TN 18 (11-08)

GN 02408.720 Dual Recovery

A. Introduction

This section applies to dual recovery of any incorrect electronic funds transfer (EFT) benefit payments from SSA, including Title XVI, Title VIII, and Title II.

B. Description

A dual recovery occurs when SSA receives the funds for the same incorrect payment(s) twice. This can happen by any combination of two of the following events, including two of the same event. This is especially likely when there is a delay in posting a return. The events are:

  • A reclamation is done through the financial institution (FI), and the money is returned electronically.

  • The FI returns the payment(s) by check or EFT after learning of the death.

  • A joint account holder, executor, or family member returns the payment(s) by check, money order, or cash.

  • The person who withdrew the funds repays by check, money order, or cash.

  • The amount of the incorrect payment is subtracted from money owed to the survivor(s), including the LSDP, payment due for past months, the difference between life and survivor beneficiary amounts, or the difference due because there are fewer recipients/beneficiaries on the record after the death.

  • The money is recovered from ongoing benefits of a survivor or the person who withdrew the money from the beneficiary’s account.

C. Examples of dual recovery

1. Example 1

On July 15, 2008, Bank Three received a death notification entry (DNE) for Mr. Supplement, who died on May 25, 2008.

On July 29, 2008, the FI returned the two incorrect payments after his death.

On July 30, 2008, his executor, who had not yet received the FI’s notice of this action, sent a check for the amount to SSA.

Because we received the funds twice, this was a dual recovery.

2. Example 2

On August 1, 2008, Bank Four returned a payment of $1240 paid after death to the account of Ms. Em, who died on July 26, 2008.

Unfortunately, the returned payment did not post to the Payment History Update System (PHUS), so an automated reclamation request was sent on August 15, 2008.

A new employee at Bank Four returned the payment for the second time, without checking to see if it had already gone back to SSA.

Because SSA received the funds twice, this was a dual recovery.

3. Example 3

The widow returned the payment after death by a bank cashier’s check, but the remittance was not processed to the record in time to prevent a reclamation from going out.

The FI contacted the executor of the estate, who returned the funds to SSA by a check drawn on the estate.

Because we received the funds twice, this was a dual recovery.

4. Example 4

The FI inadvertently returns the payment prior to the month of death instead of the actual month of death payment. The bank is unaware that they returned the wrong payment and Treasury has debited the bank’s Federal Reserve account. The FI then contacts SSA requesting a refund for the amount debited, since they did return the payment, just the incorrect one. Because we received the funds twice, this was a dual recovery.

D. Policy

When incorrect payments made after death are returned twice to SSA, the field office or processing center (FO/PC) returns any funds above the correct amount to the party that suffered the loss.

E. Procedure when dual recovery is alleged

1. Gather the evidence

Get statements and any evidence available:

  1. a. 

    When a check or money order was involved, ask the sender to obtain a copy of both sides of the item.

  2. b. 

    When someone brought cash to an FO, request a copy of the receipt.

  3. c. 

    Check the applicable system for evidence of returns.

  4. d. 

    Ask the PC to look for evidence that the money came from the FI through the Department of the Treasury (DT) but it rejected or edited and was not entered on the system.

  5. e. 

    Compare the amount due survivors with the amount paid, to determine whether money was repaid to SSA by being subtracted from the amount due the survivors.

  6. f. 

    Check the record for anyone who alleges SSA recovered the funds from his/her ongoing benefits.

2. Determine who suffered the loss

When dual recovery has occurred, look at the evidence to determine which party suffered the loss. Consider that the money should come from the beneficiary’s account when it is available in the account. If the FI returned the money from the account, the FI is not the party you should repay. Consider that, when the money was reclaimed from the FI’s reserve account at the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB), the FI suffered a loss. The following lists some examples of situations you may encounter:

  1. a. 

    When the same party returned the money twice, this is the correct party to repay.

  2. b. 

    When the FI took the funds from the beneficiary’s account and the joint account holder also repaid SSA, the joint account holder is the one SSA must repay. (The FI has not suffered any loss.)

  3. c. 

    When the FI returned the funds from the beneficiary’s account and a family member or the estate executor also repaid SSA, the family member or estate executor is the one SSA must repay. (The FI has not suffered any loss.)

  4. d. 

    When the money was reclaimed from the FI when the money was not in the beneficiary’s account, and the estate or a family member also repaid the funds, SSA should repay the FI. (The FI has suffered a loss.)

  5. e. 

    When the FI returned the funds from the beneficiary’s account and the money was also reclaimed from the FI’s account at Federal Reserve Bank, repay the FI. (The FI has suffered a loss.)

  6. f. 

    When the FI returned the funds from the beneficiary’s account and the money was also reclaimed from the beneficiary’s account, repay the joint account holder, if any (or the beneficiary’s estate, if there is no joint account holder). (The joint account holder or the estate has suffered a loss. The FI has not suffered a loss.)

3. Obtain the correct address

Once you have determined the correct party to repay, obtain the full address. When the FI is the party that has suffered a loss, ask for the exact address of the person at the FI who should receive the payment. Explain the format of the address, so the FI can decide how best to structure it to include the name of the correct bank official and any codes the FI may need for crediting the payment.

The address can have up to 6 lines of up to 22 characters each, including spaces. In addition to alpha and numeric characters, only a space or dash may be used on the check. As with any Treasury check, all letters are in capitals.


3321 WEST W55TH ST

4. Repay the correct party

a. Title XVI payment

Process the Title XVI payment as follows:

  • Prepare a memo requesting a Special Voucher Payment.

  • Include all the facts, an SSI query, and all documentation.

  • Include the name and complete address of the party to be repaid.

  • Include the name, telephone number, and fax number of the FO contact.

  • Make copies for the FO records.

  • Fax the material to:


      Division of Benefit Certification and Accounting (DBCA)


      Fax number: (410) 966-6552.

  • Follow-up in six weeks if you do not receive a notification from DBCA that the payment has been certified.

  • Annotate the Remarks segment of the Supplemental Security Income Record (SSR) to show that a Special Voucher was issued.

b. Title II payment – FO or Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) actions

Process the Title II as follows:

  • Gather all necessary information

    In the FO or consular office, when you discover a Dual Recovery situation, gather all the information necessary to complete a Single Payment System (SPS) input. (See SPS Processing of the Miscellaneous Payment Screen SM 00834.435.)

    For instructions on gathering the evidence, follow GN 02408.720E.1. and for determining who should receive the payment, follow GN 02408.720E.2.

    To obtain and format the address, see GN 02408.720E.3. in this section.

  • Send a request to the servicing PC

    Send a request, with all necessary information, to the servicing PC. Do this by faxing the information to Paperless or completing a Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW).

  • Determine whether payment processed successfully

    To find out whether the payment processed successfully, query the PHUS for all payments, not the BIC of the deceased person. There should be a record under the BIC of VB or VO. When it has not processed successfully in 45 days, notify the PC.

c. PC actions for Title II payments

  • In the PC, review the information provided by the FO/FBU to be sure it is complete for input. To make sure the address is complete and formatted correctly, follow GN 02408.720E.3.

  • Input the payment to the Special Payment System (SPS). (See SPS Processing of the Miscellaneous Payment Screen SM 00834.435.)

  • Notify the requesting office when the payment has been sent.

F. References

  • SM 01315.143 - How to request a Special Voucher Payment for Title XVI

  • SM 00834.435 - Processing of the Miscellaneous Payment (MPAY) Screen for Title II

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GN 02408.720 - Dual Recovery - 12/04/2013
Batch run: 12/04/2013