TN 30 (09-13)

GN 02210.217 Debtor Unable to Refund Overpayment or Not Repaying the Overpayment - Debt Contact Representative (DCR) and Debt Specialist (DS) Actions

A. Introduction

When a debtor is unable to repay or is not repaying his or her title II or title XVI overpayment, the Debt Specialist (DS) or Debt Contact Representative (DCR) needs to:

  • Solicit information from the debtor;

  • Access the External Collection Operation (ECO) query to see if the claimant has been selected for any external collection tools;

  • Query the earnings record to determine if there are current earnings on the claimant’s record and the amount of these earnings; and

  • Determine if there are other person(s) receiving benefits on the same record.

These instructions provide information to a DS and a DCR about the actions to undertake when a title II and title XVI debtor is unable to or is not repaying his or her overpayment.

These instructions include:

  • How to solicit information about claimants’ income and potential income;

  • How to determine if the claimant is currently selected by any of our external collection tools (i.e., Treasury Offset Program (TOP), Administrative Wage Garnishment, Credit Bureau Reporting);

  • How to determine if there is a debt in active collection;

  • What to do if other persons are on the record; and

  • What to do when other persons are on the earnings record of the debtor.

NOTE: If the DS or DCR finds that the debtor has ability to pay, refer to GN 02210.045.

B. ECO referral

The ECO system selects delinquent programmatic debts and refers these debts for external collection action. The system will then send the debtor’s information (taxpayer identification number or SSN) to any external collection tool that meets the criteria of eligible debts.

To determine if we referred a debt to our external collection tools, please refer to (MSOMS DMS 014.007), ECO Master Query.

     

IMPORTANT: Do not diary cases that will NOT be selected for TOP or credit bureau reporting. Instead, move those cases along to the next step in the process.

1. Title II cases

The system will not select title II cases if:

  • The title II debtor is in ledger account file (LAF) “S” or any LAF other than “T, U, X, N, or P”;

  • The debt was established before the debtor attained age 18;

  • The debt shows an indication that DOJ is involved, such as a TC-31, TC-32 or TC-70 (see SM 00610.516);

  • The person billed is a representative payee;

  • The title II debt is a type of event (TOE) 29 or 31; or

  • The debtor is deceased with no representative payee on the record.

2. Title XVI cases

The system will not select title XVI cases if:

  • The debt has a future payment status (PSTAT) code of "C01," which indicates that the former recipient will soon go into current pay status; or

  • The payment status is different from "N" or "T."

The criteria above are not all-inclusive. If you have questions about a case, consult with the subject matter expert in your office. For additional information about ECO, see SM 00610.040.

C. Title II debt – DCR procedures

1. Debtor is unable to repay overpayment

  1. If a debtor alleges inability to repay, solicit information about:

    • Present and Potential Income, including inheritance prospects.

    • Expenses and Assets (e.g., real property, savings account) - If expenses exceed income and the debtor did not list any assets, ask how he or she meets expenses. Document the financial information on the DMS RMKS screen. (See MSOM DMS 009.001.)

    • Dependents. (However, consider the finances of all members of the household. Be alert to the possibility of concealed income and assets.)

  2. If appropriate, tell the debtor that the debt is subject to external collection tools selection, and possible collection in the future by cross program recovery. If applicable, tell the debtor that we can also refer the debt to DOJ for enforced collection by civil suit.

  3. If the debtor has an organizational representative payee, refer to the DS to take appropriate action regarding recovery from that payee.

    Check the Query Response Selection List (QRSL). (To determine whether other person(s) receive benefits, see MSOM QUERIES 006.002.)

    If other person(s) are currently receiving benefits on the same record, see the following chart for the appropriate actions:

    IF…

    THEN…

    Other Person(s) Receiving Benefits Living at the Same Address as the Debtor [Single Family Unit (SFU)]

    Refer to the DS to take appropriate action regarding recovery from other person(s). See DS instructions below.

    Other Person(s) are Receiving Benefits and Living at a Different Address From the Debtor [Multiple Family Unit (MFU)] and:

    1. debt is $20,000 or less; and

    2. Debtor has been selected for ECO

    Terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen. (See MSOM DMS 007.003.)

    • Diary the case via PCACS for 3 years to give external collection tools a chance to yield collections.

    • Annotate the DMS RMKS screen with the reason for the diary.

      When the diary matures, obtain an ECO Collection Query to see if the debt is still in ECO.

