Benefit Error Group (BEG)

Created on: 
Sep 01 2020

Online Processing

Mainframe Processing

See ACES screens and online pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter.

What is a Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

A BEG is either an underpayment or overpayment in cash or food benefits that has been created for a case based on a client’s eligibility. BEGs are grouped by program, error reason, and liable household members.

How does ACES group benefit error months into Benefit Error Groups (BEGs)?

Benefit error calculations done on the same day with the same type and reason code are grouped into a single BEG.

In order to meet Office of Financial Recovery's (OFR) requirements, benefit error calculations done on the same day, but with different reason codes or liable household members, must be grouped into separate BEGs.

Correctly grouping error months into BEGs ensures that the correct letters are sent and that OFR receives the correct number of files based on the liable household members.

For more information, see EAZ Manual – WAC 388-410-0005 Cash overpayment amount and liability and EAZ Manual – WAC 388-410-0025 Am I responsible for an overpayment in my assistance unit?

EXAMPLE: A client did not report starting a new job timely. You recalculate eligibility and determine that the unreported income is over the one person household income standard. This unreported income caused a $155 per month unintentional overpayment for October, November and December. Because all months of this overpayment are reason code [UO] - CA Unintentional Overpayment (OP for Cash), ACES groups the three months into one benefit error group of $465. In this case, one letter is sent for all months of the overpayment and OFR receives one electronic record for the AU.
EXAMPLE: The same client did not report starting to work but the overpayment of $155 per month is for benefit months October and December only. Even though the months are not consecutive the system groups the months into one BEG of $310 because October and December are both overpayments with reason code [UO] - CA Unintentional Overpayment (OP for Cash), and processed on the same day. In this case, one letter is sent for all months of the overpayment and OFR receives one electronic record for the AU.

The computation portion of the overpayment letter can accommodate 36 months per letter.

If an overpayment is for more than 36 months make the changes so that the overpayment is grouped into two (2) separate BEGs.

What underpayment Benefit Error Groups (BEGs) require supervisor approval?

The following underpayment BEGs require supervisor approval:

  • Underpayment BEGs for any cash Assistance Unit (AU).
  • Underpayment BEGs that go back 12 months or more for any Basic Food AU.

What is a Benefit Error Group (BEG) modification?

NOTE: If the amount of an established overpayment BEG needs to be increased, a new BEG must be created for the difference. This isn't a modification, it's a new BEG so it must be taken to OP - Open status and a new overpayment letter generated. For more information, see How do I manually create an overpayment or underpayment? 

BEG modifications are changes to an original overpayment on a cash, Basic Food, or medical Assistance Unit.  Only overpayment BEGs can be modified for one or all of the following reasons: 

  • Change the type of overpayment.
  • Decrease the amount of the original overpayment; and/or,
  • Change the repayment method.

When changes are made to an overpayment after it's been established, a modification letter notifies OFR a change has been made to an existing overpayment.

Online Processing

How are overpayment/underpayment Benefit Error Groups (BEGS) Created?

A user calculates a change in benefit amounts from the Case Actions page. Select Start Changes in the appropriate benefit month. ACES compares the previously calculated amount to the newly calculated amount and displays the difference on the Eligibility Details page in the Benefits section.

The previous calculated amount in ACES is not always the amount the client received.

To view the actual benefits issued to a client take the following steps on the Welcome Back page, using the Quick Navigation section :

  1. From the Select a Type of ID drop down box, click Assistance Unit.
  2. In the Enter an ID box, enter the [Assistance Unit (AU) number].
  3. From the Select a Page drop down box, click Summary.
  4. Click the Go button.

OR

From any AU level page, select the Issuances link from the Benefits drop-down menu.

A User can manually create an overpayment or underpayment BEG. A manually created BEG should be done as a last resort and whenever possible use benefit eligibility to calculate the amount of the benefit error. 

