TN 12 (04-00)
GN 02403.150 Policy for Lost Remittances
A. INTRODUCTION - LOST REMITTANCES
This section explains general SSA operating policy for remittances submitted for payment to SSA which have been lost. The following section, Investigating Lost Remittances - FO Procedure, gives more detailed instructions depending on the type of remittance submitted.
B. POLICY - LOST REMITTANCES
When an SSA employee receives money under color of authority of his/her position, SSA has effectively received payment. Once payment is established, the debtor's account should be credited.
2. Proof of Payment
For cash remittances, acceptable proof of payment is an automated DMS receipt or SSA-1395-BK receipt.
Since the FO must purchase a money order or cashier's check for the cash before forwarding the refund to the MATPSC, the loss of cash, check or money order in this situation does not alter the fact that the person has remitted the money to SSA and has terminated responsibility for repayment of that part of the overpayment. With proper proof of payment, the individual's overpayment may be credited; however, do not credit the trust fund until it has been established that SSA negotiated the check or money order.
For noncash remittances, acceptable proof of payment is an automated DMS receipt or SSA-1395-BK receipt and the copy (front and back) of a cancelled check or money order.
For noncash refunds, the refund may not be applied to the overpayment until the confirmed deposit ticket containing the check, money order, etc., has been received by the MATPSC. An SSA-1395-BK or automated FO receipt showing remittance of a check, money order, bank draft or cashier's check payable to SSA does not establish that the amount written on the receipt was actually credited to SSA.
Once the MATPSC is notified, no further action is required by the FO.
See GN 02405.300 for returned benefit checks voided under limited payability. See GN 02403.155 for instructions on investigating lost remittances.
The first step in the investigation of the loss of noncash refunds is to determine if the check or money order was presented for payment and, if negotiated, who endorsed it. In most cases, it is expected that development will resolve the problem by establishing that the refund was not lost or by securing a second refund from the individual. In such cases, the MATPSC will be advised of the results of the development and requested to take the necessary action to credit the refund to the overpayment.
If investigation of the lost refund neither establishes payment to the Administration nor results in a second refund from the individual and, thus, does not permit crediting the overpayment with the refund, the matter will be referred to the program service center (MATPSC), Attention: Assistant Regional Commissioner.
Although investigation at the FO level will be the responsibility of FO management, the Assistant Regional Commissioner (ARC) Management Operations and Systems (or the equivalent position in the particular region) will be kept informed on a monthly basis to evaluate the effectiveness of these procedures. The ARC and Regional Security Officer should be advised immediately if the lost refund investigation identifies an incident of employee fraud. The ARC will immediately notify the Regional Security Officer for the involved region (see GN 04110.000 ff.).
These instructions will also apply if a refund instrument has been received but has been destroyed.