Sliding fee benefits citizens, recovery

The Lassen County Office of Recovery and Reimbursement is hoping a new sliding fee scale could help actual bring in more money and help those who are unable to pay.

During the Tuesday, Sept. 11 Lassen County Board of Supervisors meeting, the board approved a resolution authorizing the financial evaluation officers to use a slide fee scale based on poverty guidelines where applicable for collections.

“The objective of a sliding fee scale is to ensure all clients are treated equally in the financial evaluation process as well as taking into consideration a broader range of incomes when evaluating a person’s ability to pay,” read the recommendation to the board from Treasurer-Tax Collector Nancy Cardenas.

The board was also informed the department could see an increase of revenue, where clients, who previously could not afford to pay full, may be more willing to pay now rather than being sent to collections.

  • 100 percent of Federal Poverty Level: Any defendant or other person having a family income of 100 percent or less of the federal poverty level (i.e. indigent) may have all or a portion of fees and costs waived or providing services free of charge, in accordance with state law and at the direction of the court.
  • 125 percent of Federal Poverty Level: Any defendant or other person whose family income is more than 100 percent and equal to or less than 125 percent of the federal poverty level may be eligible to have a portion not to exceed 80 percent of fees and cost waived and should be ordered to pay at least 20 percent of the full fee and costs, in accordance with state law and at the direction of the court.
  • 150 percent of Federal Poverty Level: Any defendant or other person whose family income is more than 125 percent and equal to or less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level may be eligible to have a portion not to exceed 60 percent of fees and cost waived and should be ordered to pay at least 40 percent of the full fee and costs, in accordance with state law and at the direction of the court.
  • 175 percent of Federal Poverty Level: Any defendant or other person whose family income is more than 150 percent and equal to or less than 175 percent of the federal poverty level may be eligible to have a portion not to exceed 40 percent of fees and cost waived and should be ordered to pay at least 60 percent of the full fee and costs, in accordance with state law and at the direction of the court.
  • 200 percent of Federal Poverty Level: Any defendant or other person whose family income is more than 175 percent and equal to or less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level may be eligible to have a portion not to exceed 20 percent of fees and cost waived and should be ordered to pay at least 80 percent of the full fee and costs, in accordance with state law and at the direction of the court.
  • More than 200 percent of Federal Poverty Level: Any defendant or other person whose family income is more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level may not be eligible for reduced fees and costs, in accordance with state law and at the direction of the court.