If the underpayment BEG is more than 12 months in the past users receive one of the following soft edits:

  • For cash AUs, Edit 2063 - SUPPLEMENT MORE THAN 12 MONTHS IN THE PAST - REVIEW UNDERPAYMENT POLICY.
  • For Basic Food AUs, Edit 2055 - SUPPLEMENT MORE THAN 12 MONTHS IN THE PAST - SUPERVISOR APPROVAL REQUIRED.

For more information, see EAZ Manual - WAC 388-410-0040 Cash and food assistance underpayments.

How does ACES determine overpayment and underpayment amounts?

Processing Alternative: Multiple Proration's During a Month PR 3248

When a historical change results in a new benefit amount, ACES compares the previously calculated amount to the new calculation. The result is either an overpayment or an underpayment.

NOTE: This is only a calculation. ACES does not know whether the difference in benefit amounts is really an overpayment or underpayment. ACES only does the math.

If, based on policy, no overpayment or underpayment exists, choose Ignore (IG) from the drop down on the Eligibility Details page in the Benefits section and document why the Benefit Error Group (BEG) is ignored.

In situations where there is a recoupment, ACES uses the original benefit amount to calculate the BEG.

EXAMPLE: A client is repaying $10 per month on a previously established overpayment. The benefit amount issued to the client was $274. When the historical change is made, the newly calculated amount of $200 is compared to $284 ($274 plus $10 repayment amount) and a BEG of $84 is created.

How do I manually create an overpayment or underpayment?

This function is not currently available in ACES.online or ACES 3G. See Mainframe Processing - How do I manually create an overpayment or underpayment?

How do I confirm an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

To confirm an overpayment, take the following steps:

  1. In the Quick Navigation section on the Welcome back page in ACES.online complete the following:
  • Select a Type of ID field - Select Assistance Unit from the drop-down list.
  • Enter an ID field - Enter the [Assistance Unit (AU) number] for which the overpayment was created.
  • Select a Page field - Select Letters from the drop-down list.
  • Click the Go button.
  1. On the Letter Summary page, click Create Letter.
  2. On the Create Letter page, select Overpayment from the Letter Category drop-down list.
  3. The Create Overpayment Letter - Selected Assistance Unit pop-up displays with a list of all the Benefit Error Groups (BEGs) that are in RP - Ready to Process status. Click the radio button next to the appropriate BEG and click Next.
  • Leave the check box next to Review Liability blank.
NOTE: The Office of Financial Recovery (OFR) does not make any determinations on who is responsible for an overpayment.
  1. A list of all household members is brought up. Verify that the AU members pre-selected by ACES, based on the person's financial responsibility code, are liable for the overpayment.
  • If a pre-selected member is determined not liable for the overpayment, remove the check mark from the box to deselect the specific household member.
  • The user may select up to 10 additional clients as liable by clicking on the blank box next to a client's name.
  • All clients that are identified as liable are included on the Overpayment Letter and included in the file sent to OFR.
  • It may be necessary to review policy to ensure all persons selected are actually financially liable for the overpayment. For more information, see EAZ Manual - WAC 388-410-0005 Cash assistance overpayment amount and liability. As of May 1, 2019 children are no longer included when establishing an overpayment for a cash program.
  • Review the case for other information that may need to be included in the letter such as claim determination from a hearing, the appropriate WAC code(s) or legal services telephone number.
  1. Click the Next button at the bottom of the screen and the overpayment letter page displays.
  • If this is a system created BEG, all information specific to months, amounts, liable household members, and overpayment computation is pre-filled.
  • The case information reflects information from the first overpayment month listed on the CAFI and FSFI screens.
  • It is imperative that the information be reviewed to ensure it is correct before the letter is confirmed.
  1. Click the Print button and in the Print Options section select State. ACES automatically changes the overpayment status to OP - Open.
  • Once the overpayment is in OP - Open status, it can only be changed by doing a modification.
  • Letters that are centrally printed by clicking Print - State are automatically sent by Certified Mail.
NOTE: Once the letter is saved for mail or locally printed, the BEG is opened and sent to OFR. The BEG can only be changed by doing a modification. For more information, see How do I modify an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

How do I modify an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

For more information, see How are overpayment/underpayment Benefit Error Groups (BEGs) created?

