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Woman overpaid in food assistance won't have to pay up

Woman overpaid in food assistance won't have to pay up

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Colorado Springs woman asked to pay back nearly $1,500 in food assistance after an administrative error by the El Paso County Department of Human Services is instead receiving an apology.

Michelle Schankin shared her story with KRDO NewsChannel 13 last week.  Without her knowledge, she says she was being overpaid in food assistance in 2011 and was asked to pay it back even though it was an administrative error.  A DHS spokesperson told her Friday that she would not have to pay back the money.

"They realized the whole thing was a huge error so they canceled the entire case and they dropped everything," Schankin said.  "It's such a relief."

Schankin said her faith is restored in DHS and hopes that others who have had the same experience can also get some resolution.  Since her story aired last week, she says she's received hundreds of Facebook friend requests and comments.

"The feedback was just crazy," Schankin said.  "I didn't expect so many people to be like, 'Hey, this happened to me' or 'Hey, that's not fair.'"

A DHS spokesperson told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that if anyone has a concern about their food assistance, they can call the DHS quality assurance line at 719-636-0000.

There are over 70,000 people on food assistance in El Paso County.

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