TN 11 (12-12)
GN 02205.001 Liability for Title II Overpayment Recovery
Social Security Act 204(a) and
Regulations 20 CFR 404.502
Liability is the responsibility for repayment of an overpayment.
A. Who is liable
Section 204(a) of the Social Security Act provides that the overpaid person (whether or not he or she still receives benefits), his or her representative payee, and any other person receiving benefits on the overpaid person’s earnings record are liable (responsible) for repayment of an overpayment. It does not matter if the other person lives in a different household. We cannot recover or waive an overpayment from a person who is not liable. Therefore, it is necessary to determine who is liable for the overpayment.
B. Liability of the estate
When an overpaid person (e.g., beneficiary or representative payee) dies, the person's estate becomes liable for any remaining overpayment balance. If the executor closes the estate, the beneficiaries of the estate are liable to the extent of the proceeds of the estate (or property attributable to such proceeds) that are in his or her possession when notified of the overpayment.
For instructions that are more specific, see Liability of Deceased’s Estate in GN 02215.050 and Recovery Policy When an Overpaid Person is Alive or Deceased in GN 02205.003C.