LEGAL RIGHTS BULLETIN: Benefit Overpayment

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If you are receiving Ontario Works (OW) or Disability (ODSP) benefits, their offices may notify you that you have an overpayment if they believe that you have received money that you should not have. should not have received.

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Overpayments can occur for many reasons. Here are three examples:

  • You had income or property that you did not declare.
  • Something changed in your life and you didn’t report it in time. For example, you started paying less rent or someone moved in with you.
  • OT or ODSP made a mistake and gave you more money than they were supposed to.

Whatever the reason, the OW or ODSP offices will want any extra money back. They can get it back in different ways.

If you are still receiving monthly benefits (OW or ODSP), the amount you receive will usually be reduced (up to 10% of your usual amount) until the overpayment is paid.

If you are no longer receiving benefits, you will receive an overpayment notice or a letter requesting reimbursement.

If you do not pay the amount requested, OW or ODSP offices may seek to collect the overpayment in other ways, such as using a collection agency, going to court, levying money out of your tax refund or by suing your spouse for the money. .

Never ignore an overpayment notice. Follow up to make sure the amount is correct and dispute it if necessary. Take the following steps if you receive an overpayment notice.

  • Ask the office that made the decision (OW or ODSP) in writing for the details of the overpayment (amount, reason, relevant dates).
  • If you disagree with the amount, reason or details, ask them to reconsider their decision by requesting an internal review by writing to them within 30 days from the date you received the decision of overpayment.
  • If you disagree with the Internal Review’s decision, appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) by submitting a written request to SBT, within 30 days of the date you received the Internal Review’s decision.

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The SBT can take the following decisions:

  • They may determine that there is no overpayment because you were entitled to the assistance you received.
  • He can change the amount of the overpayment.
  • They can order OT/ODSP to take a lesser amount from you each month to pay off the debt.
  • They may decide that you shouldn’t have to repay the full amount of the overpayment.
  • He may decide that you should not refund the money at all.
  • He may order that you return the money later.
  • They can agree with the OW or ODSP office on the amount of the overpayment and the proposed means of repayment.

If you have any questions, contact the Chatham-Kent Legal Clinic for assistance.

Rashin Alizadeh-Dimeski, CKLC lawyer (www.cklc.ca, 519-351-6771)

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