Recovery will not defeat the purpose to the extent that the person has, at the time
of the overpayment notice, any part of the overpaid benefits in his possession. Possession
of all or part of the overpayment would not preclude a finding that recovery of that
amount would be against equity and good conscience.
1. Current Financial Circumstances Irrelevant
When a person fails to return incorrect benefits after being notified of the overpayment,
recovery would not defeat the purpose, regardless of that person's current or subsequent
2. How the Overpayment May Be Held
The overpaid funds may be in the form of the check itself, cash on hand, bank deposits,
or securities or property purchased with the overpaid benefits.
3. When Overpayment Was Deposited to Bank Account
The overpayment usually cannot be identified in a bank account built up gradually
from income in addition to the overpaid funds and the account will be treated as an
The overpayment can be singled out only when no benefit was due for a month, a benefit
was paid and an equivalent deposit made to the account. The overpayment is not in
the person's possession if only a part of a monthly benefit was incorrect unless the
entire benefit payment was deposited.
The overpayment generally cannot be identified as such when the person made withdrawals
from the account unless the amount withdrawn is less than the amount deposited. For
example, if $300 of a $2000 savings account can be identified as an overpayment, a
$100 withdrawal would leave $200 as the identifiable part of the overpayment. If $350
were withdrawn, it is not possible to identify any part of the funds in the account
as the overpayment to determine if the person has possession.
4. Overpayment Used to Purchase Property
When the overpaid money has been used to purchase real or personal property which
remains in the person's possession, recovery would not defeat the purpose to the extent
that the overpayment has been turned into clearly identifiable assets, even if recovery
would reduce assets below the levels set out in GN 02250.115A.5.