Frequently Asked Questions
Overpayment Recovery Unit
ODHS Overpayment Recovery Unit
PO Box 14150
Salem, OR 97309
Monday through Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
If you are attempting to reach the
Oregon Employment Department’s Overpayment Recovery Unit,
DHS Overpayment Recovery Unit
PO Box 3496
Portland, OR 97208
What is an overpayment?
An overpayment is any food program; cash, medical, or vendor payment made by the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) which is more than a person is eligible for and is received by, or on behalf of, that person. An overpayment can also occur when ODHS is not reimbursed for Interim Assistance by a client after they receive a retroactive SSI lump sum payment.
How does an overpayment happen?
The most common reasons for overpayments are:
- A client or their representative (either intentionally or unintentionally) did not provide correct or complete information to the branch office.
- A client or their representative (either intentionally or unintentionally) did not report changes in their circumstances due to income, household composition, lump sum payments or other benefits, employment status or receipt of property that directly affects their eligibility.
- Alteration of a benefit check, medical card or Electronic Benefit Transfer card.
- The ODHS representative fails to take action on changes reported by the client that affect eligibility and continues to issue benefits based on information previously obtained.
If I have an overpayment, can I still receive benefits?
Yes. If you have a need for program services and have not been disqualified for any reason, such as Fraud or Intentional Program Violation, you can receive benefits if you meet other eligibility requirements.
Do I have to pay an overpayment back?
Why must I pay an overpayment back?
Federal and state laws require liable individuals repay overpayments.
Oregon Administrative Rule 461-195-0541 lists individuals liable for repayment of program overpayments.
How is an overpayment repaid?
Ways to repay an overpayment:
- Payment in full by check, money order, credit or debit card.
- Monthly payments can be set up by contacting the Overpayment Recovery Unit and agreeing to an approved payment plan.
- Grant reductions from open TANF (cash) cases are credited to TANF overpayments. Allotment reductions from open SNAP (food program) cases are credited to SNAP overpayments. In the above programs only, overpayments categorized as fraud have 20 percent reductions and all other overpayment program types have 10 percent reductions. No benefit reductions are permitted from any other program. If you have unused benefits you would like applied to your overpayment, notify your branch worker. Clients with open food program at the time federal offset is made and clients who have approved payment plans in place for more than six months with consistent payments may be excluded from federal offset.
- Oregon state tax refunds and US Treasury (federal) payments may be offset to pay your overpayment. State offsets will be applied to both public assistance and food program overpayments. US Treasury offsets are applied only to food program overpayments. If the amount offset and credited to the overpayment exceeds the overpayment debt, ODHS will reimburse the over-collection upon receipt of those funds.
- Wage and bank garnishments and recorded property liens for those cases without timely payments.
What are the differences between Client Error, Administrative Error and Pending Fraud or Fraud overpayments?
Client Error: A Client Error overpayment occurs when the client or their representative unintentionally did not provide correct or complete information to the branch office or a client or their representative unintentionally did not report changes in their circumstances due to income, household composition or other benefits, lump sum payments, employment status or receipt of property that would directly affect eligibility.
Pending Fraud/Fraud: A Pending Fraud overpayment occurs when the Department is investigating whether a client or their representative intentionally did not provide correct or complete information to the branch office, intentionally did not report changes in their circumstances due to income, household composition or other benefits, lump sum payments, employment status or receipt of property that would directly affect eligibility or are investigating an altered benefit check, medical card or Electronic Benefit Transfer card.An overpayment becomes a Fraud Overpayment when either the client admits to the acts being investigated or the case is brought to an Intentional Program Violation hearing or to a court and the client is found guilty of the acts. If the investigation finds that the client was not intentionally attempting to obtain benefits fraudulently, the overpayment is changed to Client Error.
Administrative Error: An Administrative Error overpayment occurs when the Department representative fails to note changes reported by the client which affect eligibilty and continues to issue benefits based on previously obtained information.
What are my rights?
You have the following rights:
- You have the right to a fair hearing.
- If you have a food program overpayment you have the right to request a fair hearing within 90 days of the date of Notice of Food Stamp (SNAP) Overpayment and Request for Payment. For all other programs including public assistance (TANF), medical (OHP) and childcare assistance (ERDC) you have the right to request a fair hearing within 45 days of the date of Notice of Overpayment and Planned Action.
- You have a right to copies of records used to calculate the overpayment.
- You have a right to discuss your case with ODHS personnel.
How do I contact the ODHS Overpayment Recovery Unit to discuss my overpayment?
Overpayment Recovery Unit
PO Box 14150
Salem, OR 97309
Phone Salem Area:(503) 373-7772
PLEASE NOTE: If you are attempting to reach the
Oregon Employment Department’s Overpayment Recovery Unit, please call