TN 112 (02-24)

SI 02220.025 SSI Overpayment - Recovery By Refund

A. Policy

The regulations provide for the recovery of SSI overpayments by refund from the overpaid individual, their eligible spouse, the estate of either, or from anyone else.

1. Preferred method of recovery

Full refund of an overpayment is the preferred method of recovery in all cases.

2. Request refund on initial overpayment notices

Every initial written notice of overpayment must contain a request for refund of the entire overpaid amount.

3. Debtor unable to repay in one payment

If the debtor is financially unable to refund the overpayment in one lump sum, regular installment payments may be acceptable. The installment amount should bear reasonable relationship to the amount owed but should not be less than $10.00 per month.

While the actual repayment schedule depends upon the debtors willingness and ability to repay, try to arrange repayment within 12 months. If this cannot be arranged, try to arrange for repayment within 60 months.

B. Procedure

1. Notification

  • Include a request for a full refund in every initial notice of overpayment.

  • Never propose check adjustment for conditional payment or burial fund overpayments, or when the individual is in FLA-D. Honor any request for check adjustment, for conditional payment or burial fund overpayments.

(See SI 01150.200 - SI 01150.206 for background on conditional payments and computation of conditional payment overpayments. See SI 01130.410C.5. for computation of the penalty for burial fund misuse.)

2. Refund by installment

The Recovery and Collection of Overpayment Process (RECOOP) system controls the recovery of overpayments by refund. It generates monthly bills, alerts for the Debtor Contact Section (DCS), and controls for resolution of overpayments when the overpaid individual is in nonpayment status. RECOOP does not generate alerts to field offices (FOs).

a. RECOOP controlled case

A RECOOP controlled case is identified by an accounts receivable control (ARC) code. (See SM 01311.030C, SM 01311.235, and SM 00610.845)

b. Individual requests explanation — RECOOP correspondence

When an individual asks for an explanation of RECOOP correspondence:

  • Explain to the debtor that RECOOP:

  • Keeps record of payments; and

  • Sends a bill 20 days prior to the next due date.

  • Remind the debtor to:

  • Make check or money order payable to the Social Security Administration; and

  • Include their SSN.

  • Do not complete a SSA-632-BK (Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery).

  • See SM 00610.845 for instructions on transferring billing responsibility to RECOOP.

c. FO controlled case

In the majority of cases, the FO does not control Title XVI recovery by refund. For those cases which are in nonpayment status and which do not meet the criteria for RECOOP:

  • Check to see if cross program recovery from Title II benefits is available. If it is, see SI 02220.020C. for instructions on how to manually set up cross program recovery.

  • Schedule the installments for payment on a regular monthly basis.

  • Negotiate a rate that is as high as the debtor can manage based on a consideration of income, expenses, and resources.

  • Use Sections 5 and 6 of the SSA-634-BK to determine financial ability to repay. However, these sections of the form are not needed when the individual offers to repay the overpayment in full in less than 61 months.

  • Direct the debtor to make Non-RECOOP controlled remittances to the FO.

  • Enter the remittance into the Debt Management System (DMS) and forward the remittance and DMS-generated payment coupon to Mid-Atlantic Program Service Center (MATPSC).

  • Provide the DMS receipt to the remitter.

  • Give the debtor a preaddressed envelope to the FO.

  • Complete the Overpayment Decisions (UOPD) screen by selecting RECOVER BY INSTALLMENTS and the system will build a G TAC in the OPDD segment. (See MS 00304.008.)

d. FO action - change to nonpay during period of adjustment - non-RECOOP cases

  • Check to see if cross program recovery from Title II benefits is available. If it is, see SI 02220.020C. for instructions on how to manually set up cross program recovery.

  • Request immediate refund of the outstanding overpayment balance. Notify the individual using an SSA-L728-U2 or SSA-L729-U2 as appropriate.

  • Include a payment stub (SSA-4017) with the individuals name and SSN filled in.

  • Include a return envelope preaddressed to the FO.

e. FO handling of refunds

FOs cannot input refund data to the SSR. MATPSC is responsible for inputting SSI remittances.

NOTE: Do not send refunds to the Office of Earnings Operations.

  • See GN 02403.003 for the automated FO remittance process.

  • Whether recovery is by a single refund or installment payments, see GN 02403.006 for FO remittance procedures.

