A military family living in the Kansas City metropolitan area got help from the state of Missouri to pay the bills, but now the state wants the money back.
Courtney Edwards said she and her husband living base housing at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base and were having trouble raising four children on a sergeant's salary. She said they applied for food stamps and were approved twice.
"We went and applied and we said, 'The worst they can say is no," she said. "They said they approved us for $330 a month. Huge help."
She said the state approved them a second time six months later.
"And then we reapplied and were sent a denial letter stating that we made too much, but our pay never changed," she said.
The state has since told the family that they should repay $4,724.
"I don't know what I'm going to do because I was barely making it before," Edwards said. "That's why I asked for help."
She said she was told the state made a miscalculation.
"The gentleman said they were audited on the federal level and were told 'We're doing it wrong,'" she said. "Now I have to pay for it."
The state wouldn't comment on the case, but said that part of the job is to make sure only eligible individuals receive food stamp benefits and a federal program that made an overpayment error would also recoup the funds.
Edwards said it's just not fair.
"I said, 'Isn't that the agency's fault?' and he said, 'Yes, but whether or not it's our fault, (we) must seek restitution.'"
Edwards said the bill will be crippling to her family.
A representative with the Department of Social Services said that while the state wants the money back, it was willing to work out a repayment plan.
video report of the story