TN 37 (11-18)

GN 02210.216 Debtor Alleges Payment - Debt Specialist (DS) Action

A. Procedure when the debtor alleges payment

When a debtor alleges that he or she submitted a payment for a debt and our records do not reflect this payment(s), find out:

1. The type of payment:

  • Credit card

  • Treasury Offset Program (TOP),

  • Returned benefit check (ask if check was endorsed),

  • Refund via personal check, or

  • Money order; and

2. When and where the remitter made the payment.

NOTE: Regardless of the method of the alleged payment, if we selected or referred the debtor to TOP, explain that the balance of the debt is subject to offsets until we have fully collected it (see GN 02201.029 for an explanation of TOP). Negotiate repayment of any balance.

B. Procedure for returned unendorsed benefit check

If an unendorsed benefit check is returned:

  • Suspend billing where necessary until the allegation is resolved, and

  • Refer to the Debt Specialist (DS) for resolution.

C. Procedure for credit card payment

For credit card payments, contact the Mid-Atlantic Program Service Center's (MATPSC) Remittance and Accounting Unit (RAU) by creating a Paperless ACR, verify proof of payment if it cannot be located or if it is a recurring payment.

D. Procedure for check, money order, or endorsed benefit check

Follow the procedure below for a check, money order, or endorsed benefit check.

1. Refund made within last 10 days

If the debtor refunded the overpayment within the last 10 days, diary for 5 days with instructions to call the debtor if there is still no record of the payment.

2. Refund made more than 10 days ago

If the debtor refunded the overpayment more than 10 days ago:

  • Refer to the Remittance Cash Clerk to check the suspense file by both account number and debtor name. If the remitter visited the Field Office to submit a remittance, it is possible that the payment was processed through the Social Security Electronic Remittance System (SERS). The remittance cash clerk will need to verify in SERS if the transaction was completed correctly (see GN 02403.161) or

  • If the payment is not in the file, forward allegation to MATPSC in Paperless.

3. TOP Payment

For a TOP payment, obtain a Collection Query, which displays information about the status of TOP and credit bureau reporting (see MSOM DMS 014.007 ).

  • If any balance remains, negotiate payment and explain that the offset only reduced the debt owed.

  • If the Collection Query shows no offset, refer to the DS for resolution.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202210216
GN 02210.216 - Debtor Alleges Payment - Debt Specialist (DS) Action - 11/27/2018
Batch run: 11/27/2018
Rev:11/27/2018