3. Title XVI and Title II overpayments

If a person must refund overpayments under both titles (i.e., they are not receiving payment under either title), recover the Title XVI overpayment first.

a. Advise MATPSC

Advise MATPSC (use a Report of Contact and send it to P.O. Box 2861, Philadelphia, PA 19122):

  • Not to initiate Title II overpayment recovery until Title XVI has been completely recovered; and

  • The anticipated date recovery will be complete.

b. Notify MATPSC

Notify MATPSC when:

  • Recovery is complete; or

  • Rrecovery efforts have been discontinued; or

  • The Title XVI claim has been referred to the Office of Inspector General.

4. RECOOP billing and reestablished records

NOTE: Whenever an outstanding overpayment exists on a terminated SSI record and a new period of eligibility is established, you must transfer the overpayment to the reestablished record and close out the overpayment on the terminated record. On the MSSICS Overpayment Menu (UOMN) select RECONCILIATION (See MS 00304.017). If the record is excluded from automated reconciliation then the type of overpayment on the terminated record determines what to do to transfer the overpayment to the reestablished record.

a. Unresolved overpayment

  • Determine whether to send a manual overpayment notice (SM 01311.451).

  • If a manual notice is needed, prepare and send the notice and update the notice date for the terminated record.

  • If a notice has been sent, transfer the overpayment to the reestablished record by completing the MSSICS Add Manually Computed Overpayment (UOMA) screen (see MS 00304.014).

  • Close out the overpayment on the prior record with a Q TAC by completing the MSSICS Overpayment Decisions (UOPD) screen and selecting OVERPAYMENT TO BRING FORWARD (see MS 00304.008) as follows:

If the overpayment is under RECOOP control (ARC =2 or 3--RECOOP is attempting to contact debtor to resolve an outstanding overpayment), transfer the debt to the current record only if you establish a new period of eligibility. (see SM 01311.385; SM 01311.235).

If the overpayment is not under RECOOP control (no ARC or ARC = 8 RECOOP has suspended collection efforts), transfer the overpayment to the new record immediately.

b. Pending installment refund agreements

Transfer the overpayment to the current record if the terminated record:

  • Has an installment refund agreement (G TAC) (see SM 01311.235) under RECOOP control (ARC = 1 or 3), transfer the overpayment only when eligibility has been reestablished.

  • Contains a B1 diary (identifying a G TAC with an overdue installment payment), again transfer the overpayment only when eligibility has been reestablished.

A G TAC is not appropriate for a reestablished record unless the new claim is denied (see SM 01311.385).

c. Overpayment not under RECOOP control

Whenever an overpaid individual files a new application for SSI; and

The case is not under RECOOP; and

The SSR reflects a prior overpayment;

Follow systems instructions in SM 01311.140C and SM 01311.385 so that the accrued underpayment will be offset against the overpayment balance.

Record the overpayment on the latest record. Note, however, that this is not possible when the latest record contains an abbreviated application denial (the abbreviated application code (AB) is on the SSR), or when the record is in payment status code T5O or T51.

5. Debtor in a foreign country

a. Resident of a foreign country

A resident of a foreign country is an individual who is not residing in the United States, (including the District of Columbia), Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Marianas, and American Samoa.

NOTE: If a U.S. military member stationed overseas can be contacted through a Fleet Post Office (F.P.O.)/Army Post Office (A.P.O.) address, these rules do not apply.

b. Procedure

If you determine that the debtor is currently residing in a foreign country:

  • Post the new address; and

  • Input a M-TAC per SM 01311.200 and MS 00304.008.

c. Special veterans benefits (SVB)

If the debtor currently residing in a foreign country is receiving SVB payments:

  • DO NOT input a M-TAC.

  • Establish cross program recovery of the SSI overpayment from the SVB payments. See VB 02020.005.

6. Debtor in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands

  1. a. 

    RECOOP will usually control recovery efforts for a debtor residing in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. For exclusions see SM 00610.845 and SM 01310.305.

    The mainland office serving the individual's last U.S. address must load the case to RECOOP by posting the Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands address.

  2. b. 

    The Downtown Manhattan FO will process these cases.

  3. c. 

    If you have an overpayment file, send it to the Downtown Manhattan FO. Include the following:

    • The recipient's current address in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands;

    • An SSR for each record established;

    • An MBR, if applicable and

    • Other documents pertinent to the overpayment, e.g. redetermination file, recipient correspondence, etc.

  4. d. 

    Mark the lower left corner of the envelope in red Puerto Rico Overpayment/Virgin Island Case.

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SI 02220.025 - SSI Overpayment - Recovery By Refund - 02/15/2024
Batch run: 02/15/2024