TN 26 (02-04)
Full and immediate refund is the preferred method of recovery, regardless of whether
or not benefit adjustment is available.
Refund is requested:
In an initial overpayment notice to an overpaid person whether or not benefit adjustment
When adjustment of the overpaid person's benefit is no longer available for recovery
When an overpayment is affirmed on appeal.
When waiver of recovery from the overpaid person is denied.
In the notice proposing tax refund offset, administrative offset and credit bureau
In the notice proposing mandatory cross program recovery.
In the notice to employers for Administrative Wage Garnishment.
In the notices for accepting or rejecting a compromise offer.
Refund is not requested when the overpayment can be fully recovered from a single
Refund should be made by:
Check or money order but cash is also acceptable; or
Credit card. Acceptable cards are Master Card, VISA, Discover, American Express or
Diner’s Club. (See GN 02210.152, GN 02403.006), or
Return of a benefit check which is due and endorsed to SSA (GN 02403.006C.)
NOTE: A benefit check not payable because of ineligibility or nonentitlement cannot be used
to recover an overpayment. However, it may reduce or eliminate the amount subject
to recovery if the ineligibility or nonentitlement caused the overpayment.
Stop efforts to recover by refund under the following conditions:
The overpayment is nullified through return of an incorrect benefit or a successful
The overpayment is fully recovered; or
There is a request for explanation of the overpayment for Title II or a signed request
for explanation of the overpayment for Title XVI. When the explanation has been provided,
recovery efforts should resume provided none of the other reasons for interrupting
recovery exist; or
There is a request for reconsideration of the overpayment for Title II or a signed
request for reconsideration for Title XVI. If the overpayment is affirmed on reconsideration,
recovery efforts should resume. Any further overpayment appeal (e.g., ALJ hearing
request) except in disability benefit continuation cases, is not a reason to interrupt follow-up notices or bills
but it does preclude any personal contact to obtain the refund; or
There is a waiver request for a Title II overpayment, or a signed waiver request for
Title XVI overpayment. If waiver is denied following a personal conference or after
the personal conference is declined, recovery efforts should resume. An appeal (e.g.,
ALJ hearing request) of the waiver denial is not a reason to interrupt follow-up notices
or bills but does preclude any personal contact to obtain the refund; or
Adjustment becomes available against the overpaid person (i.e., entitlement/eligibility
is reestablished or the overpaid person is subject to cross-program recovery (see
SI 02220.020), or, if timely installments are not involved, against another person in the same
Recovery is resolved through compromise settlement; or
Notice of bankruptcy proceedings is received or the bankruptcy court discharges the
overpayment. If the bankruptcy court does not discharge the debt, recovery efforts
should resume; or
Continued collection efforts are not warranted (GN
The overpayment is referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for civil suit (GN 02215.150), or the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for fraud investigation (GN 04101.010);
There is nonreceipt allegation and the criteria for handling the case in accordance
with GN 02406.000 ff. are met.
NOTE: The form FMS-1133 must be submitted to Treasury for a forgery determination regardless
of the amount of the check when processing a nonreceipt claim where both checks are
cashed--Duplicate Check Negotiation (DCN)-- but the claimant insists that he/she did
not cash both checks (i.e., alleges forgery). (See GN 02406.160B.2. for use of the FMS-1133)
IMPORTANT: Under no circumstances should recovery of a DCN overpayment be waived before a forgery
determination is made; the $1,000 tolerance does not apply. Waiver should only be
considered if Treasury determines that the claimant did, in fact, cash both checks.
If at such time the overpayment is $1,000 or less, a fault/without fault determination
in accordance with GN 02250.350A.1.c. (for Title II overpayments) and SI 02260.030 (for Title XVI overpayments) is necessary.
Automated control of refund through ROAR and the Recovery and Collection of Overpayment
Process (RECOOP) SM 00610.001 ff.