To modify an overpayment, take the following steps: 

  1. Follow steps 1 - 3 in Mainframe Processing - How do I manually create an overpayment or underpayment?
  • OP/UP field - Enter [UP - Underpayment].
  1. DO NOT CONFIRM the underpayment BEG. Do not enter a Y in the Confirm field on the BEMG screen; just press the <F4> key.
  2. From the ACES.online Summary - Client page, under AU ID, click the Assistance Unit number for which the underpayment was created to display the Summary - Assistance Unit  page.  
  3. Click the Letters link at the top of the page to display the Letter Summary - Assistance Unit page. 
  4. Click the Create Letter button to open the Create Letter pop-up window with the selected Assistance Unit number prefilled in the AU ID: field.  
  5. Click the Next > button to open the Create Letter Selected Assistance Unit window.
  6. From the Letter Category: drop down list, select Overpayment.
  7. The Create Overpayment Letter Selected Assistance Unit window displays with a list of BEGS in RP - Ready to Process status.  Take the following steps on this page:
  • Click the radio button next to the appropriate underpayment BEG.
  • Click the checkbox for Modification.  The Overpayment Letter: field displays prefilled with Overpayment Modification (0045-09).
  • Click the Next > button to display Letter 045-09.
  1. Complete all necessary fields on Letter 045-09.
  2. Click the Print button.  ACES automatically changes the overpayment status to MO - Modification to Open BEG on the BEGS screen.
NOTE: Once a BEG is modified, the Beg Bal field on the BEGS screen in ACES Mainframe will not change.  For example, if an overpayment BEG is modified to $0.00, the Beg Bal field will not change to reflect this modification.

For an explanation of BEG modification, see What is a Benefit Error Group (BEG) modification?

How do I modify an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG) Type?

NOTE: BEG modification can also be used to change the BEG Reason Type for an overpayment.  If an overpayment BEG in OP - Open status has been created with the incorrect Reason Type and a letter has been sent to the client, a new letter for the appropriate Reason Type must be manually created.  
EXAMPLE: If an overpayment BEG type is AE – Administrative Error in error and needs to be changed to UO - CA Unintentional Overpayment, a new letter with the appropriate Reason Type must be manually created.  See Online Process - How do I create a letter without a Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

To modify an overpayment type, take the following steps:

  1. From the ACES.online Summary - Client page under AU ID, click the Assistance Unit number for which the overpayment was created to display the Summary - Assistance Unit  page.
  2. Click the Letters link at the top of the page to display the Letter Summary - Assistance Unit page.
  3. Click the Create Letter button to open the Create Letter pop-up window with the selected Assistance Unit number prefilled in the AU ID: field.
  4. Click the Next > button to open the Create Letter Selected Assistance Unit window.
  5. From the Letter Category: drop-down list, select Overpayment to open the Create Overpayment Letter Selected Assistance Unit window.
  6. Click the Create Overpayment Letter without a BEG button to Select an Overpayment Letter.
  7. From the Letter: drop down list, select Overpayment Modification (0045-09).
  8. Click the Next > button to display Letter 045-09.
  9. Complete all necessary fields on Letter 045-09.  The following field must be updated to modify the BEG reason type:
  • Check The type of overpayment has changed box.

How do I create a letter without a Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

To create a letter without a BEG, follow steps 1 - 6 in  How do I modify an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG) Type? 

  1. From the Letter: drop down menu, select the appropriate letter and BEG type.
  2. Click the Next > button to display the selected letter.
  3. Complete all necessary fields on the letter.

