What is the statute of limitations regarding food stamp overpayment?

My mother-in-law just received a notice from the state that she was overpaid in food stamps from over 20 years ago. Is there statute of limitations, or what route would she need to go to get this taken care of? In IL.

Asked on September 28, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your Mother in Law needs to go and see an attorney in Illinois on this matter at once.  Food stamp overpayment must be paid back no matter whose fault the overpayment was. BUT  how it is classified - agency error or client error - will matter on the issue of statute of limitations on collection.  In fact, it is my understanding that DHS cannot collect agency error over payments for any month that is more than 12 months before the date when the overpayment was discovered. For example: DHS finds an agency error overpayment on June 1, 2005 for a person who was on food stamps from January 1, 2003 through January 1, 2004. DHS cannot collect that overpayment because the food stamps were paid were more than 12 months before DHS discovered the overpayment.   This example is from the Illinois Legal Aid website so I would start by contacting them. Good luck.

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