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Do I have to repay an “unintentional” overpayment?

Produced by Patricia Baker and Victoria Negus
Reviewed January 2018

Usually, yes. Even if the overpayment happened because you or DTA made a mistake, DTA will try to collect money from you to pay back the overpayment unless you meet certain exceptions 106 C.M.R. § 367.495

DTA does not seek recovery for UPVs when:

  • More than 12 months have passed since DTA discovered the overpayment,
  • The overpayment is less than $125, nless you are not a current recipient,

In most other cases, DTA will try to recover the overpayment – even though you did not commit fraud or even if it was DTA’s fault (Agency Error).  If you are currently getting SNAP, DTA will take some of your SNAP to repay the overpayment. See How does DTA collect an overpayment if I am getting SNAP?

DTA will collect from you and also any others who were adults and in your SNAP household at the time of the overpayment. 106 CMR § 367.490.

However, DTA has the authority to reduce the claim to the amount that can be recovered in three (3) years.  This is called “compromising the claim.” 106 C.M.R. § 367.495(F).  DTA also has the authority to waive the entire claim under certain circumstances. 7 C.F.R. § 271.4(b), 7 C.F.R. 273.18(e)(7). Contact Legal Services if pursuing a claim (especially an agency error or UPV) would cause severe economic hardship to you, or it would be costly for DTA to pursue the claim.

If you are not currently getting SNAP, DTA can also waive or suspend collection if your household is not currently getting SNAP and DTA determines that the cost of collection will be more than DTA is likely to recover or would be unfair. 106 C.M.R. § 367.495(H). You have the option to ask DTA to compromise your claim if you cannot pay it without hardship.  Contact Legal Services if you need help trying to compromise a SNAP overpayment.

DTA Policy Guidance:

Online Guide Sections: Home > Cross Programs > Overpayment and Recovery > Unintentional Program Violations

Show DTA Policy Guidance

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