We know that if you receive food stamps, cash assistance, Medicaid, or any other public benefit that it seems like all you do is answer questions and fill out pieces of paper. It’s a hassle to say the least. We understand you don’t want to go in to the county Department of Job and Family Services (“DJFS”) if they aren’t asking you to come in.
But there are times when you have to do that. Any time there’s a change in your household or income, you need to let DJFS know. For example, if you get a raise at your job, it could affect your benefits. A loss of a job or cut in hours could also affect your benefits.
You have to let DJFS know within 10 days if any of those things happen so that they can recalculate your benefits.
Additionally, if the number of people in your household changes. Perhaps you’ve added a child or watched one graduate and leave home. Maybe your parents have moved in with you. All of these events might affect your benefits.
Just like with changes in income, when any of these life events happen, you have to let DJFS know within 10 days. Again, DJFS needs to know so that they can recalculate your benefits.
Sometimes the recalculation will lead to an increase in your benefits. Of course, sometimes it will lead to a cut. We get why you wouldn’t want to report things that lead to a cut.
But not reporting can lead to even worse things. It can lead to you having to repay benefits, the loss of benefits entirely for a period of time, and in extreme cases, even criminal charges potentially. All of which are worse than a decrease in your benefits due to timely reporting.
Even though you might not like talking to DJFS unless they are actually asking your for information, when your income or household size changes, make sure to let DJFS know.