    Once you obtain a Collection Query, take action as follows:

    • If debtor is still in ECO, continue to rediary for 3-year intervals.

    • If debtor is not in ECO, refer to the DS to take appropriate action regarding recovery from other person(s). See DS instructions below.

    Other Person(s) are Receiving Benefits and Living at a Different Address From the Debtor (Multiple Family Unit (MFU)) and:

    1. debt exceeds $20,000; and

    2. Debtor has been selected for ECO

    Refer to the DS.

    Other Person(s) are Receiving Benefits and Living at a Different Address From the Debtor (MFU) and:

    1. debt is $20,000 or less; and

    2. Debtor is not selected for ECO

    • Terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen. (See MSOM DMS 007.003.)

    • Diary the case for 60 days to determine if debtor was subsequently selected for external collection tools (if appropriate).

    • If after 60 days ECO has still not selected the case, refer to DS to take action to determine the reason why the case was not selected. If necessary, rediary for 60 days, if it is likely that something on the record can be fixed.

    • If debtor is not active in TOP, AWG, or Credit Bureau Reporting, rediary the case for one year.

    • If after one year the debtor still has not been selected for TOP, AWG, or Credit Bureau Reporting, refer the case to the DS to determine why the case was not selected and take appropriate action regarding recovery from other person(s). See DS instructions below.

    Other Person(s) are Receiving Benefits and Living at a Different Address From the Debtor (MFU) and:

    1. debt exceeds $20,000; and

    2. Debtor is not selected for ECO

    Refer to the DS.

    If other person(s) are not currently receiving benefits on the same record, see the following chart for the appropriate actions:

    IF…

    THEN…

    Other Person(s) are not Receiving Benefits and Debt is $20,000 or Less

    Terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen. (See MSOM DMS 007.003.)

    Other Person(s) are not Receiving Benefits and Debt Exceeds $20,000

    Refer to the DS.

2. Debtor is not repaying overpayment

If the debtor:

  1. Has an organizational representative payee, refer to the DS to take appropriate action regarding recovery from that payee.

  2. Refuses to provide financial information or to make any repayment commitment, document the contact on the DMS RMKS screen.

Query the QRSL to determine if other person(s) are receiving benefits on the debtor’s record.

If other person(s) are currently receiving benefits on the same record, see the following chart for the appropriate actions:

IF…

THEN…

Other Person(s) Receiving Benefits Living at the Same Address as the Debtor (SFU)

Refer to the DS to take appropriate action regarding recovery from other person(s). See below for DS instructions.

Other Person(s) are Receiving Benefits and Living at a Different Address From the Debtor (Multiple Family Unit (MFU)) and:

  1. debt is $20,000 or less; and

  2. Debtor has been selected for ECO

Terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen. (See MSOM DMS 007.003.)

  • Diary the case via PCACS for three years in order to give external collection tools a chance to yield collections.

  • Annotate the DMS RMKS screen with the reason for the diary.

  • When the diary matures, obtain an ECO Collection Query to see if the debt is still in ECO.

Once you obtain the Collection Query, take action as follows:

  • If debtor is still in ECO, rediary for 3-year intervals.

  • If not in ECO, refer to the DS to take appropriate action. See below for DS instructions.

Other Person(s) are Receiving Benefits and Living at a Different Address From the Debtor (Multiple Family Unit (MFU)) and:

  1. debt exceeds $20,000; and

  2. Debtor has been selected for ECO

Refer to the DS.

Other Person(s) are Receiving Benefits and Living at a Different Address From the Debtor (MFU), and:

  1. debt is $20,000 or less; and

  2. Debtor is not selected for ECO

  • Terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen. (See MSOM DMS 007.003.)

  • Diary the case for 60 days in order to determine if debtor was subsequently selected for external collection tools (if appropriate).

  • If after 60 days the case has not been selected, refer to the DS to take action to determine the reason that the case was not selected. If necessary, rediary.

  • If debtor is not active in TOP, AWG, or Credit Bureau Reporting, rediary the case for one year.

  • If after one year, the debtor still has not been selected for TOP, AWG, or Credit Bureau Reporting, refer the case to the DS to determine why the case was not selected and take appropriate action regarding recovery from other person(s).

Other Person(s) are Receiving Benefits and Living at a Different Address From the Debtor (MFU) and:

  1. debt exceeds $20,000; and

  2. Debtor is not selected for ECO

Refer to the DS.

