Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Families First Overpayments and Underpayments




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Policy Statement


A Families First underpayment occurs when an AU receives less assistance than they were entitled to receive.  Corrective action must be taken promptly to restore benefits retroactively any time an underpayment for any prior period is discovered when the AU is currently eligible for and receiving benefits, or would be if the error causing the underpayment had not occurred.  The amount of the underpayment is the difference between the grant the AU received and the amount of benefits they were entitled to receive.


Retroactive payments cannot be used to offset an overpayment.




The caseworker must verify pertinent information to establish the amount of benefits to be restored to the AU, such as loss or decrease in income, etc., in accordance with normal verification requirements.  See the Verifications chapter for details.




The eligibility and case management system must be documented fully to explain the circumstances causing the underpayment, the specific months involved and the steps taken to correct the error. In addition, the caseworker must update any appropriate eligibility and case management system screens.




Prompt action must be taken to correct the ongoing grant, if applicable. When calculating the amount of the underpayment, the caseworker will:


·        Establish the entire period of incorrect payment.


·        Use the policies, procedures, budgeting methods and payment standards in effect during the period of underpayment.

·        Work a Families First budget off-line to determine the amount of benefit that the AU should have received for each month of the period.


·        Subtract the amount received from the amount that should have been issued for each month in question.


·        Authorize a retroactive corrective payment for each month involved in the following manner.


The caseworker will enter information in the eligibility and case management system, if the current and/or recurring month’s benefits are being corrected for the addition of an individual or a decrease in income, but because of time frames the changes could not be made effective for the current or next calendar month.


If retroactive payments are being made for reasons other than those listed above and/or the retroactive payments are for past months, the caseworker will enter information in the eligibility and case management system.


If child support was collected and there is any remaining unmet need after the retroactive corrective payment has been authorized, the caseworker must notify the Supplemental Unit in the AFDC/FF/FS Policy Section about:


·        The months involved.


·        The correct CNS.


·        The correct Families First payment.


·        Any net countable income.



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