TN 15 (09-01)
SI 02220.051 SSI Overpayment - FO Efforts to Locate an Overpaid Individual In Nonpayment Status
1. Individual's Record in Nonpayment Status
NOTE: When the overpayment is under RECOOP, the Debt Management Section is responsible for locating the overpaid individual (GN 02210.213C).
Make all reasonable efforts to locate the individual using internal and external resources listed in GN 02210.213.
When the overpayment notice is returned as undeliverable, check the following sources:
FO records, MBR, SSIRD;
City directory; and
The US Postmaster.
If you are still unable to locate the individual or the overpayment notice is returned marked “deceased,” develop possible recovery from other liable sources (SI 02201.023).
When the post office cannot provide another address, check with:
Local banks (if direct deposit is indicated);
Railroad Retirement Board (SI 00830.180);
Veterans Administration (SI 00830.160-162);
Office of Personnel Management (SI 00830.220);
Employer (SM 00345.000); or
Local welfare office.
Other available sources.
For additional sources to locate overpaid individuals, see GN 02210.213. GN 02210.213 also applies for determining the extent of collection efforts to be made for title XVI overpayments between $30.01 and $3,000.
NOTE: See SM 01311.452 and MSOM BUSSR 004.006 about deleting the notice date from the SSR.
Development in all cases depends on what information sources are available and what leads can be followed. Contact with a public pension program, for example, is only appropriate if the SSIRD shows the receipt of that type of unearned income.
Undertake concurrent source development when multiple leads are present.
Contact the employer when other attempts to locate the individual have been unsuccessful and the SSIRD shows the receipt of earned income.
Request identification of the most recent pre-lag employer. Use the online DEQY facility (MSOM QUERIES 003.005 ). Make this identification request concurrently with other development.
Do not contact the employer until other leads have been exhausted.
Caution: Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, contact at a place of employment is not permitted if a SSA employee knows or has reason to know that the employer prohibits such contact. Also, it ensures the debtor's right to privacy. Information regarding the debt should not be disclosed to the employer.
See SI 02220.050B.1. for final documentation and input actions.
2. Individual Does Not Respond to Overpayment Notice Within 30 Days
Take no additional action beyond issuance of the initial notice of overpayment) if the overpayment is less than $30.01.
For overpayments of $30.01 or more, act quickly to press for resolution of the overpayment (through full payment, installment plan, compromise, or waiver). Delay will decrease the probability that any of the debt is recovered.
Determine whether the person did not receive the notice (e.g., was it returned) or is delinquent in dealing with the overpayment.
NOTE: For additional instructions on how to handle a title XVI overpayment under RECOOP, see GN 02210.212A.2. For title XVI overpayments that you decide to administratively terminate recovery efforts, see SI 02260.030.
When the overpayment is at least $30.01, send a letter indicating that the payment is past due and ask whether the person forgot to make his payment (recommended timing for this notice is 10 days after the payment is overdue). (See NL 00801.000 for notice standards.)
If no response is received to the notice stating that the payment is past due, attempt a telephone contact.
If telephone contact is impossible (e.g., no phone number is listed), send a “call in” letter to the overpaid person.
Recommended timing for this action is 5 days after the issuance of the notice referred to in SI 02220.051 2.d.
If there is no response to the “call in” letter, verify the person's address and send a letter stating the payment is past due.
Recommended timing for this action is 10 days after the “call in” letter was mailed.
If the overpayment is at least $3,000 and you have verified that a good address is known for the debtor, attempt a personal contact visit to discuss compromise settlement.