Has anyone ever had to pay back food stamps?

A friend of mines life has flipped… she lost her food stamps and not sure how she will get through. They make over the limit now but its still not enough to survive on. She now has to pay back food stamps as she didnt even think to report the income coming in as theyre still heavily struggling.Has anyone had to pay back food stamps? Any advice ? I told her people do worse and it will be fine but i know this world isnt easy right now . And no she isnt some government fraud person . Literally a normal person trying to make it .

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My husband works for our Department of Public Welfare. Your friend is looking at repayment and a lifetime ban.

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Has anyone ever had to pay back food stamps?

If they didn’t report income, that’s considered fraud and they would have to pay it back but they should have some wiggle room as to over how long, especially right now. I highly suggest they reach out in their community for free food events, food shelves, farmer shares, etc to get some help with food. There are a lot of resources most places people may not even know about! It can help bridge the gap.

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I know someone that had to, and if you don’t they will take your taxes when you file. That’s why for foodstamps you always have to report what you make, and show your rent/mortgage and if you pay childcare.

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You have to report income changes or they can do whatever they want like cancel it/make you back pay, you cant just decide to not tell them you have more income because you’re still struggling it doesn’t work that way.

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I’ve never heard of this, but I have known people who lost benefits for life because of it. They tell you to report ANY income changes within 10 days, to my knowledge. A lot of us could use them and don’t get them. I think they have an irrational understanding of our economy and what it takes to raise a family, especially since inflation. Not sure what advice you’d be looking for though. If they tell her she has to pay them back, she has to pay them back. That’s “technically” welfare fraud and if she’s ordered by the government to pay it back, I don’t see much choice.

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You have to report any change of income. So she was probably flagged for fraud. I find it strange she “forgot.” And now she’s screwed the chances of future help.

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She needs to contact the agency and get an extension on payments, because she can’t afford them. Then utilize local free stores and pantries. A lot of places have them-a quick Google will tell you where.

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Theyll just take it from her tax return. Or she can set up a payment plan.

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sorry about what your friend is going thru, But they tell you , one has to report any increase in income, even if it is a struggle. Have her go to the local food bank or church to see if they can help

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In the paperwork you sign says you will report any income over the limit allowed. Yes the will have to pay it back.
I know someone who did jail time over this exact thing.

They’ll take her tax refund

Not really anything she can do if she didn’t report the income made and then received benefits. I have been right where she is at. Makes to much for assistance but not enough for necessities. Learn how to cook from scratch. That’s my best advice. You yield more in food by cooking from scratch

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Tell her to contact a local St vincent de paul or churches in surrounding areas

I don’t think you have to pay it back but they can sanction a percentage of any future ebt or cash benefits that she may qualify for. She would get a letter explaining that of thats the case.

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She can set up a payment plan and pay with her household income, they can take so much of it from her allotted SNAP benefits if she still qualifies for some amount and/or intercept her income tax return.

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It’s in all the stuff you agree to

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This happened to a friend not sure what state she’s in CA monthly payments and they worked with her I’m not sure the exact amount she paid but. she said it was low

She probably should still qualify for WIC, so that would be something.

They’ll send it to public authority and send bills every month but if it’s a small enough amount nothing will ever happen. That’s just what I’ve seen happen. I’m in CA.

Depending the state she lives in.
Some states will take it out of your income taxes. And in some states you can request a hearing on the matter and request that payment be taken from the income taxes and show proof you can not afford to pay back in payment method or lump sum.

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She will need to pay back, but before that she can try and do an appeal. Show the income she had and see if she would have still qualify. If not make a paymemt plan or they will take from tax refunds

Yep a friend failed to report the income change, she went to jail charged with fraud. And has to pay it all back.

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I know some who has went to prison for not reporting their income and not paying the money back. Good luck with that.

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She should have reported it. Even pay raises have to be reported. Now she either has to pay it back or be banned for getting food stamps for a certain amount of time.

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People have to pay back anything they were not eligible to receive. I worked in the social services fraud department investigating cases and calculating overpayments. She can set up a payment plan. If she ever becomes eligible for SNAP again they can take a percentage of the overpayment amount out of the monthly amount she is supposed to receive. If she makes no payments eventually it’ll catch up and the government will take her income tax return.

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She did not defraud them so she will not get in trouble. They will just take it from tax return.

My friend had to pay back over 30k or face fraud charges.

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She will not be prosecuted or go to jail. Some of these people are crazy

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They’ll probably take it out of income tax….

