81. Getting too many food stamps because of a mistake the household made (“inadvertent household errors”)
To get back an overissuance that a person in the household caused by accident, the food stamp office can reduce the household’s monthly food stamps by up to 10%. [MPP § 63-801.736; 7 C.F.R. § 273.18(g)(1)(iii).] If the household is getting less than $100 a month in food stamps, the food stamp office will reduce the food stamps by $10 a month. [Id.]
The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has national responsibility for the Food Stamp Program, and has authority to settle and adjust any food stamp overissuance claim. [7 U.S.C. § 2022(a)(1).] By regulation, the Secretary of Agriculture has delegated this authority to the state food stamp agencies. [7 C.F.R. § 271.4(b).]
The food stamp office can ask the household to let it cut the household’s food stamps by more than ten percent or $10. The household does not have to agree to this. [See ACIN I-22-97 (summarizing the food stamp court order case Aktar v. Anderson).
The household has the right to ask for a fair hearing on the overissuance or the action to reduce the food stamps. To better understand current California practice, advocates should familiarize themselves with “Compromising Administrative Overpayments – Lomeli v. Saenz Court Case,” ACL 00-59 (August 28, 2000); “Court Case Questions and Answers,” ACL 00-87 (December 28, 2000).