Food Stamps

1142.015.05 Administrative Error

IM-#40 May 28, 2008,  IM-#142 December 2, 2005

An administrative error (AE) claim is established against the EU for an overpayment caused by agency action or the agency’s failure to take action. Instances of administrative errors, which may result in a claim include, but are not limited to the following:

  • the agency failed to take prompt action on a change that was required to be acted upon (Cause Code 15),
  • the agency incorrectly computed the EU’s income and/or deductions, or otherwise determined an incorrect allotment (Cause Code 15),
  • the agency failed to reduce Food Stamp benefits due to a public assistance grant being changed for an EU member (Cause Code 15), or
  • the agency duplicated issuance of Food Stamp benefits, or incorrectly placed the incorrect amount of Food Stamps benefits on the EBT card (Cause Code 22).

Register and track all possible overpayments in the CARS discovery system. If it is determined the overpayment is under the threshold for establishing a claim, reject the claim referral using reason code 05 (Overpayment less than threshold). This allows another worker or reviewer to see that the claim has already been explored. Refer to CARS user guide REJECTING A FOOD STAMP DISCOVERY CLAIM REFERRAL.

Continue to establish all claims referred as a result of a Quality Control review, and all SPV/IPV referrals. If an agency error claim was not discovered as a result of a Quality Control review do not establish a claim if the amount of the overpayment is equal to or less than the stated threshold:

  • Participating EU: If the head of the EU is receiving Food Stamp benefits at the time the overpayment is discovered, establish a claim for overpayment of $71, or more. If the overpayment is $70 or less, register the possible overpayment, and reject the claim referral using reason code 05.
  • Non-Participating EU: If the head of the EU is not receiving Food Stamp benefits at the time the overpayment is discovered, establish a claim for overpayment of $401 or more. If the overpayment is $400 or less, register the possible overpayment, and reject the claim referral using reason code 05.

Register and establish all claims that are referred as a result of quality control review findings. Calculate an AE claim back no more than twelve months including the month of discovery.

EXAMPLE: A possible overpayment for March 2003 through June 2003 is discovered on May 6, 2004. The 12-month look-back period is June 2003 through May 2004. A claim is established for the month of June 2003 only. Do not establish a claim for March 2003, April 2003, and May 2003.