Calendar of Events
Fair Hearing of the Month
Fair Hearing #7227727Z (July 27, 2016)
October 6, 2016
Congratulations to Robin Sparks, Nassau/Suffolk Law Services!
Failure to timely report income without proof of concealment or intent to conceal does not rise to level of fraud.
The Appellant was in receipt of Public Assistance (PA) benefits and SNAP benefits for a one-person household. The Agency determined that the Appellant committed an intentional program violation under the PA and SNAP programs by intentionally concealing employment income while in receipt of such benefits, thereby resulting in an overpayment of PA benefits for the period of November 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015 for $3,419.07 and an overissuance of SNAP benefits for the period of December 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015 for $1,164. The Agency requested an administrative disqualification hearing based on this determination. Notice indicated: (1) that the Appellant would be disqualified from receiving PA for one year because he wrongfully received PA benefits; and (2) that the Appellant would be disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for one year because this was his first intentional program violation under the SNAP Program.
The Appellant argued that that Agency could not establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that that Appellant, aware of his responsibility to report his household employment and income, failed to do so by intentionally concealing his employment and income, thereby receiving benefits to which he was not entitled. The Agency argued and in the record showed that the Appellant, while in receipt of SNAP and PA benefits, was employed and earned a salary, but that the Agency had no record of such, despite a completed application dated September 22, 2014. The record also showed that the Appellant’s employment commenced after his initial application and that he provided the information to the Agency on the recertification. The Agency’s determination that the Appellant had received an overpayment of PA benefits and an overissuance of SNAP benefits was uncontroverted.
The ALJ found that the Agency’s determination that the Appellant had received an overpayment of PA benefits and overissuance of SNAP benefits, to which he was not entitled as a result of an intentional program violation under the Public Assistance Program and the SNAP Program, was not correct and therefore reversed. The ALJ found that the Agency failed to meet its burden of proof. Therefore the Agency’s determination to disqualify the Appellant from receiving PA benefits for 12 months and SNAP benefits for one year could not be sustained. However, he ALJ acknowledged that the Agency could take action to recover the overpayment and overissuance of benefits.
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