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Benefit Recovery

The goal of everything we do at WCDJFS is to help people in need. We work very hard to make sure rules and regulations are followed and that clients in need receive benefits according to federal and state policies. However, in some cases benefits are issued in error or (due to the nature of the rules of the system) received by clients when they are not entitled to the specific amount that they did receive. In these instances, the Benefit Recovery Unit has the task of determining the amount of the overpayment and making arrangements with the client to repay those benefits.

These overpayments have three separate descriptions. They are:

  • Administrative Error (Agency / regulation caused)

  • Household Error (client caused)

  • Intentional Program Violation (IPV) (client Fraud)

The first two types are most common and are simpler to calculate and process. The IPV can lead to legal action and or prosecution through the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office.

In instances when an Assistance Group has an outstanding overpayment balance owed but has not been making proper payments the state may invoke tax refund intercept programs called TOP (tax offset program—Federal tax refunds ) and STOP (state tax offset program—state tax refunds). The TOP and STOP programs divert tax refund dollars back to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to reduce overpayment balances.

There are certain times when an applicant’s situation seems to not ring true based on suspicions from the caseworker. In those cases, the EDP (Early Detection and Prevention) program is invoked and the applicant’s statements are more closely investigated prior to benefits being issued. This situation may ring of suspected fraud. The BRU Unit works with an on-staff Deputy from the Wayne County Sheriff’s office to complete these investigations.

In 2018, a total of 508 overpayment referrals were received with recoupments reaching $269,209.77.

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