How do I confirm an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

This function does not currently exist in ACES.online. For more information, see Mainframe Processing - How do I confirm an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

As a Supervisor, how do I approve/disapprove an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

This function does not currently exist in ACES.online. For more information, see Mainframe Processing - As a Supervisor, how do I approve/disapprove an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

What do I do when an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG) has been confirmed?

When the underpayment BEG has been confirmed and is in OP - Open status, take the following step:

  1. Review the system generated Letter 017-01 (Supplemental Payment for Cash/Food) and add any required freeform text.
NOTE: For BEGs that require supervisor approval, Letter 017-01 remains in draft status until the BEG is either approved or denied. If the underpayment BEG is for an Emergent Need or Ongoing Additional Requirement (OAR) approval that has been issued under a Medical Assistance Unit (AU), Letter 017-01 must be manually generated and the status does not change when a supervisor or lead worker approves or disapproves the BEG.

What do I do after a supervisor has approved an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

Once the supervisor has approved the underpayment BEG, and Letter 017-01 (Supplemental Payment for Cash/Food) is available to print, take the following step:

  1. Review the letter and add the benefit availability date.

What happens if the supervisor disapproves an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

If the supervisor disapproves an underpayment BEG, Letter 017-01 (Supplemental Payment for Cash/Food) is auto-marked delete.

NOTE: The disapproved BEG will show as OP - Open on the BEGS screen in Mainframe.

What happens if an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG) in OP - Open status hasn't been approved by the supervisor within 30 days?

In this situation, Letter 017-01 (Supplemental Payment for Cash/Food) is auto-deleted on the 30th day during the nightly batch.

If the BEG is subsequently approved, manually create Letter 017-01. The system displays all the underpayment BEGs in OP - Open status for the last 36 months and the worker then selects the BEG they are creating the letter for.

How do I ignore an invalid overpayment or underpayment?

This function does not currently exist in ACES.online. For more information, see Mainframe Processing - How do I ignore an invalid overpayment or underpayment?

Mainframe Processing

How are overpayment/underpayment Benefit Error Groups (BEGs) created?

A BEG can be created in one of the following ways:

  • A user calculates a change in benefit amount from Option R - Interim/Hist Change on the AMEN screen. ACES compares the previously calculated amount to the newly calculated amount and displays the difference on the CAFI or FSFI screen. The previously calculated amount in ACES is not always the amount the client received.
  •  To view the actual benefits issued to a client, press <F19> on the MISC, CAFI or FSFI screen. This takes you to the JMEN screen. Enter [D] - Benefit History Listing in the Selection field.
  • A user can manually create an overpayment or underpayment BEG. A manually created BEG should be done as a last resort and whenever possible use benefit eligibility to calculate the amount of the benefit error.

How does ACES determine overpayment and underpayment amounts?

Processing Alternative: Multiple Proration's During a Month PR 3248

When a historical change results in a new benefit amount, ACES compares the previously calculated amount to the new calculation. The result is either an overpayment or an underpayment.

NOTE: This is only a calculation. ACES does not know whether the difference in benefit amounts is really an overpayment or underpayment. ACES only does the math.

If, based on policy, no overpayment or underpayment exists, enter [IG] - Ignore in the Reas field on the CAFI or FSFI screen and document why the Benefit Error Group (BEG) was ignored.

In situations where there is a recoupment, ACES uses the original benefit amount to calculate the BEG.

EXAMPLE: A client is repaying $10 per month on a previously established overpayment. The benefit amount issued to the client was $274. When the historical change is made, the newly calculated amount of $200 is compared to $284 ($274 plus $10 repayment amount) and a BEG of $84 is created.

How do I manually create an overpayment or underpayment?

