Public Social Services; Aid and Medical Assistance; Computation and Payment of Aid Grants
(a) In accordance with this section, a county shall collect an overpayment, discovered on or after January 1, 1999, made to a foster family home, an approved home of a relative, including, on and after the date that the director executes a declaration pursuant to Section 11217, the home of a Kin-GAP guardian, an approved home of a nonrelative extended family member, or an approved home of a nonrelative legal guardian, or, on and after January 1, 2012, the supervised independent living setting where a nonminor dependent resides, for any period of time in which the foster child was not cared for in that home, unless any of the following conditions exist, in which case a county shall not collect the overpayment:
(1) The cost of the collection exceeds that amount of the overpayment that is likely to be recovered by the county. The cost of collecting the overpayment and the likelihood of collection shall be documented by the county. Costs that the county shall consider when determining the cost-effectiveness to collect are total administrative, personnel, legal filing fee, and investigative costs, and any other applicable costs.
(2) The child was temporarily removed from the home and payment was owed to the provider to maintain the child's placement, or the child was temporarily absent from the provider's home, or on runaway status and subsequently returned, and payment was made to the provider to meet the child's needs.
(3) The overpayment was exclusively the result of a county administrative error or both the county welfare department and the provider or nonminor dependent were unaware of the information that would establish that the foster child or nonminor dependent was not eligible for foster care benefits.
(4) The provider or nonminor dependent did not have knowledge of, and did not contribute to, the cause of the overpayment.
(b) (1) After notification by a county of an overpayment to a foster family home, an approved home of a relative, including the home of a Kin-GAP guardian, or a nonrelative extended family member, approved home of a nonrelative legal guardian, or the supervised independent living setting where the nonminor dependent resides, and a demand letter for repayment, the foster parent, approved relative, approved nonrelative legal guardian, or nonminor dependent may request the county welfare department to review the overpayment determination in an informal hearing, or may file with the department a request for a hearing to appeal the overpayment determination. Requesting an informal hearing shall not preclude a payee from seeking a formal hearing at a later date. The county welfare department shall dismiss the overpayment repayment request if it determines the action to be incorrect through an initial review prior to a state hearing, or through a review in an informal hearing held at the request of the foster parent, relative, nonrelative legal guardian, or nonminor dependent.
(2) If an informal hearing does not result in the dismissal of the overpayment, or a formal appeal hearing is not requested, or on the 30th day following a formal appeal hearing decision, whichever is later, the foster family provider overpayment shall be sustained for collection purposes.
(3) The department shall adopt regulations that ensure that the best interests of the child or nonminor dependent shall be the primary concern of the county welfare director in any repayment agreement.
(c) (1) The department shall develop regulations for recovery of overpayments made to any foster family home, approved home of a relative, including the home of a Kin-GAP guardian, approved home of a nonrelative legal guardian, or supervised independent living setting where a nonminor dependent resides. The regulations shall prioritize collection methods, that shall include voluntary repayment agreement procedures and involuntary overpayment collection procedures. These procedures shall take into account the amount of the overpayment and a minimum required payment amount.
(2) A county shall not collect an overpayment through the use of an involuntary payment agreement unless a foster family home, an approved home of a relative, including the home of a Kin-GAP guardian, approved home of a nonrelative legal guardian, or supervised independent living setting where a nonminor dependent resides has rejected the offer of a voluntary overpayment agreement, or has failed to comply with the terms of the voluntary overpayment agreement.
(3) A county shall not be permitted to collect an overpayment through the offset of payments due to a foster family home, an approved home of a relative, including the home of a Kin-GAP guardian, approved home of a nonrelative legal guardian or supervised independent living setting where a nonminor dependent resides, unless this method of repayment is requested by the provider or nonminor dependent in a voluntary repayment agreement, or other circumstances defined by the department by regulation.
(d) If a provider or nonminor dependent is successful in its appeal of a collected overpayment, it shall be repaid the collected overpayment plus simple interest based on the Surplus Money Investment Fund.
(e) A county may not collect interest on the repayment of an overpayment.
(f) There shall be a one-year statute of limitations from the date upon which the county determined that there was an overpayment.
(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 559, Sec. 57.)