Other Person(s) are Receiving Benefits and Living at a Different Address From the Debtor (MFU) and:

  1. debt is $20,000 or less; and

  2. Debtor is not selected for ECO

  • Terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen. (See MSOM DMS 007.003.)

  • Diary the case for 60 days in order to determine if debtor was subsequently selected for external collection tools (if appropriate).

  • If after 60 days the case has not been selected, refer to the DS to take action to determine the reason that the case was not selected. If necessary, rediary.

  • If debtor is not active in TOP, AWG, or Credit Bureau Reporting, rediary the case for one year.

  • If after one year, the debtor still has not been selected for TOP, AWG, or Credit Bureau Reporting, refer the case to the DS to determine why the case was not selected and take appropriate action regarding recovery from other person(s).

If other person(s) are not receiving benefits, see the following chart for the appropriate actions:

IF…

THEN…

Other Person(s) are not Receiving Benefits and Debt is Less than $3,000

Terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen. (See MSOM DMS 007.003.)

Other Person(s) are not Receiving Benefits and:

  1. Debt is Between $3,000 and $20,000; and

  2. Debtor has been selected ECO

Query the Master Earnings File (MEF) by obtaining a Summary Earnings Query (SEQY), (MSOM QUERIES 003.004) or a Detail Earnings Query (DEQY), (MSOM QUERIES 003.005).

If earnings are less than or equal to $10,000, terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen.

If earnings are more than $10,000:

  1. Diary the case for three years in order to give external collection tools a chance to yield collections.

  2. Annotate the DMS RMKS screen with the reason for the diary. When the diary matures, obtain an ECO Collection Query to see if the debt is still in ECO.

  • If debt is still in ECO, continue to rediary for 3-year intervals until debtor is deleted from ECO.

  • If debtor is deleted from ECO, refer to DS for possible civil suit referral.

Other Person(s) are not Receiving Benefits and:

  1. Debt is Between $3,000 and $20,000; and

  2. Debtor is not Selected for ECO

  • Diary the case for 60 days to determine if debtor was subsequently selected for external collection tools (if appropriate).

  • If after 60 days ECO has still not selected the case, refer to DS to take action to determine the reason why the case was not selected. If necessary, rediary for 60 days, if it is likely that something on the record can be fixed.

  • If debtor is not active in TOP, AWG, or Credit Bureau Reporting, rediary the case for one year.

  • If after one year the debtor still has not been selected for TOP, AWG, or Credit Bureau Reporting, refer the case to the DS to determine why the case was not selected and take appropriate action regarding recovery from other person(s). See DS instructions below.

Other Person(s) are not Receiving Benefits and Debt Exceeds $20,000

Refer to the DS.

D. Title II debt – DS procedures

1. Organizational representative payee refuses to repay overpayment

a. Query the representative payee system

  • If the organization is a representative payee for other beneficiaries, send a development request to the field office (FO) (see FO action in GN 02210.217D.1.b. in this section) to perform a suitability determination. Include the overpayment information as the reason for the suitability determination.

  • Terminate internal collection action via the DFTE screen. See MSOM DMS 007.003.

b. FO action

Contact the organization to determine the suitability of the organization to serve as a representative payee for all beneficiaries in accordance with GN 00504.100A.2., GN 00502.130B.3., and GN 00502.181. Inform the organization that the outstanding overpayment is the reason for the suitability check and that remittance of the overpayment amount would likely negate the need for a new payee.

2. All other Title II debts

First, determine which component has the jurisdiction of the Retirement, Survivors Insurance (RSI) and Disability Insurance (DI) case. Based on the jurisdiction, follow the charts below to determine if other person(s) is or is not receiving benefits on the record.

If other person(s) are receiving benefits, see the following chart for appropriate actions:

IF…

THEN…

It is an RSI or DI Case under Program Service Center (PSC) Jurisdiction

Discontinue collection effort against the debtor and propose adjustment (if not previously done) against other person(s) on the earnings record from which the debt arose.

If action to recover from other person(s) was previously taken and:

  • The debt is $3000 or more and earnings are over $10,000, determine if civil suit is appropriate. (See GN 02215.150.) If so, prepare all necessary documents and input to the Record DOJ Referral (DFRF) screen. Otherwise, refer to GN 02215.235 for appropriate collection action.

  • The debt is less than $3,000, terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen.

  • The debt is between $3,000 and $20,000 with earnings less than or equal to $10,000, terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen.

