a payment month and is not identified until the next payment month or later, the county agency must first subtract the underpayment from any overpayment balance before issuing the corrective payment. The county agency must not apply an underpayment in a current payment month against an overpayment balance. When an underpayment in the current payment month is identified, the corrective payment must be issued within seven calendar days after the underpayment is identified.

Subd. 9. Appeals. A participant may appeal an underpayment, an overpayment, and a reduction in an assistance payment made to recoup the overpayment under subdivision 4. The participant's appeal of each issue must be timely under section 256.045. When an appeal based on the notice issued under subdivision 2 is not timely, the fact or the amount of that overpayment must not be considered as a part of a later appeal, including an appeal of a reduction in an assistance payment to recoup that overpayment.

HIST: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 27; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 76; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 49

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