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.

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.

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