Two year timeframe to establish overpayment/overissuances

Current California Department of Social Services policy limits establishment of CalFresh overissuances to three years prior to the date of discovery.  (See ACL 18-99.)  Effective July 1, 2022, or when automation can be completed, whichever is later, counties can only establish nonfraudulent CalWORKs overpayments and CalFresh overissuances for two years prior to the date of discovery.  The date of discovery is the date the county determined by computation that an overpayment or overissuance occurred.  The overpayment/overissuance is considered established as of the date of the initial demand letter or written notice.

When a valid overpayment/overissuance is established, any overpaid or overissued benefits paid more than 24 months prior to the date of discovery cannot be included in the overpayent/overissuance claim.

The 24 month timeframe does not apply to fraudulent overpayment/overissuances.  A fraudulent overpayment/overissuance is an Intentional Program Violation.  An Intentional Program Violation can only be established by an administrative disqualification hearing finding that fraud has occurred, a signed administrative disqualification waiver, a criminal prosecution, or a signed disqualification consent agreement.

Counties can reclassify nonfraudulent overpayments/overissuances if the county later determines that fraud occurred.  An Intentional Program Violation can include overpayment/overissuances beyond the 24 month limit.  When reclassification occurs, the county must issue a new notice of action.  (ACL 21-109, September 29, 2021.)