To manually create an overpayment or underpayment, take the following steps:

  1. On the WMEN screen, select Option N - Benefit Error.
  2. On the NMEN screen complete the following fields:
  • Selection field - Enter [C] - Create a Benefit Error Group.
  • AU Id field - Enter the [Assistance Unit ID].
  1. On the BEMG screen, complete the following fields:
  • Issue Month field - Enter the [two digit month and year].
  • OP/UP field - Enter the [appropriate code]. See <F1> Help.
  • Amount field - Enter the [amount].
  • Reas field - Enter the [appropriate code]. (The cursor automatically tabs down to the next line)
NOTE:  For emergency food supplements use reason code ES (Emergency Supplement).  For additional information on the Emergency Food Supplements see, EA-Z Manual – WAC 388-437-0005 Changes to food assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Enter additional months if appropriate. 
  • When done entering all of the months needed, press the Enter key.
  • If a total of five months of Overpayment BEG amounts has been entered, the cursor will tab automatically to the More field.
  • If  more than five months of Overpayment BEGs are needed, enter [Y] in the More field and press the Enter key.
  1. If the BEG is an Overpayment, follow the procedure in How do I confirm an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?
  2. If the BEG is an Underpayment, follow the procedure in How do I confirm an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

How do I confirm an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

This function does not currently exist in ACES Mainframe. Please see, Online - How do I confirm an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

How do I modify an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

Modifying an overpayment BEG can only be done in ACES.online. For more information, see Online - How do I modify an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

For an explanation of BEG modification, see, -  What is a Benefit Error Group (BEG) modification?

How do I create a letter without a Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

This function does not currently exist in ACES Mainframe. Please see, -  Online Processing - How do I create a letter without a Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

How do I confirm an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

To confirm an underpayment, take the following steps:

  1. On the WMEN screen, select Option N - Benefit Error.
  2. On the NMEN screen, complete the following fields:
  • Selection field - Enter [B] - Update a Benefit Error Group.
  • AU Id field - Enter the [Assistance Unit ID].
  1. On the BEGS screen, enter [Y] - Yes in the Sel field for the appropriate BEG that is in RP - Ready to Process status.
  2. On the BEMG screen, verify the BEG details are correct.
  • The benefit error amount is detailed by month and the total BEG amount displays in the BEG OP/UP Amount field.
  1. If the amount and type of underpayment is correct enter [Y] - Yes in the Confirm field.
  • If the supplemental cash payment needs to be issued to a vendor press <F16> to go to the BEGV screen. For more information, see the Vendor Payment section.
  • If the supplemental Basic Food underpayment needs to be issued as an emergent issuance, enter [E] - Emergent in the UNDERPAYMENT PROCESS IND field. Benefits are issued at the next emergency send.
  • If the supplemental Basic Food underpayment needs to be issued as a regular issuance, leave the UNDERPAYMENT PROCESS IND blank.
  • For more information see When are EBT Issuances sent to Fidelity Information Services (FIS)?

ACES automatically changes the underpayment status to OP - Open and generates Letter 017-01 (Supplemental Payment for Cash/Food) to draft status. 

As a Supervisor, how do I approve/disapprove an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

To approve/disapprove a Cash or Basic Food underpayment BEG take the following steps:

  1. On the WMEN screen, select Option H - Financial Mgmt Issn.
  2. On the HMEN in the Selection field, enter [G] - Supv Issuance Approval.
  3. On the ISAP screen, complete the following fields:
  • A field - Enter [A] - Approve or [D] - Disapproved.
  • Discvry Date field - Enter the [date of discovery].
  • Apprvl Typ Cd field - Enter an [approval type code]. See <F1> help.
  1. <TRANSMIT> and the BEG has been released. The benefits are issued in the overnight batch process.

When approving a BEG, the supervisor may receive one of the following edits:

Edit 2383 - REQUIRED FREE FORM TEXT NOT ADDED IN PENDING 17-01 LETTER

  • This generates when approving a BEG and no freeform text has been entered on the letter. The BEG can be approved; however, the supervisor should notify the user to include freeform text or the letter is sent to the client without the required text.

