Oregon Statutes - Chapter 179 - Administration of State Institutions - Section 179.640 - Determination of ability to pay; rules; financial information; notice; order; hearing; appeal.

(1)(a) Both the Department of Human Services and the Department of Corrections shall establish rules for determining ability to pay for persons in their respective institutions. The rules adopted by each agency shall require, in addition to other relevant factors, consideration of the personal estate, the personís need for funds for personal support after release, and the availability of third-party benefits such as, but not limited to, Medicare or private insurance. Each agency may also consider the probable length of stay at the state institution. Nothing in this section requires the Department of Corrections to investigate a personís ability to pay or to issue an ability-to-pay order.

(b) When adopting rules under paragraph (a) of this subsection, the Department of Corrections shall consider the personís needs for funds to pay for the support of the personís children and to pay any monetary obligations imposed on the person as a result of the personís conviction.

(2) In determining a personís ability to pay, neither agency may consider as part of the personal estate of the person or the decedentís estate:

(a) Any assets received by or owing to the person and the personal estate of the person, or the decedentís estate, as compensation from the state for injury, death or, if the collection is being made by the Department of Corrections, the false imprisonment of the person that occurred when the person was in a state institution listed in ORS 179.321 and for which the state admits liability or is found liable through adjudication; and

(b) Any real or personal property that the person or an authorized representative of the person can demonstrate was purchased solely with assets referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection or partially with such assets, to the extent such assets were used in the purchase.

(3) A person and the authorized representative of the person, if any, shall provide all financial information requested by the agency that is necessary to determine the personís ability to pay. To determine ability to pay, the agency may use any information available to the agency, including information provided by the Department of Revenue from personal income tax returns pursuant to ORS 314.840, and elderly rental assistance claims. Upon request, the Department of Revenue shall release copies of tax returns to the agency. When the person or the personís authorized representative fails to provide evidence to demonstrate an inability to pay full cost of care, the agency may determine the person has the ability to pay the full cost of care.

(4) The agency shall provide actual notice to the person and any authorized representative, if known to the agency, of its determination by issuing an ability-to-pay order. The order shall state the personís full liability and the personís determined ability to pay. Actual notice means receipt by the person and the authorized representative of notice. The notice shall include a copy of the ability-to-pay order, a description of the personís appeal rights and the date upon which appeal rights terminate and state the address where a request for hearing may be mailed or delivered. At any time, the agency may reissue an ability-to-pay order to notify an authorized representative as provided by ORS 179.653 (4).

(5) At any time during the personís stay at the state institution or within 36 months from the date the person is released, if the agency receives new financial information that shows a change in the personís financial circumstances, the agency shall consider the changed circumstances and issue a new ability-to-pay order.

(6) Orders issued after the person is released may not require the person to make payments toward the cost of care for more than 36 consecutive months following release. However, the agency may collect beyond the 36-month period any payments that became due but were not paid within the 36 months following release. Any remaining balance of full cost of care shall be collected as provided in ORS 179.740.

(7) Notwithstanding ORS 183.315 (5), if a person or authorized representative disagrees with any ability-to-pay order issued pursuant to this section, the person or authorized representative may request a contested case hearing. To the extent practical, the hearing will be held at a location convenient to the person or the authorized representative. The request must be postmarked within 60 days from the date of the mailing of the ability-to-pay order. If the person or the authorized representative makes a timely request for a contested case hearing, the hearing and any appeal of the final hearing order shall be governed by ORS 183.413 to 183.497. If the person or the authorized representative fails to make a timely request for a contested case hearing, the ability-to-pay order shall be final and not subject to judicial review, except as subsequently modified by the agency as provided in subsection (5) of this section.

(8) On appeal, regardless of other information presented, payment of the full cost of care may be ordered if the person or the authorized representative refuses to produce financial information that the Hearings Officer or administrative law judge determines is relevant and must be produced. [1959 c.652 §4; 1961 c.501 §2; 1967 c.549 §4; 1973 c.806 §3a; 1973 c.823 §§123,159; 1989 c.348 §3; 1997 c.170 §15; 1999 c.159 §2; 2001 c.487 §3; 2003 c.75 §86]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008