  • The debt is between $20,000 and $100,000 with earning less than or equal to $10,000, prepare an SSA-553 (Special Determination) in accordance with current operating instructions. For approval to terminate internal collection efforts, forward to:

    Assistant Regional Commissioner
    Processing Center Operations (ARC, PCO)
  • The debt exceeds $100,000 with earnings less than or equal to $10,000, forward to DOJ for authority to discontinue internal collection efforts in accordance with GN 02215.235B.2.b.

It is a DI Case under OCO Jurisdiction

Transfer jurisdiction to OCO (via the DFTJ screen) with the following instruction in DMS Remarks:

“Debtor unable to repay/not repaying. Further Debtor Contact Unit (DCU) efforts against debtor not warranted. (BICS) receiving benefits on debt record. Propose adjustment if not previously done. Discontinue internal collection efforts against debtor. Debtor contacts are contained on DMS Remarks screen.”

Other person(s) are not receiving benefits and the case is under PSC jurisdiction, see the following chart for appropriate actions:

IF…

THEN…

The Debt is Less than $3,000

Terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen. See MSOM DMS 007.003.

The Debt is $3,000 or More - Earnings Over $10,000 for RSI or DI Cases

Determine if civil suit is appropriate. (See GN 02215.150.) If so, prepare all necessary documents and input to the Record DOJ Referral (DFRF) screen. Otherwise, refer to GN 02215.235 for appropriate collection action.

The Debt is Between $3,000 and $20,000 - Earnings Under $10,000

Terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen.

The Debt is Between $20,000 and $100,000 - Earnings Under $10,000 for RSI or DI Cases

Prepare an SSA-553 in accordance with current operating instructions. Forward to the ARC, PCO for approval to terminate internal collection efforts.

The Debt Exceeds $100,000 - Earnings Under $10,000 for RSI or DI Cases

Forward to the DOJ for authority to discontinue internal collection efforts in accordance with GN 02215.235D.

Other person(s) are not receiving benefits and the case is under OCO jurisdiction, see the following chart for appropriate actions:

IF…

THEN…

The Debt is Less than $3,000

Terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen.

The Debt is $3,000 or More – Annual Earnings Over $10,000 for DI Cases

Transfer jurisdiction to OCO with the following instructions in DMS Remarks:

“Debtor unable to repay or not repaying his or her overpayment. Further DCU efforts against debtor not warranted. Determine if civil suit is appropriate (GN 02215.150). Debtor contacts are contained on the DMS Remarks screen.”

The Debt is Between $3,000 and $20,000 – Annual Earnings Under $10,000 for DI cases

Terminate internal collection via the DFTE screen.

The Debt is Between $20,000 and $100,000 – Annual Earnings Under $10,000 for DI Cases

Transfer jurisdiction to OCO with the following information in DMS Remarks:

“Debtor unable to repay or not repaying his or her overpayment. Further DCU efforts not warranted. Debt is between $20,000 and $100,000. Debtor earnings under $10,000. Take action to obtain authority to discontinue internal collection efforts in accordance with current operating instructions.”

The Debt Exceeds $100,000 – Annual Earnings Under $10,000 for DI Cases

Transfer jurisdiction to OCO, (via the DFTJ screen) with the following information in DMS Remarks:

“Debtor unable to repay or not repaying his or her overpayment. Further DCU efforts not warranted. Debt exceeds $100,000. Debtor earnings under $10,000. Forward to the DOJ for a decision on suspension or termination of collection efforts GN 02215.235C.5.a.

E. Title XVI debt – DCR procedures

1. Debtor is unable to repay overpayment

  1. If a debtor alleges the inability to repay, solicit information about:

    • Present and Potential Income, including inheritance prospects;

    • Expenses and Assets (e.g., real property, savings account) - If expenses exceed income and no assets are listed, ask how expenses are met. Document the financial information on the DMS RMKS screen (see MSOM DMS 009.001); and

    • Dependents. (However, consider the finances of all members of the household. Be alert to the possibility of concealed income and/or assets.)

  2. If appropriate, tell the debtor that the debt is subject to external collection tools and possible future collection by cross-program recovery. If applicable, tell the debtor that SSA can also refer the debt to DOJ for enforced collection by civil suit.

  3. If the debtor has an organizational representative payee, refer to the DS to take appropriate action regarding recovery from that payee.

    Complete the following actions based on the debt amount from the chart below:

    IF…

    THEN…

    The Debt Less Than $20,000

    Complete the MSSICS Overpayment Decisions (UOPD) screen by selecting UNWILLING/UNABLE TO REPAY decision (see MSOM BUSSR 004.008) allowing the system to build a C TAC in the OPDD segment and terminating internal collection efforts.

