Food stamp recipients, already on the poverty line, are being pushed further into desperation by California’s aggressive debt collection practices. Today, Bay Area Legal Aid filed suit to force the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to follow the law and stop demanding cash for old debts.
“The regulations only allow the state to go after food stamp recipients for debts up to three years old,” said Bay Area Legal Aid attorney Cynthia Chagolla. “CDSS is ignoring the law and demanding payment for debts twice that age.”
The plaintiffs are two East Bay residents who were inadvertently given too many food stamps (now called “CalFresh”) more than three years ago, which they used for food. Now CDSS wants to be paid back — in cash. The suit asks for a statewide order halting these improper collection efforts.
“Food stamp recipients are being crushed by poverty and by the state,” said Bob Capistrano, another Bay Area Legal Aid attorney. “It’s time for the courts to step in and give them some relief.”
For more information, please contact:
Linda Kim, Director of External Affairs and Pro Bono, LKim@BayLegal.org, 510-250-5218
Rebekah Evenson, Director of Litigation and Advocacy, REvenson@BayLegal.org, 510-250-5226