Cash and Food Assistance Underpayments

Revised July 27, 2012

WAC 388-410-0040 Cash and food assistance underpayments.

Clarifying Information - WAC 388-410-0040

Effect of Underpayments on Resources: The unspent amount of a cash assistance underpayment is not included in computing the value of a household's nonexempt resources in the month the underpayment is reimbursed or in the following month.

Date of Discovery for Department Errors: When the underpayment is discovered by the department, the date of discovery is the date we have adequate information to validate the household has an underpayment and determine the amount the household was underpaid.  It is not the date the department received information or verification.

EXAMPLE While processing an eligibility review on 1/01/12, the worker discovers that the household provided verification on 6/01/10 of a decrease in their direct support payments.  The date of discovery is 1/01/12.  The department can establish an underpayment for the 12 month period prior to 1/01/12.  The household can request an administrative hearing if they think the underpayment should be for more than the allowable 12 month period.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-410-0040

  1. Repay all underpayments that are not applied toward reducing an overpayment.
  2. Document in the ACES narrative, any request received, oral or written, from an assistance unit indicating a belief they were entitled to more benefits than were received.
  3. To restore unpaid food assistance benefits, determine the amount the household was eligible to receive during each month in which there was an error. Disregard any months in which the household was not certified except those months where benefits were lost due to an incorrect denial or termination.
  4. Restore food assistance benefits back to the date of application when a delay past the first 30 days is the fault of the department.
  5. Upon discovering an underpayment, check the history file to determine if an outstanding balance on an overpayment remains. If so, complete a notice to Office of Financial Recovery indicating the adjustment to the overpayment balance from a restoration of unpaid benefits.
  6. If a cash or food assistance underpayment is in excess of any overpayment or remaining overpayment balance, create a beg for the excess amount to the appropriate assistance unit.