    The Debt Exceeds $20,000

    Refer to the DS.

2. Debtor is not repaying overpayment

If the debtor:

  • Has an organization representative payee, refer to the DS to take appropriate action regarding recovery from that payee.

  • Refuses to provide financial information or to make any repayment commitment, document the contact on the DMS RMKS screen.

Complete the following actions based on the debt amount in the following chart:

IF…

THEN…

The Debt is $3,000 or less

Complete the MSSICS Overpayment Decisions (UOPD) screen by selecting UNWILLING/UNABLE TO REPAY decision (see MSOM BUSSR 004.008) allowing the system to build a B TAC in the OPDD segment and terminating collection efforts.

The Debt Exceeds $3,000

Refer to the DS.

F. Title XVI debt - DS procedures

1. Organizational representative payee refuses to repay overpayment

a. Query the representative payee system

  • If the organization is a representative payee for other beneficiaries, send a development request to the FO (see FO action below) to perform a suitability determination. Include the overpayment information as the reason for the suitability determination.

  • Terminate internal collection action via MSSICS.

b. FO action

Contact the organization to determine the suitability of the organization to serve as a representative payee for all beneficiaries in accordance with GN 00504.100A.2., GN 00502.130B.3., and GN 00502.181. Inform the organization that the outstanding overpayment is the reason for the suitability check and that remittance of the overpayment amount would likely negate the need for a successor payee determination.

2. All other Title XVI debts

If the debt is $3,000 or more, query the MEF and see the following chart for appropriate actions:

IF…

THEN…

The Earnings are under $10,000 – Debt $20,000 or Less

Complete the MSSICS Overpayment Decisions (UOPD) screen by selecting UNWILLING/UNABLE TO REPAY decision, allowing the system to build a B TAC in the OPDD segment and deleting the debt from RECOOP billing. (See MSOM BUSSR 004.008.)

The Earnings are under $10,000 - Debt Between $20,001 and $100,000

  • Prepare an SSA-553 in accordance with current operating instructions.

  • Forward to the ARC, PCO (or ARC, Management and Operations Support (MOS) for approval to terminate internal collection.

  • Complete the MSSICS Overpayment Decisions (UOPD) screen by selecting UNWILLING/UNABLE TO REPAY decision. (When you receive the approved SSA-553, see MSOM BUSSR 004.008.)

The Earnings are under $10,000 - Debt Exceeds $100,000

  • Complete the MSSICS Overpayment Decisions (UOPD) screen. (See MSOM BUSSR 004.008 and terminate internal collection via the MSSICS screen.)

  • Forward the debt to the FO with the following information:

    “Debtor unable or not repaying his or her overpayment. Further DCU efforts against debtor not warranted. Debt exceeds $100,000. Forward to the DOJ for authority to discontinue collection efforts in accordance with GN 02215.235C.5.

    NOTE: When querying the MEF, consider earnings for the current year minus one or the current year minus two, if the more recent data are not yet available, along and with any other relevant work information on file.

The Earnings are Over $10,000

  • Annotate the earnings information to the RMKS screen.

  • Complete the MSSICS Overpayment Decisions (UOPD) screen by selecting UNWILLING/UNABLE TO REPAY (see MSOM BUSSR 004.008) allowing the system to build a B TAC in the OPDD segment).

  • Complete the MSSICS Update Sequence Data (UOSD) screen (see MSOM BUSSR 004.006); select “Delete” to delete a suspend billing indicator for non-installment debts.

  • If there is an installment indicator (G TAC), delete the G TAC by completing the MSSICS Add/Change/Delete Overpayment Decisions (UODC) screen and select TRANSFER TO FIELD OFFICE/MISCELLANEOUS REASON on the Update Sequence Data (UOSD) screen. (See MSOM BUSSR 004.006F.)

  • Transfer jurisdiction of the debt to the FO.

  • Prepare a request for FO civil suit development with the following instructions:

    “Debtor unable or not repaying his or her overpayment. Further DCU efforts against debtor not warranted. Determine if civil suit is appropriate (SI 02220.035). Debtor contact(s) and earnings record information are contained on the DMS Remarks screen.”


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202210217
GN 02210.217 - Debtor Unable to Refund Overpayment or Not Repaying the Overpayment - Debt Contact Representative (DCR) and Debt Specialist (DS) Actions - 09/16/2015
Batch run: 09/16/2015
Rev:09/16/2015