COVID-19 overpayment and overissuance collection

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding temporary changes to Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and Treasury Offset Program (TOP) collection of CalWORKs overpayments and CalFresh overissuances.

On March 25, 2020, FTB suspended all non-tax collection, including CalWORKS and CalFresh debts, until July 15, 2020 because of COVID-19.  FTB pre-offset letters will be suspended.

California was granted permission by the Food and Nutrition service to suspend TOP offsets for CalFresh debt between April 6, 2020 and July 6, 2020. TOP pre-offset letters will continue to be generated for debts that are 120 days delinquent.

Counties may approve refund requests for circumstances related to COVID-19 for TOP and FTB collections that occurred on or after March 1.  This is discretionary with the county.  These debts will remain outstanding to be collected starting in July, 2020.  Any refunds must also include administrative fees.

Counties may continue to accept payments and enter into new repayment agreements.  Counties can modify agreements or defer payments on request to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

All other collection activities should continue.  (ACWDL, April 16, 2020.)