Woman angered by DHS mix up

Thursday, May 22nd 2008, 8:07 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

A North Carolina woman said the Oklahoma Department of Human Services has wrongfully seized her tax refund for the third time.

Jammie Acosta said instead of check in the mail, she received a letter saying DHS had took the money for back child support. DHS officials said the mistake occurred because of a Social Security number mix up. Acosta said she get more angry each time she gets one of the letters.

"Every word that could come out of a person's mouth comes out of my mouth at that point," she said. "We have our kids me and my husband have no other kids, we started to investigate come to find out they were collecting child support for four of the kids my sister has had."

Acosta blames her sister for the mix up.

"I feel that she used my Social Security number because that's the only way the child support division could get it," she said.

Acosta's sister denied using the Social Security number, but DHS officials did say that someone used the number leading the agency to wrongly intercept the tax refund.

"The person applying for benefits gives the number and that's the number we go with unless we know otherwise," said Gary Dart with DHS Child Support Enforcement. "When someone seeks to manipulate the system then things like this can happen what we have to do is respond to it and remedy it as quickly as possible."

DHS returned Acosta's money, expect for one check which officials said is in the mail.

DHS also removed Acosta's Social Security number from its system, but if someone reapplies for services with her number, officials said Acosta will be in the same situation, again. DHS officials also recommended that Acosta file a police report and try to get the district attorney to prosecute whoever stole her Social Security number.