How to Repay Cash Aid Overpayment in California

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California Department of Social Services has several programs to help needy families.
California Department of Social Services has several programs to help needy families. (Image: Phil Ashley/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Needy families with children and aged, blind or disabled immigrants or non-citizens in the State of California may receive cash aid from the State through either the CalWORKs welfare program or the Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) programs. Qualified individuals receive a monthly payment that is determined by the number of family members who are eligible and the income or assets the family receives or has on hand, in addition to citizenship status, age and other special needs. Regular reporting of income is required by the State; if an individual or family earns or receives too much income, repayment of those funds to the State of California is mandatory.

Fill out your Quarterly Eligibility Report (Q7) by the 5th day of your reporting month. Report your gross income, changes in the number of people in your household, property purchased or sold and other information that changes the gross income of your family.

Contact your case worker when you receive income or compensation that is over and above the income reporting threshold that you are allowed to earn and still maintain eligibility. If you do not correctly report your income for the month that you are eligible for CalWORKs, and it is determined that you have been overpaid, you will receive a letter from the Department of Social Services.

Respond to the "Cash Assistance Program Notice of Overpayment" from the Department of Social Services that indicates your benefits are reduced or that you must repay your over-issuance. The form will provide an effective date of a change in benefits and the amount of money the office will be collecting each month to recover your over-issuance. Repay the full amount, if you wish, or pay the installments indicated per month.

Tips & Warnings

  • You have the right to appeal your over-issuance and subsequent reduced benefits.
  • Even if your case worker has incorrectly determined your available cash benefits eligibility and you receive funds in excess of your benefits, you must still repay the amount.

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