Section G Overpayments
How to Avoid Overpayments
Child care providers sometimes receive more money than they should have legally been paid. This can occur when providers allow attendance information to be transmitted electronically for payment that does not accurately reflect when a child was actually in care. It is your responsibility to void any incorrect transactions made by the parent. You have 10 days (the current day and the previous nine days) to void the incorrect entries. The 10 day time frame is from the date the child attended, not the date the client swiped the card.
The best way to get the needed attendance information to DHS rapidly and correctly is to require the client or authorized representative to use the card daily. Your POS machine will automatically record the date and time the card is swiped. The dates and times of actual attendance must be entered into the POS machine if you allow a client to come in later to enter the previous check-ins and check-outs. You must make sure correct information is entered so that no mistake in payment occurs. Allowing incorrect information to be transmitted through the EBT system is a serious violation of your contract and could lead to cancellation of your contract.
The client must swipe attendance only for the days when a child actually attends your facility. The child will be authorized by DHS for the maximum number of days that he or she could attend in a month according to the family’s need. The child should never be checked in for a date not attended, a manual claim should never be filed for a date when a child was not in care, nor should the client be charged for that date.
A client could accidentally enter more than one “check-in” swipe per day, the system does not treat this as an error. It will, however, cause the extra “check-in” swipes to appear on your daily exception report. You can void these extra swipes if you run this report daily. It will also help you to keep track of whether or not clients are checking in and out accurately.
Another example of how a mistake can occur is when a child who only needs care before and/or after school is checked in during school hours. DHS will not pay for times the child was in school. If this occurs, you must void the transaction and have the client re-enter the true times the child was in and out of your care that day. Remember, you are responsible for checking your reports daily to make sure all the attendance information transmitted that day was correct.
An overpayment may also occur when the client enters the incorrect person number. You may get paid at a different rate than you are entitled because of the incorrect child’s information being used. You must void this transaction within 10 days and ask the client to re-enter the correct information.
If you did not get incorrect information voided in time, notify Finance – EPS immediately at (405) 521-3622 or (405) 521-4359.
Another way an overpayment may occur is when you submit a manual claim form incorrectly. They must reflect complete and accurate attendance information for each child for whom you received a subsidy payment.
It is in your best interest to avoid receiving overpayments. All overpayments must be repaid, even when the overpayment was caused by worker error. Any overpayments discovered through an audit or otherwise may result in cancellation of your contract.
Remember: If you are the owner or have an ownership interest in a child care home or center, your children or foster children should never be approved for child care subsidy payments at your facility. In addition, if you are the owner of a child care home, you may not receive child care subsidy payments for an employee’s child or any other child who resides in the home. If either of these situations occur, you will incur an overpayment which must be paid back. For more information on acceptable choice of provider see Section C of this handbook.
In addition to overpayments, there are also “liquidated damages” that DHS can charge if certain provisions in your contract are violated. “Liquidated damages” means that DHS Finance EPS can keep a percentage of your total subsidy payment for the month. The amount of the percentage will increase with each violation that occurs.
It is a contract violation and is not allowed for you or your staff to be in possession of or swipe an EBT card for a child—even if you are using the card with the client’s permission and the child is actually in your care during the period of time indicated. Violations like this will result in liquidated damages being assessed and can also result in your contract being cancelled.
If your child care facility is closed for a holiday or any other reason, there should be NO EBT transactions or manual claims filed for that date.