Under 5 USC 5514, before we begin to collect a debt by FSO, we must provide the debtor
with the opportunity for a review concerning the existence and amount of the debt
and the terms of the repayment schedule stated in the notice. The review will be conducted
in the Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge (OCALJ).
In the FSO notice (see GN 02201.043B.4.), SSA tells the individual that he or she has the right to request review of the
debt. This review of the debt is very limited in its scope. There must be evidence
in the record or furnished by the debtor (e.g., the debt was paid in full or recovery
was waived) to show that the debtor does not owe the debt or does not owe it in the
amount claimed by SSA or SSA is precluded from collecting it (e.g., the debt is subject
to a bankruptcy petition or discharge).
If evidence as described does not exist and the debtor still wants to request a review,
he or she must provide a detailed written explanation of the reason the overpayment
is not owed, or the debt balance stated in the notice is incorrect, or SSA is precluded
from collecting it.
If the debtor requests this review within 30 days of the date of the FSO notice, SSA
will not proceed with FSO until the review has been completed. See GN 02201.044B.4. and SI 02220.019B.4. for specific information about how to process a request for review.
If the debtor does not notify us of his intent to request a review and give us evidence
within 30 calendar days from the date of the notice regarding FSO, the review will
occur, but we may take the FSO action described in the notice without further delay.
See GN 02201.043B.4. for notice language.
The request must be written and signed, must explain with reasonable specificity the
facts and the evidence that support the debtor’s position, and must identify any witnesses.
The FSO request for review is not the same as a request for reconsideration of the
fact/amount of the overpayment determination, and must not be treated as such.
In fact, SSA's findings on the request for review constitute the final action on the
matter. No additional appeal rights exist. Consequently, do not accept an SSA-561
for these requests.