TN 11 (12-12)
GN 02205.005 Contingent Liability for Title II Overpayment Recovery
A. Who is also liable for overpayment recovery?
Any person receiving benefits on the same earnings record as the overpaid person is contingently liable for recovery of the overpayment. Contingent liability is imposing the responsibility for repayment of an overpayment on another person entitled on the same record when we are unable to recover from the primarily liable person(s). It does not matter if the person lives in the same or a different household as the overpaid person.
If we are unable to recover the overpayment from the overpaid person(s), the Program Service Center (PSC) will propose adjustment of the benefit payable to another person receiving benefits on the same earnings record. Follow instructions for applying priority of adjustment in GN 02210.016.
EXCEPTION: If we make a misuse determination, other persons on the same earnings record are not contingently liable for repayment of any misused funds. In these situations, only the payee is liable for repayment of those funds.
B. Example of contingent liability for overpayment recovery
Carol Curtis is dually entitled to a retirement benefit of $135 (on her own record) and a widow's benefit of $210. We overpaid Mrs. Curtis' deceased husband $980 due to his work and earnings. There is no estate. Because Mrs. Curtis is contingently liable for repayment from the widow’s benefit she receives on her husband's record, we will propose recovery of the $210 monthly benefit. Mrs. Curtis will continue to receive her $135 retirement benefit.