Payment plan taken out of your incoming ebt or at income tax time they will take it. Know from experience

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It also depends on how long it went on. If it was just a couple weeks or a month even and she forgot to report it usually they over look it and move forward but if it’s gone on for a few months they will make her pay them back in cash if she no longer qualifies for assistance. Food is paid for my the assistance yes but it is money still so one way or another it needs to be paid back. My advice don’t hide stuff from the government they will get their money no matter what

you have to report your income . it is just like anything else you don’t you have tp pay back.

It states in the paper work that you have 10 days to inform them of any changes. She should be able to make a payment plan.

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Sounds like she is trying to get more than she should get. She should have reported the change like she is supposed to. Maybe she she can budget better.

I know people who had to pay them back.
If you don’t, they will take your income taxes.

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It is her responsibility to notify of any income changes (and states so on the application) …to fail to do so constitutes fraud…she will be lucky if paying it back is all that happens and she possibly will be ineligible for food stamp (EBT) assistance in the future. Ignorance of the law is seldom a reliable defense.

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In our state (Ohio) they will take it from your taxes (state and federal) if you owe the government any money for assistance programs. And if she qualified for Medicaid and was over income she may have to reimburse the state for that as well unfortunately. I would contact a case manager.

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Pay it off asap. The state can and will file criminal charges and it would be felony charges. This is considered public assistance fraud. Usually a requirement in addition to paying off is to be suspended for a year from services as well…but just your friend not her kids.

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Yes they just took 100 of my stamps every month…1100 got 1000 monthly…
I dont have them no more and sure do miss them lol

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I just got a letter stating that I was overpaid like almost 900 in foodstamps weird cuz I actually receive them… I’d think they would just take them out of what I get now… nope they will keep the state part of your taxes to pay it back…

People think if they don’t report their income the state won’t find out will every time you’re up for re-evaluation they run your social security number through the database and if you have any job they will see

They can will sue you and get that money back also it will disqualify them for a min of a year

Oh man. Stop asking the people of the internet these types of questions.

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I did once due to a mistake they made . They took 20 buck a mth out of my benefits till it was paid.

I had to pay back a lot due to them calculating wrong.

I know people that my husband works with that sell their food stamps. They know how to play the system. It seems that those that need help can’t get it, while those that don’t need it have no problem getting help

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I went through the same thing, I forgot to report. In my defense, I could never get through to DHHS and it was during COVID and the offices weren’t open. The website sucks and it didn’t work for me. They had me do a payment plan of some sort, like I didn’t get my food stamps completely taken away but they took a portion out each month to pay it off.

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Ive had to pay back before we lost food stamps. They make a payment plan. They make it affordable also and work with you! At least in TN they do. I’m a SAHM and my husbands income is, according to the state, plenty enough to feed us (household of 5 with 1 on the way) we have to skip a bill each week to feed our family. We go to food banks when we can. We were doing fine affording everything until all these price hikes on groceries, gas, and now our electric company raised their price and so did the water company we’ve had to take out a loan from a family member to buy groceries last week. (Me going to work isn’t an option I am high risk and after child care for 2yr, 9yr, and 11yr old I wouldn’t make anything except gas money well diesel bc that’s all we have to drive, as our gas vehicles are broke down) if you don’t have family that can help. Then have you tried zip pay? Is a payment service. Go check it out. We have used it a few times to buy groceries it’s accepted anywhere they take Apple Pay or google pay! You can do Walmart pick up and delivery thru the app also. Good luck momma.

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I know you have to let them know if you get a job or you get a raise.

Most of the time they’ll eventually take it out of her taxes.

Get a lawyer. Pay back the money. Her lawyer will speak for her and it’s protection for her because then will file criminal charges against her and they are felony charges. Make a payment plan and pay it back. She’ll be ok. Scary process I’m sure but she should get a lawyer…

She needs to get all her bills to show that’s where her all her money goes and her kids they will had her income plus the amount she has to pay to live and give her a lil bit not gonna be much but should be enough to help them get by

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Yea. Its 25$ a month in texas :unamused:

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Nearly everyone has struggles. But if your income goes up you have to report it… She has no option but to pay it back in payments.

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You have to report. This is the consequence. You literally stated, they didn’t even think to report… um you in this post has admitted her fault. Lol.

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Yes i have they just gave me less in foodstamps til it was paid off. Or they will set up a payment plan with u. I was never suspended from getting help…

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Have your friend Contact the free lawyers to counsel your friend, its better they help her.

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When you get EBT they tell you and have it in writing that you have x amount days to report it and changes in income and if not you can lose your benefits and have to pay it back.
They usually do it in payments plans on so much a month. All she has to do is call and arrange it.