Edit 2384 - HOH IS LEP. PRINT 17-01 LETTER LOCALLY AFTER APPROVAL

  • This generates when a BEG is approved for an LEP case and the freeform text has been entered.

Edit 2385 - BEG OLDER THAN 30 DAYS. CREATE 17-01 LETTER MANUALLY

  • This generates when approving a BEG that is over 30 days old. The letter needs to be regenerated manually.

Edit 2395 - AFTER BEG APPROVAL WORKER SHOULD ADD AVAILABILITY DATE IN LETTER 17-01

  • This generates after a BEG is approved. The user should add the availability date to the letter.

Edit 2370 - BEG IS MORE THAN 12 MO IN THE PAST - DISCVRY DATE AND APPRVL TYP CD REQD

  • This generates if the BEG is more than 12 months in the past. IF this alert generates, Supervisors needs to enter a date of discovery and approval type on the ISAP screen.
NOTE: Once an underpayment BEG for food assistance is confirmed or a cash assistance BEG is authorized by a supervisor, there is no way to cancel the issuance. If the issuance is incorrect, a new overpayment BEG needs to be created. For more information, see How are overpayment/underpayment Benefit Error Groups (BEGs) created?

What do I do when an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG) has been confirmed?

When the underpayment BEG has been confirmed and is at OP - Open status, review the system generated Letter 017-01 (Supplemental Payment for Cash/Food) and add any required freeform text.

NOTE: For BEGs that require supervisor approval, Letter 017-01 remains in draft status until the BEG is either approved or denied. If the underpayment BEG is for an Emergent Need or Ongoing Additional Requirement (OAR) approval that has been issued under a Medical Assistance Unit (AU), Letter 017-01 must be manually generated and the status does not change when a supervisor or lead worker approves or disapproves the BEG.

What do I do after a supervisor has approved an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

Once the supervisor has approved the underpayment BEG, Letter 017-01 (Supplemental Payment for Cash/Food) is available to print. Review the letter and add the benefit availability date.

What happens if the supervisor disapproves an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

If the supervisor disapproves an underpayment BEG, Letter 017-01 (Supplemental Payment for Cash/Food) is auto-marked delete.

NOTE: The disapproved BEG will show as OP - Open on the BEGS screen in Mainframe.

What happens if an underpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG) in OP-Open status, hasn't been approved by the supervisor within 30 days?

In this situation, Letter 017-01 (Supplemental Payment for Cash/Food) is auto-deleted on the 30th day during the nightly batch.

If the BEG is subsequently approved, manually create Letter 017-01. The system displays all the underpayment BEGs in OP - Open status for the last 36 months and the worker then selects the BEG they are creating the letter for.

How do I modify an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

This function does not currently exist in ACES Mainframe.  Please see, Online - How do I modify an overpayment Benefit Error Group (BEG)?

How do I ignore an invalid overpayment or underpayment?

To ignore an invalid overpayment or underpayment, take the following steps:

  1. On the WMEN screen, select Option N - Benefit Error.
  2. On the NMEN screen, complete the following fields:
  • Selection field - Enter [B] - Update a Benefit Error Group].
  • AU Id field - Enter the [assistance unit ID].
  1. On the BEGS screen, the BEG Status field defaults to RP - Ready to Process. This is the only field on the BEGS screen that a worker can update. All other fields on the screen are protected.
  2. If it is determined that the BEG is not valid, change the BEG Status valid value from RP - Ready to Process to IG - Ignore.
  3. Commit the data and Edit Message 0019 - UPDATE COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY displays at the bottom of the screen.

Once the status on the BEGS screen has been changed to IG - Ignore, it cannot be changed back.

If later it is determined that this is a valid overpayment, the user must manually create the BEG. For more information, see How do I manually create an overpayment or underpayment?

 

See ACES screens and online pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter.