SALEM, Ore. — A new Oregon law, effective Jan. 1, authorizes the state Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority to garnish Oregon Lottery prize payments greater than $600 to recover overpayments of public assistance, medical assistance and supplemental nutrition assistance.
What does this new law, approved by legislators, mean to players?
If a player claims a Lottery prize greater than $600 with the Lottery, the Lottery must check with DHS/OHA to see if the player owes an overpayment. If the player does, the Lottery is required to hold the prize payment for 30 days to allow DHS/OHA to garnish the prize to recover the overpayment.
How will it work?
- DHS/OHA provides the Lottery with the names of people who owe overpayments. When paying a prize greater than $600 with the Lottery, the Lottery will check those names to see if the winner owes an overpayment.
- If the winner owes an overpayment, the Lottery will hold the prize payment for 30 days and notify DHS/OHA and the player.
- DHS/OHA may then garnish the prize. The Lottery will send a check to DHS/OHA for the amount of the prize or the garnishment, whichever is less. If the winner's prize is greater than the overpayment, the Lottery will pay the winner the balance left after paying the garnishment.
- A winner may also voluntarily pay the overpayment.
- The Lottery currently collects for delinquent child support. Under the new law, the garnishment for child support is paid before a garnishment for an overpayment. If there is any prize remaining, it will be applied to the garnishment for the overpayment.
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $10 billion for economic development, public education, state parks and watershed enhancements.