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Our objective was to determine whether the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (the agency) complied with Federal eligibility requirement in claiming adoption assistance payments for Federal reimbursement. While the agency met the Federal adoption assistance eligibility requirements for 966 of 1369 children in State fiscal year (SFY) 2001, the agency inappropriately claimed adoption assistance maintenance payments for the remaining 403 children. The agency continued to claim adoption assistance payments for 310 of the 403 ineligible children in SFY 2002 and 261 in SFY 2003. As a result, the agency over claimed $4.2 million (Federal share).
We recommended that the agency: (1) make a financial adjustment of $2.5 million on its next Federal Quarterly Report of Expenditures; (2) work with ACF to resolve the $1.7 million in over claimed payments for children not meeting judicial determination requirements; (3) claim adoption assistance payments only for children that meet Federal eligibility requirements; (4) ensure that eligibility specialists completely and accurately enter all manual transactions in the State IV-E computer system; (5) claim adoption assistance payments only for children for whom judicial determinations were made within the required time period; (6) maintain eligibility information in the adoption assistance case files as required; and (7) identify any new adoption assistance cases in SFYs 2002 or 2003 that were claimed in error and make the appropriate financial adjustment. The agency concurred with our findings and recommendations.