Welfare Recipients’ Children Being Forced To Make Parents’ Payments

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A debt demand from the state is raising eyebrows. At issue: the state has been recouping overpayments it made to welfare recipients, but officials are going after their kids to get those paybacks.

The law is pretty simple — if a parent is overpaid welfare benefits and they didn’t report it or the state made a bookeeping mistake, the children are required to repay it.

“We think it’s absolutely outrageous,” said Mark Hedlund in Sen. Darrell Steinberg’s office. “It’s wrong and we don’t think it’s legal either. We were appalled by this.”

CBS13 has learned that the Department of Social Services has an active policy on the books that if the state overpays a parent’s welfare benefits and that parent can’t repay it, then when their children are old enough to work, they’ll be required to do make those payments.

“So essentially the children were being held for the debts of their parents,” Hedlund said.

It’s legislation that was aproved by lawmakers years ago.

“We think they wrongly interpreted the law,” said legislative policy advocate Michael Herald.

The Western Center on Law and Poverty, an advocacy group for disadvantaged people, is now suing the state.

They say hundreds if not thousands of these children entering the work force are having their wages garnished, tax returns taken or seeing a reduction in Calworks benefits.

“It’s like being born in a debtor prison or something,” Herald said. “No one thought they would go after the children. Some of them were not even born when these debts were incurred.”

The lawsuit seeks to stop Social Services from collecting these types of repayments.

“And we’re also going to ask for any money taken under this policy that had to be paid by a child is returned to the child,” Herald said.

Steinberg’s office is also asking the governor to intervene.

“If the governor does not intervene or does not think he can intervene without legislation, we are prepared to provide that legislation,” Hedlund said.

Right now it’s hard to put a dollar amount on how much the state could end up paying back the children if the lawsuit is successful.

CBS13 put in a request to speak with Social Services officials about the policy but didn’t get a call back.

More from Ron Jones
  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t they take some off each check until its repayed. Since most of the people that are on the “system ” will remain on welfare and continue to “work” the program they are just going to teach there kids not to get a job and how they too can get free money forever. That debt will never get repayed by the kids. And even if these kids do wind up with a morals and actuallly get a job they shouldn’t have to be responsible for California’s mistake in giving the parents too much money. That money is long gone!

  • KG

    The money has been spent on shoes and booze already. Stupid state of california

  • santassidekick

    Outrageous, how in the world can they make the children pay for the states mistakes, the parents and kids do not determine what welfare pays them the legislatures do, if social services made the mistake, why ruin the financial lives of the children before they even have a chance, social services is at fault here, not the recipients or their children.

    • Brian

      Maybe these kids should ask their dead-beat parents for the money back. The low-life parents are at fault, not social services. Pay it back, the money doesn’t nor ever did, belong to them.

      • Sheena Foley

        But its not the fault of the children involved, the state and the parents made this mistake. Its absolutely appalling. Yes, the money does need to be paid back but not from the kids who are now trying to be responsible and get a job. If anything the state is who made this mistake, they need to take a loss for it.

  • santassidekick

    Brian not all people on welfare are dead-beats what is the matter with you? Social Services made the mistakes, thats a fact. The money DID belong to them so that the children would not starve and would have a roof over their heads, also if there were no people who need help there would be no jobs or careers in social services now would there? If Calif. is so terrible why don’t you move to another state KG?

    • Tom

      Lets get it straight most of the people are dead beats and the money does not belong to the it belongs to the tax payer low life and most of us feel all should pay it back . Welfare should be treated just like unemployment OK NOW ! where going to give you this help NOW you need to show us what your going to do to get off it and a time period to do this .OOH ! but waite that means they would have to stop doing drugs and haviing ten DADDY’S babies. AND GO TO WORK !!!

  • Bob

    these crackbabies will just grow up to be yet another generation on welfare anyway

  • will

    The liberal politicians are at it again!!! Try to justified stealing!!!! If you overpay at anything: store, bill, etc., wouldn’t you want it corrected???? All these kids benefited either directly or indirectly. It’s a good law despite what Steinberg and his liberal colleagues says!!! I’m sick and tire of the liberals giving our tax dollars away!!!

