TN 15 (09-01)

SI 02220.030 SSI Overpayment - Compromise Settlement

A. Definition

When an individual offers to repay the Government a lesser amount than the total amount owed if relieved of further responsibility for the remainder of the debt and the Government accepts the offer.

B. Policy

Act on any bonafide offer (see GN 02215.115B. for factors to consider) made by an overpaid individual (or his/her representative) to settle an overpayment.

C. Preview

Instructions for development of compromise settlement offers can be found in Sensitive Instructions SI 02220.031. The chart below lists which employees can accept a compromise settlement for different overpayment amounts.

Overpayment Amount

Employees with Authority to Accept Compromise Settlement

$2,000 or less (no fraud)

Customer Service Representative (CSR), Teleservice Center Customer Service Representative (TSC-CSR), Claims Specialist (CS), or higher

$2,000.01-$5,000 (no fraud)

Operations Supervisor (OS) or Management Support Specialist (MSS). See comment in SI 02220.005B.4.

$5,000.01 - $20,000 and the offer is at least 80 percent of the overpayment balance (no fraud)

OS/MSS or higher

$5000.01 - $20,000 and offer is less than 80 percent of the overpayment balance (no fraud)

Assistant Regional Commissioner and Management Operations Support

$20,000.01 - $100,000

Assistant Regional Commissioner for Management Operations and Systems (ARC, MOS) for referrals from the FOs and the Assistant Regional Commissioner for Processing Center Operations (ARC, PCO) for referrals from the PSCs

More than $100,000

Department of Justice

Fraud cases in any amount

Regional office of the Inspector General

Non Regional office employees in SSA do not have the authority to accept any compromise settlement of overpayments of more than $20,000. They do however have the authority to reject compromise settlement offers of more than $20,000 if it is not considered to be an acceptable offer for consideration by the Assistant Regional Commissioner for Management Operations and Systems (ARC, MOS) or Assistant Regional Commissioner for Processing Center Operations (ARC, PCO). Referrals from the FOs should be referred only to the ARC, MOS and referrals from the PSCs should be referred only to the ARC, PCO.

NOTE: Once the fraud aspects are closed (i.e., there is no longer any potential for prosecution), field office employees have the authority to arrange a compromise offer for overpayments up to $20,000.

D. Procedure

1. General

  1. Accept a partial refund made prior to approval of the compromise offer.

  2. Provide a receipt that states that acceptance of the refund does not constitute acceptance of the compromise offer.

  3. Explain that there may be a delay in notification of the decision in cases requiring further review.

    The reason for a delay is that before a compromise settlement offer can be accepted in some cases (e.g., those of over $20,000 or involving fraud), the offer may be referred to a regional attorney for possible legal objection (if fraud is involved) or referred to the DOJ.

  4. See GN 02215.105B. for factors to consider in a compromise settlement.

2. Format of a compromise settlement

  1. The offer should be:

    • In writing;

    • On an SSA-795 or in a letter; and

    • Over the signature of the overpaid individual or his/her representative.

  2. Representative's signature alone is acceptable only when:

    • You are reasonably certain he/she is acting for the individual or the individual's estate; and

    • The representative is in a position to carry out the terms of the settlement; or

    • There is a SSA-1696-U4 or other proof of appointment in file.

  3. Additional guidelines on format are in GN 02215.105B.3.

3. Development of a compromise

Development is the same for title II and title XVI. See GN 02215.115.

4. FO processing of compromise

  1. Refer any questions of whether to accept a compromise offer to the Assistant Regi