Section 414.28, Florida Statutes 2001
414.28 Public assistance payments to constitute debt of recipient.--
(1) CLAIMS.--The acceptance of public assistance creates a debt of the person accepting assistance, which debt is enforceable only after the death of the recipient. The debt thereby created is enforceable only by claim filed against the estate of the recipient after his or her death or by suit to set aside a fraudulent conveyance, as defined in subsection (3). After the death of the recipient and within the time prescribed by law, the department may file a claim against the estate of the recipient for the total amount of public assistance paid to or for the benefit of such recipient, reimbursement for which has not been made. Claims so filed shall take priority as class 3 claims as provided by s. 733.707(1)(c).
(2) DISCHARGE OF DEBT.--The debt created by this section shall be discharged pursuant to s. 733.710 unless the department institutes probate proceedings as a creditor, files a timely claim against the estate of the debtor, or institutes a suit to set aside a fraudulent conveyance as defined in subsection (3).
(3) FRAUDULENT CONVEYANCE.--Any person who transfers or encumbers his or her property for an inadequate consideration with the intent of defeating or hindering the claim of the department for reimbursement shall have made a fraudulent conveyance, and such transfer or encumbrance is void and of no effect as against the claim of the department if the department institutes a suit to set aside the conveyance within 1 year after the death of the debtor. A transfer or encumbrance for an inadequate consideration made within 6 months immediately preceding the death of the transferor is presumed to have been made with the intent of defeating or hindering the claim of the department. This section does not void any conveyance or encumbrance that is made upon and for good consideration and bona fide, as to any person or persons or bodies, politic or corporate.
(4) ENFORCEMENT AGAINST HOMESTEAD PROHIBITED.--The claim created in this section is not enforceable against a homestead of realty or personalty as defined and provided for in s. 4, Art. X of the State Constitution or against household furnishings and furniture.
(5) AUTHORITY TO COMPROMISE AND SETTLE.--The department may:
(a) Enter the appearance of the state in any proceeding affecting the property on which the state has a claim;
(b) Institute probate proceedings as a creditor of deceased persons and, either in the course of or in the absence of and apart from any action or proceeding, enter into any stipulation, compromise, settlement, or other agreement in respect to such claim affecting such property as may seem wise;
(c) Execute and deliver any such stipulation, modification, quitclaim, release, partial release, discharge, extension, agreement, satisfaction, partial satisfaction, or subordination, or other contract, stipulation, or agreement that the interest of the parties or the circumstances of the case may make advisable; and
(d) Discharge the differences between the claim and any compromise settlement.
(6) NOTICE.--The department shall notify all persons receiving or applying for public assistance that all public assistance grants paid constitute a claim against the estate of each recipient. The notice may be given by letter mailed to the last known address of each recipient, but the failure to give such notice does not affect the validity of the claim.
(7) ACCEPTANCE OF OFFERS TO REPAY.--Any person who desires to repay all or part of the amount paid under any public assistance program may do so in accordance with a procedure to be adopted by the department. Such rules shall provide for the immediate sale of any real property or the state's equity in any real property so acquired in the manner that is most expedient and advantageous to the state.
(8) DISPOSITION OF FUNDS RECOVERED.--All funds collected under this section shall be deposited with the Department of Banking and Finance and a report of such deposit made to the department. After payment of costs the sums so collected shall be credited to the department and used by it.
(9) RULES.--The department may adopt rules to administer this section.
(10) PUBLIC ASSISTANCE.--For the purposes of this section, the term "public assistance" includes all money payments made to or on behalf of a recipient, including, but not limited to, temporary cash assistance received under this chapter, the Medicaid program, and mandatory and optional supplement payments under the Social Security Act.
History.--s. 1, ch. 69-268; ss. 12, 19, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-255; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 145, ch. 77-104; s. 16, ch. 78-433; s. 103, ch. 79-164; s. 2, ch. 79-382; s. 62, ch. 91-282; s. 31, ch. 96-175; s. 1, ch. 96-218; s. 214, ch. 97-101; s. 1035, ch. 97-103; s. 24, ch. 97-173; s. 33, ch. 98-191; s. 66, ch. 2000-153.
Note.--Former s. 409.345.