TN 12 (03-89)

GN 02215.100 Authority to Make Compromise Settlements

A. Definition - Compromise Settlement

An offer to repay the Government a lesser amount than owed if relieved of further responsibility for the remainder of a debt.

B. Operating Policy

1. When SSA Has Compromise Authority

SSA may settle a debt claim through compromise if one of the following conditions exists:

  1. The individual is unable (or unwilling) to repay the full amount of the debt within a reasonable time either by refund or adjustment; or

  2. The debtor is unwilling to repay the full debt and enforced collection is unavailable or is likely to exceed the amount recovered (i.e., the difference between the overpayment and the amount offered as a compromise is less than $1,000); or

  3. There is real doubt concerning the Government"s ability to prove its case in court for the full amount claimed, either because of legal issues involved or a bona fide dispute as to the facts.

SSA may also accept a compromise settlement for those title XVIII overpayments for which repayment is requested from the individual who was furnished items or services.

NOTE:CMS rather than SSA, has compromise authority when the title XVIII debtor is a physician provider, or other supplier of services.

2. When SSA Does Not Have Compromise Authority

Even though one of the conditions in 1. above may apply, SSA does not have authority to settle a debt claim by compromise in the following situations:

  1. The overpayment is in excess of $100,000 (DOJ will make the decision on a compromise offer GN 02215.125.);

    NOTE:SSA can reject an offer in excess of $100,000 without DOJ concurrence (GN 02215.120).

  2. The overpayment resulted from fraud, and the debtor is alive, or, the debtor is deceased, but:

    • There is evidence that another person, still alive, contributed to the fraud; or

    • The overpayment is more than $5,000 and the potential for prosecution of another person exists (refer the offer to the Department of Justice—GN 04110.010).

NOTE:If the fraud aspects have been closed (i.e., there is no longer potential for prosecution), SSA has the authority to compromise.

The following debts, which are not overpayments, are not subject to compromise:

  1. Unpaid SMI premiums, incorrect premiums and incorrect premium refunds, and

  2. A claim against an individual who, as representative payee, is indebted to a beneficiary; see GN 00603.140 when a request for return or restitution of conserved or misused benefits has been made to a former representative payee.

3. Delegation of Authority to Compromise

Authority to compromise claims for title II overpayments within the jurisdiction of SSA has been delegated by the Commissioner to the:

  1. Debts up to $20,000

    • Deputy Commissioner for Operations

    • Assistant Regional Commissioner for Processing Center Operations (ARC, PCO)

    • Director Office of Disability and International Operations (ODIO)

    • Deputy Commissioner for Disability and Income Security Programs

    • Associate Commissioner, Income and Security Programs

    • Each Claims Representative. See GN 02215.115 when concurrence of an Operations Supervisor or higher is required.

    • Manager, Debt Manager Branch (DMB)

    • Each Debtor Contact Representative (DCR) in the Debtor Contact Unit (DCU)

    • Each Debt Specialist (DS) in the Debt Management Section (DMS)

    NOTE: See GN 02210.215 when concurrence of a Program Analyst or higher is required for DCR and DS actions.

  2. Debts Between $20,001 and $100,000

    • Deputy Commissioner for Operations

    • Assistant Regional Commissioner for Processing Center Operations (ARC, PCO)

    • Director, Office of Disability and International Operations (ODIO)


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202215100
GN 02215.100 - Authority to