When notified of a recent or upcoming escheat involving several years of SSA benefits,
attempt to recover the funds. The processing center (PC) (for Title II) or the field
office (FO) (for Title XVI) lists the payments that were paid during the time covered
by the escheat action and computes the total amount to be requested. The FO/PC then
notifies the SSA Regional Office (RO) for the State to which the money will escheat
(or has already escheated). The RO provides an opinion from the Regional Chief Counsel
(RCC) as to how to proceed. When the RCC’s opinion is not currently on file, the RO
asks the RCC for an opinion.
The FO/PC follows the advice of the RCC to recover the money. The FO/PC takes these
Requests the FI to return the funds to SSA;
Requests the return of the funds from the State; or
Sends a letter to the beneficiary’s estate, when the estate filed for and received
the funds from the State after the funds escheated to the State.
The FO/PC also investigates the beneficiary’s possible death, and makes a determination
of death, if applicable. When the funds are returned to SSA and the beneficiary is
later determined to be alive and entitled to the funds, the FO/PC returns the money
to the beneficiary.