TN 18 (11-08)

GN 02408.410 Recouping Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payments Unable to be Reclaimed

A. Background

Sometimes SSA is unable to reclaim on EFT payments issued to a deceased beneficiary's bank account because of the Department of the Treasury's (DT) reclamation processing requirements.

For instance, DT could not process reclamations on EFT payments issued prior to October 1, 1997 due to a limitation in DT’s PACER system. PACER began retaining EFT data in October 1, 1997; therefore, Treasury has no record of EFT payments issued prior to October 1, 1997 and cannot process reclamations without the payment being stored in PACER.

In addition, DT cannot reclaim on EFT payments when they have previously processed a reclamation against the beneficiary's account. For example, if DT reclaims Jane Doe's payments from January 2009 through March 2009 due to death and we find out Jane died in October 2008, Treasury cannot process a subsequent reclamation on the payments made after death in November and December 2008.

B. Process when SSA is notified of payments unable to be reclaimed

Occasionally, financial institutions (FIs) contact SSA to report large amounts of money remaining in an individual’s account due to the account receiving payments after death. In this scenario, the FI and SSA were unaware of the claimant’s death.

When SSA is contacted by an FI, and the bank is willing to return those payments:

  • Work directly with the bank to have the funds returned.

  • Do not ask Treasury to process a reclamation on the payments.

  • Provide the bank with the payee name, payment dates, and payment amounts on SSA letterhead and request that the payments be returned to SSA. A death certificate may also be required.

  • Inform the bank the funds should be returned using a code R15 (Beneficiary or account holder deceased) per the Green Book section 4-2.

  • If further assistance is required by the RO or PC OAS Staff, contact the Office of Payment and Recovery Policy (OPRP) Payment Team.

  • After the payments are successfully returned, we decide if the returned payments are due as an underpayment or if the payments are not due because they were issued after the death of the claimant.

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GN 02408.410 - Recouping Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payments Unable to be Reclaimed - 07/06/2010
Batch run: 11/17/2017