If you remember, in 2015 I introduced HB 2394 and HB 2393 which established a data match program within the Oregon Lottery for the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) clients. The bill passed with unanimous bi-partisan support, requiring the Lottery to notify DHS of prize winnings of $1,250 or more within seven days of the payout.
This has given the State an opportunity to identify lottery winners who are delinquent in paying benefit overpayments, allowing the state to recover some serious dollars. An overpayment is when an individual receiving certain public or medical assistance received more benefits than allowed by law. An overpayment can be the result of fraud, incorrect information or lack of timely reporting of information provided by the individual, and in some circumstances an error by the state agency in determining benefits.
The bill took effect on January 1, 2016, and through May 17th the state has already recovered $67,117.85. I'm happy to see the legislation working as it should be with potential of exceeding the estimated recovery of $209,952 per biennium. Our public assistance programs are extremely important and ensuring an overpayment is recovered is vital in continuing these critical programs.