Federal Treasury Offset Program
The Treasury Offset Program (TOP) collects federal income to repay past due (delinquent) debts owed to federal government agencies.
Public assistance benefits and Treasury Offset Program
The Minnesota Department of Human Services uses TOP to collect overpayments to the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the food portion of the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP).
How it works
If you receive a SNAP or MFIP food overpayment, that overpayment becomes a debt you owe back to the federal government. If the debt is not paid on time, it becomes past due. When the debt becomes past due, TOP holds back money from your federal income to help repay the debt. Holding back money from federal income is called an offset.
Federal income offset through Treasury Offset Program
Examples of federal income that can be offset include:
Retirement, Survivors and Disability income
Federal retirement benefits
Federal contract payments
Black Lung Disease payments
Railroad retirement benefits
Letters you may have received about Treasury Offset Program
If you owe a debt to the federal government because of a SNAP or MFIP overpayment, you may have received a letter referring to TOP. These letters are to let you know that:
- Your debt is being referred to the Treasury Offset Program
- Some of your debt will be held back from federal income you are due to receive
- Some of your debt has been held back from your federal income
If you have questions about a letter or an offset collected from federal income, please submit them using the help form or by calling us toll-free at 1-800-662-2694 or 651-431-3967. The Department of Human Services staff will get back to you in three to five business days.