Frequently Asked Questions
HOW ARE OVER-PAYMENTS DETERMINED?
The public assistance (PA) worker discovers a situation in the recipient’s case that appears to be incorrect. This discrepancy might be the result of an error made by the PA worker or the recipient, or a misunderstanding. Once the correct information is known to the agency, the PA worker will correct the recipient’s budget and if incorrect benefits were received, a request for overpayment review will be made to Benefit Recovery.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR REPAYING OVER-PAYMENT CLAIMS?
Adults (18 years of age and older) who lived in the household during the overpayment can be accountable to make repayment. A liable individual is a person who is or was eligible to receive the benefit(s), whether or not they were the person who applied for assistance on behalf of other household members. A responsible individual is a person who is or was a required household member but was unreported or not included in the calculation of the benefit(s); responsible individuals include caretaker relatives, protective payees, or relative caregivers
HOW AND WHEN ARE RECIPIENTS NOTIFIED OF AN OVERPAYMENT?
When the overpayment amount has been determined, a demand letter (overpayment notice) is sent asking for payment of all claims other than pending fraud. Notices for pending fraud claims are sent after the time the hearing or court decision is complete.
HOW MUCH WILL I HAVE TO PAY PER MONTH?
The Department has a minimum monthly repayment amount of $45 if the claim will be paid in full within 3 years from the date of the initial Demand Notice. If the claim will not be paid in full within the required timeframe, the balance of the claim will be divided by 36 months to determine the required monthly repayment amount. Please call 1-800-909-9904 to speak with a repayment specialist and discuss repayment terms.
CAN I MAKE A PAYMENT ONLINE?
Yes. Use this link to access the E-Payment System. You will need your Client Identification number, which is found at the top of your Florida Department of Children & Families billing statement. You also will need your date of birth for additional verification. To set up recurring monthly online payments, you also will need to review and agree to the terms and conditions and have a valid email address to enroll.
CAN I CANCEL ENROLLMENT OF ONLINE PAYMENTS?
Yes. You may cancel online enrollment at any time.
CAN I EDIT OR CANCEL PAYMENTS ONLINE?
CAN I USE AND STORE MULTIPLE BANK ACCOUNTS TO USE FOR PAYMENT?
Yes. You may store up to three bank accounts, three debit cards, and three credit cards.
WHEN WILL MY PAYMENT BE CREDITED TO MY OVERPAYMENT ACCOUNT?
It may take up to two (2) business days for your payment to be credited to your overpayment account. Please ensure you make your payment at least five but no less than to two business days before the last business day of the month to ensure that your payment is not considered late. Payments made after 5PM EST or on weekends and federal holidays will not begin processing until the next business day.
WHAT TYPES OF CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS ARE ACCEPTED FOR PAYMENT?
We accept VISA, MasterCard, and Discover.
WHO IS PUBLIC CONSULTING GROUP (PCG)?
The Florida Department of Children & Families is required by law to outsource its recovery services relating to public assistance overpayments. The Public Consulting Group (PCG) is the current vendor for collections services for the Office of Public Benefits Integrity.
WHAT IS THE TREASURY OFFSET PROGRAM (TOP)?
TOP is a federally mandated collection program that allows for the interception of federal payments (called offset), such as income tax refunds and social security payments, in order to repay established food assistance overpayment claims. This is a joint program with the states, Department of the Treasury, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other federal government agencies.
WHY DID THE STATE TAKE MY INCOME TAX REFUND OR OTHER FEDERAL PAYMENT(S) TO REPAY MY OVERPAYMENT?
If the department has not received a written repayment agreement and a payment on a food assistance overpayment within 30 days from when the overpayment was created, the claim is considered delinquent. If a valid written repayment agreement has not been submitted after 120 days, or if payments are not made as agreed, the overpayment is submitted to the federal Treasury Offset Program (TOP) for recovery, which includes interception of federal payments, such as income tax refunds and social security payments. If you have questions regarding a TOP intercept, please contact our TOP hotline at 1-800-226-8007.
IF I AM RECEIVING ASSISTANCE, CAN THE PAYMENT BE TAKEN FROM MY BENEFITS?
Yes, if you have an overpayment in food or cash assistance and you are currently receiving assistance, your benefits will automatically be reduced to begin repayment of the claim. If you are no longer receiving assistance, you must contact the PCG (1-800-909-9904) within 30 days to set up a repayment agreement and begin making regular payments to repay your debt.
HOW MUCH WILL BE TAKEN FROM MY BENEFIT?
The amount of benefit reduction depends on the type of assistance and the type of overpayment that occurred. For a food assistance overpayment due to client or agency error, benefits will be reduced by 10%. For overpayments due to fraud, benefits are reduced by 20%. Any overpayment in cash benefits is a 5 % benefit reduction. There is no benefit reduction on Medicaid overpayments.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT MY CURRENT BENEFITS?
If you are currently receiving public assistance and have questions regarding those benefits, please contact our Customer Call Center at 1-866-762-2237.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT MY OVERPAYMENT?
If you have a question about your claim, please contact your local Public Benefits Integrity office located on your Overpayment notice.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTION ABOUT MAKING A PAYMENT?
If you have a question about making a payment or how to arrange an installment repayment agreement, please call 1-800-909-9904 or contact us by email at email@example.com.
HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION?
Please call 1-800-909-9904 to speak to a customer service associate. Associates are available from 8AM to 5PM EST, Monday through Friday.
You may also contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org