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Yes, it’s considered fraud and they will make you pay it back. Sometimes people are actually charged with fraud and are banned from receiving food stamps in the future

I did once. Literally made .50 too much per hour when I got a raise! As a single mom they with held my income tax return that year and took what I owed.

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The rules are the same for everyone to make it fair… Go figure…

Yes. It was bull crap I got a good job and no longer needed them and I was due to recertification. So since I got a good job around then I just never went to recertification and they took out 2500 bucks from me. I called them and they told m I had to report it even though I never used thm or got it. It’s just a way to get money from people. That’s all.

Never heard of paying back food stamps

Yes lol they made an error and gave me more than I was allowed and I didn’t catch it so I had to pay it all back. My advice is to just go on their payment plan. They’ll take a little every month.

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What about illigal they should pay back also

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Yes they over paid me and took my balance from my taxes.

She should set up a payment plan they will sanction her for a year but unfortunately if their income is too high she won’t be eligible

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I know the feeling, went so long on government assistance now I’m working and I knew we wouldn’t have food stamps anymore. Still trying to get use to it. And would like help now because prices have gone up on everything, it is a struggle. It’s called life and it sucks for a lot of us!

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The government absolutely sucks. We haven’t had to payback but they took our stamps just because my husband now works. After bills there’s no money for food so we mostly go hungry. Sorry for your friend hope things get better.

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The government take your State tax return they toke my tax return for 3 years.

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They will find out she needs to report the changes or she will have to pay them back and they will garnish and even not her get them again. The state finds out everything for unemployment off subject I lied I didn’t work a week and I got suspended for 356 weeks meaning If I lost a job I don’t get the money because my account is suspended! They can see wages everything. Google or ask the local churches for food bank assistance and check with the schools who passing out food for lunch now with summer break!

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They’ll take it from the Federal taxes.

I had to pay back on money they gave me by mistake. They just took it out of my monthly amount…it sucked cuz it lowered the amount I received for like a year but at least I didn’t have to pay out of my own money. I wouldn’t have been able to afford it.

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Yes they will end up taking it from your taxes if you do not pay it back

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It will be fine though she isn’t gonna go to jail or anything

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They only do that when it’s confirmed you made too much or they gave you too much.

You can make payments to them. Call and set it up. They will accept what you can pay each month.

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Know her feeling of not having anything. But sofar haven’t had to payback and I have should say we have also made too much by a dollar or two come on .right now I don’t have any and no food and 1 income from 2 because I’m off work for summer and been a hellish year couple years.

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Should put her in jail but there full of people like her

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In Michigan it was taken from taxes to cover it and then you still go 12 months upto 10 years after repayment without.

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Budgeting might help, cable, all those pay channels, call the cable company, tell them to shut your cable off, that you can’t afford it right now with gas and groceries the way they are and you may turn it back on later, but right now you can’t afford it. Cut back on your spending…(shhhhh cable may give you a few months free)

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Yes people have to repay - and they do take it out of your state tax refund so eventually they’ll get it. They also won’t give food stamps to you until it is repaid - up to two years

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Yep. My friend had to pay an attorney and still paid back $7k

Go to your local food pantry ( pantry’s)

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They only make you pay like 10% a month

I have. She sill be okay

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Yes, it’s even worse if you lie and they catch you. They’ll find out everything through w2’s. My friend was almost put in jail for fraud and my mother was put in jail for not turning paperwork in and still receiving stamps when they were supposed to stop.

They take your taxes until it’s paid back. I’m goin threw it now

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Yes they tend to make people pay them back! So depending on how many months she was getting food stamps when she technically shouldn’t have been then that’s what she will need to pay back, but they should allow her to pay it back on a payment plan!

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My step dad didn’t report the change when my mom moved out and they made him pay it back. I think he couldn’t get stamps or got very little in stamps until it was paid off. I don’t remember which but he was on disability so his case may different from your friends

They will arrange a payment plan with her and she will be disqualified from receiving them for a period of time…if she doesn’t follow the payment plan they will garnish %30 of her wages…and they will automatically intercept her tax return every year until the full balance is paid off

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No but I’d see if there is some kind of debt waiver; if they showed their income/debt/expense ratio

Not me, but a family member had to pay back. They took a certain percentage out of their monthly food stamp & if the case closes then they can pay like 20$ a month

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I was given too much by their error, not my own and was still made to pay them back. However I continued to receive them and they just gave me $35 less a month than I normally would get. When I no longer qualified I set up a payment plan and paid $60 a month.

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