  • redo

    This has been going on for 40+ years.The department of social services active policy is to over pay so they them self can get a larger check (bookkeeping mistake ya right ,cover up ) as for the welfare recipients 97% of them lied so they can get welfare benefits you think they are going to report overpaid to the state! ha

    • judgenotleastyoubejudged

      Redo I’ll make a wager with you take someone you know who needs help and also someone who will lie to try to get help down to the welfare dept and see who gets the help and who will be prosicuted. You muckruckers on here have read about a few criminals who are caught stealing from the systm and assume that all welfare recipients are the same you are 100% incorrect the crooks who steal the most are usually government employees and how the ell do you know that 97 lied and stole from the systm get a new crystal ball, only God could know that you can’t. Right across from me is a family who survived a terrible accident(not their fault), two are in wheel chairs and will never be able to work
      but they worked for years before a drunk uninsured driver destroyed their life. You must have someone supporting you or you could not be on this site every day.

      • Tom

        It is sad that these folks were hurt but if they can sit infront of a computer they can work and a larg majority of these folks could get a job if they realy wanted to When i lived in apartments there were alot of folks on section 8 and all 100% were lying and stealing from the system.

  • Society is full of idiots

    You are all missing the obvious.
    The state wants these kids to not make it. It wants them to be saddled with debt and school and job so they will eventually fail and HAVE to go on welfare.
    the State wants a full on welfare controlled state. They want the rich and the poor with no one in between. How many welfare people vote? How many welfare people go to community meetings or write letters? None! For those who care and are doing the best they can, they can’t afford the clothing or gas to go.
    For those who are druggies or alchies, they just don’t care. Easier for the state this way. The rich can decide everything. less fighting, less voting, more control.
    Get a clue.

    • Tom

      WOOOW ! you must be one of those idiots how do you think all these liberals were voted into office by the crack heads on welfare do some homework .

      • Tom

        JUDGE just because there on section eight dosent mean there living the getto these folks live in nice new appartments new houses and have new cars all on the tax payer this is why we need welfare reform. What we need to do is build projects and put them there if they wany out go to schol and get a JOB !

      • judgenotleastyoubejudged

        What the ell were “YOU doing in a section eight apt building, sitting in front of a computer, how did the likes of you get on welfare, my neighbors are brain damaged, what is your excuse Tom?

  • CharlieO

    Step back and change this to what the Federal Government wants to do to ALL OF OUR CHILDREN with its out of control spending.If this article is troubling you apply the same logic as to why our children need to pay for their children “Even before they are born”!!! Let alone ALL the mistake WE have made!

  • redo

    judge,not,leasty,oube, judged
    as you have judged me. i am someone who needs help i have been out of work for 3 1/2 years i am living on my saving that i have saved for 40+ years i see were i live the welfare recipients can live any were on section 8 they live in a nice house and drive a newer car then me. they sit at home and do nothing but play loud music and have garbage all over. why would they work when they get everything for free. i have to do with less to get by. so you tell me how is it that they get delivery of fast food , furniture , tv service cell phone free electric
    program and more and i am not able to have this but i pay taxes on my saving. so before you walk in your own shoes why don’t you walk out side your box and keep it real don’t lie to your self

  • redo

    by the way (judge not…..) i am at the public library they also have free internet.and for the disabled they have every right to get benefits assistance.

    • Tom

      It’s a privalige not a right GET IT RIGHT

  • redo

    Tom you GET IT RIGHT Equality Act 2010.

  • JT

    Funny how the state can demand and make kids of the welfare parents re pay back the money their parents got, yet, the state of california refuses to go after or make the 1%ers pay back their corporate welfare scams, or the cash banks and politicians have gotten and ripped off from the tax payer…

    America the beautiful, and our beloved state of california, lets keep punishing poor people and rewarding rich corporate scammers and banks for commiting crimes…

  • leavethekidsalone

    I can name ya folks who get money from the government from grants for their bogus home based businesses, they sit on their butts for hours drinkling coffee and visiting while the people around them are working their tails off, I know some women who have never worked a day of their lives in the USA who get SSI, low income housing and food stamps, they were brought here to the USA by their adult children, and by the way none of them are Mexicans.

  • workhardermillionsonwelfaredependonyou

    hey i got the answer…………lets all make some more laws……..lol….losers…..because we dont have enough yet………6 million laws and counting…………socialist marksist government…….this is a tough world….get a f***** job!!!!!!!!!!.and pay your taxes surfs!!!!! or go to jail….im a single father of three boys 15,7,6 years old we live in a two bedroom apt…i drive a ten year old car and fix your broken appliances…..i dont think there sould be a welfare system any one needs welfare theres all kinds of work in the fields farmers cant hire paperless migrant latino workers so there is alot of work that no lazy american wants to do……….send them to the fields let them pick our fruit and vegetables…….as for the children of these lazy americans….they are learning how to get on welfare by theyre parents if we make the parents work the fields they will learn how to work……….just my 2 cents

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