Over-payments happen when you receive more money from social assistance than you are entitled to receive.
Over-payments may happen if...
Over-payments must be paid back. Even if Social Services makes a mistake and pays you too much, you still have to pay back the amount as an over-payment. Social Services takes the amount off your future payments.
Even if you are no longer receiving assistance, you are still expected to repay any over-payment.
Social Services must notify you in writing of the amount and the reasons for the over-payment. Over-payments may be collected from your income tax refund.
Social Services will take off $50 per month per household until the money is paid back. You can ask to pay more per month to pay back the amount owing in a shorter period of time. If you owe money because Social Services made a mistake you can ask to have the amount reduced to $25 per month.
You should discuss the over-payment with your worker. Make sure the worker has all of the proper information. Ask the worker to explain anything that you do not understand.
Social Services may also choose to file a certificate with the Court of Queen's Bench. Once filed, the certificate has the same effect as a judgment against you. Legal ways to collect an unpaid judgment include garnisheeing money (for example from a bank account), or asking the Sheriff to seize and sell some of your property.
You can appeal a decision about an over-payment.
If you intentionally provide false information to Social Services to get money you are not entitled to receive, you can be charged with fraud. You must still pay back the over-payment.
PLEA can provide you with information to help you understand many legal matters you, a family member or friend may be facing.