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New Mexico balks at US demand of repayment for nutrition aid

September 29, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The federal government is demanding that New Mexico repay $164 million of alleged overpayments for food benefits provided to low-income families, but the state agency involved denies it provided too many benefits.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s repayment demand contends overpayments to numerous households resulted from improper administration by the state of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

The federal agency says New Mexico can’t try to get the money back from the affected households because it was the state that made a “major systemic error” during a 2.5-year period from 2014-2016.

The state Human Services Department says it’ll appeal the federal action and that the program has been administered according to court orders and appropriate federal rules and guidance.

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