TN 89 (05-23)

SI 02220.051 SSI Overpayment – Field Office (FO) Efforts to Locate an Overpaid Individual in Nonpayment Status Who Does Not Have an Established Installment Agreement

A. Procedures

1. Individual's Record in Nonpayment Status

When an overpaid individual is in non-pay status, does not have an installment agreement, and cannot be located:

a. Make all reasonable efforts to locate the individual using internal and external resources listed in GN 02210.213.

b. When an overpayment notice is returned as undeliverable, check the following sources for possible leads on the individual’s whereabouts:

  • FO records, MBR, SSR;

  • Telephone directory; and

  • The US Postal Service.

If the overpayment notice is returned marked as “deceased,” develop possible recovery from other liable sources (SI 02201.021B.).

c. When the post office cannot provide another address, check with:

  • Local banks (if direct deposit is indicated);

  • Railroad Retirement Board (SI 00830.160);

  • Veterans Administration (SI 00830.160);

  • Office of Personnel Management (SI 00830.220);

  • Employer (SM 00345.000) when all other leads are exhausted;

  • Public Pension program if the SSR shows the individual received a pension;

  • Local human services office (e.g. a social services office);

  • LexisNexis Accurint Database; or

  • Other available sources.

d. For additional sources to locate overpaid individualsand information for determining the extent of collection efforts to undertake for Title XVI overpayments, see GN 02210.213. NOTE: See SM 01311.452 and MS 00304.006 about deleting the notice date from the SSR.

The success rate of locating overpaid individuals depends on the sources of available information and what leads can be followed. Contact with a public pension program, for example, is only appropriate if the SSR shows the receipt of that type of unearned income.

Undertake concurrent source development when multiple leads are present.

e. Contact the employer when other attempts to locate the individual have been unsuccessful and the SSR shows the receipt of earned income.

  • Request identification of the most recent pre-lag employer. Use the online DEQY facility (MS 05203.005). Make this identification request concurrently with other development.

  • Do not contact the employer until other leads are 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. In addition, it ensures the debtor's right to privacy. Information regarding the debt should not be disclosed to the employer.

NOTE: Only those employers that have wages posted to the SSR can be contacted.

f. If you are unable to find a new address for the debtor, see SI 02220.050B for final documentation and input actions.


NOTE: When the overpayment is under RECOOP, the Debt Management Section is responsible for locating the overpaid individual (GN 02210.213C).

2. Individual Does Not Respond to Overpayment Notice within 30 Days

Determine whether the person did not receive the notice (e.g., was it returned) or is delinquent in dealing with the overpayment. Then follow the steps in the chart below:





The overpayment is less than $30.01

Do not proceed any further beyond the issuance of the initial overpayment notice.

The overpayment is $30.01 or more

Send a “Did you Forget” notice to the individual indicating that the payment is past due (recommended timing for this notice is 10 days after the payment is overdue). See NL 00740.000 and NL 00801.000 for notice standards.

Attempt to resolve the collection of the overpayment promptly (through full payment, installment plan, compromise, or waiver). Delay will decrease the probability that any of the debt is recovered.

No response to the “Did you forget” notice is received

Contact the individual by telephone to discuss the overpayment and recovery options.

The overpayment is at least $3,000 and you have verified that a viable address is known for the debtor

Attempt to contact the beneficiary to discuss possible compromise settlement.

REMEMBER: Technicians should complete all follow-ups promptly and attempt to resolve the overpayment (whether through full repayment, installment plan, compromise, or waiver) when you make contact with the debtor. Delayed action on follow-ups decreases the probability that we will recover any portion of the debt.


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SI 02220.051 - SSI Overpayment – Field Office (FO) Efforts to Locate an Overpaid Individual in Nonpayment Status Who Does Not Have an Established Installment Agreement - 05/05/2023
Batch run: 05/05/2023