ORS 179.640
Determination of ability to pay

  • rules
  • financial information
  • notice
  • order
  • hearing
  • appeal


Intentionally left blank —Ed.


The Department of Corrections and the Oregon Health Authority 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 person’s 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 person’s ability to pay or to issue an ability-to-pay order.


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


In determining a person’s ability to pay, none of the agencies may consider as part of the personal estate of the person or the decedent’s estate:


Any assets received by or owing to the person and the personal estate of the person, or the decedent’s 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 (Responsibility to supervise state institutions) and for which the state admits liability or is found liable through adjudication; and


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.


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 person’s 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 (Disclosure of information). Upon request, the Department of Revenue shall release copies of tax returns to the agency. When the person or the person’s 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.


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 person’s full liability and the person’s 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 person’s 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 (Unpaid costs as lien on property) (4).


At any time during the person’s 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 person’s financial circumstances, the agency shall consider the changed circumstances and issue a new ability-to-pay order.


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 (Collection from estates).


Notwithstanding ORS 183.315 (Application of provisions of chapter to certain agencies) (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 (Notice to parties before hearing of rights and procedure) to 183.497 (Awarding costs and attorney fees when finding for petitioner). 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.


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; 2009 c.595 §149; 2013 c.36 §59; 2015 c.348 §26]

Source: Section 179.640 — Determination of ability to pay; rules; financial information; notice; order; hearing; appeal, https://www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/bills_laws/ors/ors179.­html.

Attorney General Opinions

Authority of Department of Revenue for access to confidential medical information to apply on behalf of patient under care of Mental Health Division for medical benefits, (1974) Vol 37, p 269; liability for cost of care of person in state institution, (1975) Vol 37, p 357

General powers and duties
Reports on convictions
Authority to hold property
Disposition of income from property
Furnishing utilities for institutions
Acceptance of federal or other assistance to carry out general powers and duties
Use of federal grants
Institutional petty cash fund
Auditing and paying claims
Interest in contracts prohibited
Claim for injury or damage
Rejection of claim final and not reviewable
Procedure where award due person owing debt to state
“Superintendent” defined
Responsibility to supervise state institutions
Change in use of institution for persons with developmental disabilities or mental illness
Appointment, suspension and removal of superintendents
Salaries and expenses of superintendents
Powers and duties of superintendents
Residence of superintendents at institutions
Chaplaincy services
Employment of staff
Scholarship programs to train personnel for institutions
Appointment, suspension, removal and salaries of assistants, officers and employees
Rentals to officers and employees at institution
License required for teachers at institution
Work in production of articles and performance of labor for state
Work on state-owned land
Sale and exchange of surplus products of institutions
Definitions for ORS 179.473 and 179.478
Transfers between institutions
Examination for intellectual disability
Conveyance of adults in custody from institution to physician or hospital for treatment
Time spent pursuant to transfer or conveyance counted as part of sentence
Rights of person transferred to institution for persons with mental illness or intellectual disabilities
Payment of costs in connection with transfers and conveyances
Authorization and payment of cost of emergency and necessary operations
Dispensing of brand-name mental health drugs
Disclosure of written accounts of adult in custody
Disclosure of written accounts by health care services provider
Enforcement of ORS 179.495 and 179.505
Disclosure of individually identifiable health information about adult in custody
Reports on deaths at institutions
“Funds” defined
Authorization to receive funds of institution residents
Disbursements from accounts
Powers and duties of board
Ad hoc committees
Definitions for ORS 179.610 to 179.770
Liability of person or estate for cost of care
Determination of ability to pay
Unpaid costs as lien on property
Enforcement of lien
Guardian or conservator for estate of person in institution
Determination of cost-of-care rates
Remittance of amounts due
Waiver of collection of amount payable
Collection from estates
Title to and transfer of property
Equal care and services for persons in state institutions
Green check means up to date. Up to date