ACL 08-10: Title IV-E Foster Care Overpayment And Collections (3/21/08)

HHS told CDSS it was out of compliance with the Improper Payments Information Act (IPIA) (read “overpayments”) of 2002 and that the state’s practice of repaying the federal share of overpayments only upon collection is not acceptable. (CDSS initially issued ACL 06-48 on this issue, and counties were directed to identify and track all federal foster care and adoption assistance overpayments beginning October 1, 2006, and ACIN I-60-07identifies best practice guidelines.) To ensure state and county compliance with federal reporting requirements for Title IV-E overpayments, several sections of the Welfare and Institutions Code were amended. This letter reviews those changes.

The letter clarifies collection against foster family homes, relative homes, non-related extended family members and legal guardians. The recovery of these overpayment funds must be done in a way that does not jeopardize the overall availability of placements for foster or adoptive children, as well as to act in the best interests of the foster or adoptive child. In addition to identifying the conditions under which a county should not collect an overpayment, and providing examples, the letter reviews the types of costs counties should consider when determining the cost effectiveness of collecting overpayments. Due process for providers will now be through the use of both informal and formal hearings rather than a review. [Download]