Treasury Offset Program and Franchise Tax Board Intercept for CalFresh overissuances

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance on suspending collection of CalFresh overissuances by Treasury Offset Program (TOP) and Franchise Tax Board Intercept.  TOP is the federal program to collect overissuances from federal tax refunds or other federal benefits such as Social Security.

When an individual has an overissuance that becomes delinquent, it is referred to both TOP and the Franchise Tax Board for collection.  After three years, TOP is the only method that can be used to collect on CalFresh overissuances.  However, if the individual goes back on CalFresh, the overissuance can be collected by grant reduction.  In that instance, the case must be removed from TOP and Franchise Tax Board because grant adjustment is the only allowed method of collection.

If the individual stops receiving benefits, the case is then returned to TOP for collection as long as the case is delinquent.  The case is considered delinquent until the individual establishes or resumes a repayment agreement, the individual makes a satisfactory payment, the individual pays the entire debt, or, the individual begins receiving CalFresh again.

CDSS states that if an individual stops receiving CalFresh, the county can also reactivate collection by the Franchise Tax Board.   (ACL 23-07, January 11, 2023.)