Do You Have to Pay Back Food Stamps? [ANSWERED]
Do you have to pay back food stamps?! We get asked this question all the time and in today’s video, we’ll outline three reasons you may have to pay back food stamps and what you should do if you find yourself in that situation.
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Save Money & Get Free Stuff:
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00:33 Usual Circumstances
00:57 Why Over-Payments Happen
02:23 The Process
03:20 What to Do
— ABOUT US —
Low Income Relief is a free information service that connects low income people across America with benefits, programs and resources in their local communities. Basically, we help people save money and get free stuff! Find us online at LowIncomeRelief.com.
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Do you have to pay back food stamps?! We get asked this question all the time so today, we’re going to answer.
I’m Nicole from LowIncomeRelief.com, where we help millions of people save money and get free stuff.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a little complicated. There are three circumstances in which you may need to pay back food stamps, but these situations do not happen very often. In this video, we’re going to explain the three reasons you may have to pay back food stamps and what to do if you find yourself in those situations.
Before we begin, I want to make it clear that you usually do not have to pay back food stamps.
As long as you receive food stamps benefits accurately and legally, you do not have to pay them back. It is very important that you use accurate, up-to-date information on your application and keep your information updated with the food stamps office as you receive these benefits. This will ensure that you never receive an overpayment.
You do have to pay back food stamps if you get overpayments.
Overpayments can happen for several reasons – and it may not even be your fault. There are basically three ways that overpayments happen:
First, the agency may make a mistake. The government agencies that oversee food stamps are run by people and people sometimes make mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes may mean that you receive more food stamps than you were really eligible for. Even though it may not be your fault, you may have to pay back food stamps if you receive extra funds due to an agency error.
Second, overpayments may also happen if you intentionally give fraudulent information to the food stamps office. Intentionally misleading the government agency in charge of food stamps constitutes fraud and is illegal.
If you have committed fraud, you may face additional penalties that vary by state. In addition to paying back benefits, you may have to pay fines and even spend time in jail. You may also be disqualified from receiving food stamps in the future.
Third and perhaps most common, overpayments may happen due to accidental household errors. This may happen when you accidentally provide incorrect information on your application or forget to update your information with the food stamps office in a timely manner. Remember, you are obligated under the rules of the program to report fluctuations in your income and expenses within a certain period of time.
What happens if you have to pay back food stamps?
There are several ways that the food stamps office will recover the overpayment.
If you are still receiving benefits when you have to pay back food stamps, the amount you receive will usually be reduced by either $10 or 10% per month (whichever is greater). For example, if you receive $200 per month, then your monthly repayment would be $20 and you would receive only $180 per month until your debt was repaid.
If you are no longer receiving food stamps, it may be more complicated. The agency will most likely try to get you to agree to a repayment plan. If you do not agree to a plan, they may be able to recover your funds in other ways, such as:
Garnishing your wages
Garnishing your other benefits, such as unemployment compensation
Garnishing your tax returns
Garnishing means that the money will be withheld before you ever receive it. Garnishment is a legal process in which a third party, such as an employer, deducts payments for the person you owe.
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