Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 1. General Provisions

Overpayment Of Assistance -- Department Errors Involving Food Stamps -- Civil Penalty When Fraud

53-2-108. Overpayment of assistance -- department errors involving food stamps -- civil penalty when fraud. (1) If, because of department or recipient error, a recipient receives public assistance for which the recipient is not eligible, the portion of payment that the recipient is not entitled to receive may be returned at the discretion of the department.

(2) (a) Except as provided in subsection (3), a recipient who receives an overpayment of food stamp benefits because of a department error in processing or administering the recipient's case is not required to repay the department for the overpayment if:

(i) the recipient notifies the department of the potential error; and

(ii) the department informs the recipient that no error occurred or fails to respond to the notification within 30 days.

(b) If a federal agency seeks repayment of an overpayment of food stamps in a case meeting the provisions of subsection (2)(a):

(i) the department is considered a person connected to the household for purposes of 7 CFR 273.18 and is liable for reimbursing the federal claim for the overpayment; and

(ii) the recipient is exempt from the unemployment withholding requirements of 39-51-2208.

(3) If a person obtains any part of an assistance payment through fraudulent means as specified in 53-2-107, 125% of the amount of assistance to which the person was not entitled must be repaid and, until fully paid, is a debt due the state.

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 257, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 486, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 205, L. 2007.