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​Collections Program

Individuals who are prosecuted for public benefits fraud will be ordered to make restitution to OSIG.  However, not all overpayments referred to OSIG meet the elements of welfare fraud.  Regulations state that all incorrectly paid benefits, regardless of whether or not fraud occurred, must be repaid to the Commonwealth.   All DHS overpayments are collected by OSIG.  The OSIG uses the following methods to collect all overpaid benefits:

      • Recoupment – this occurs when an individual or their household is currently receiving public assistance.  The amount of their monthly benefit is reduced to repay the overpayment.
      • Repayment – an individual makes a direct payment to the OSIG to repay their overpayment.
      • Third Party Debt Collection – through the Office of Attorney General, all delinquent, non-SNAP debts are forwarded through a tiered private collection process to effect repayment of monies owed to the Commonwealth.
      • Treasury Offset Program (TOP) – this option is available on SNAP overpayment claims.  Individuals who have not made a payment for at least 180 days and have a claim balance of $25 or more can be entered into TOP.  Once in this program, the individual's federal income tax refund, as well as other forms of federal income, can be intercepted to repay the balance of their claim.

Another collections program run by OSIG is the Reimbursement Program. Individuals who are awaiting the receipt of other benefits, such as unemployment compensation or Supplemental Security Income, may be found eligible to receive cash assistance pending approval of these other benefits. Once the individual receives their benefits, they are required to reimburse the Commonwealth for the cash assistance they received from DHS.