TN 37 (06-09)

SI 02220.053 Suspension and Termination of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Overpayment Recovery Efforts for a Deceased Individual

A. Policy for suspension and termination of recovery efforts for a deceased individual

Regardless of the amount of the overpayment, any payment(s) received by a representative payee on behalf of the deceased recipient after the deceased recipient’s month of death are overpayments that the representative payee is solely liable for repaying to us. This policy was effective 12/04/2008.

1. Overpayment is Less Than $30.01

If the amount of the unresolved overpayment or the outstanding overpayment balance is less than $30.01, we determine the amount to be uncollectible and do not pursue recovery.

Exception: If the overpayment was the result of a representative payee receiving SSI payments on behalf of a deceased recipient after the month of the recipient’s death, we pursue recovery of the overpayment solely from the representative payee or the representative payee’s estate.

2. Overpayment is between $30.01 and $5,000.00

If the amount of the unresolved overpayment or the outstanding overpayment balance is at least $30.01 but less than $5,000.01, we notify the estate of the deceased of the overpayment but do not pursue further recovery unless any of the following situations are present:

  • A liable representative payee;

  • A liable spouse;

  • Under certain circumstances, the sponsor of an alien recipient; or

  • An indication of fraud

3. Overpayment is more than $5,000.00

If the amount of the unresolved overpayment or the outstanding overpayment balance is more than $5,000.00, we determine whether an estate exists.

If an estate exists, we pursue recovery from the estate. We also may pursue recovery from a distributee of the estate.

A distributee of an estate is liable for repayment of the overpayment if he or she has in his or her possession proceeds of the estate or property attributable to such proceeds.

4. Fraud

If there are indications that the overpayment was the result of fraud, we develop the potential for recovery of the overpayment from the individual(s) who committed fraud.

B. Procedure for suspending and terminating recovery efforts for a deceased individual

Regardless of the amount of the overpayment, any payment(s) received by a representative payee on behalf of the deceased recipient after the deceased recipient’s month of death are overpayments that the representative payee or the representative payee’s estate is solely liable for repaying to us. This policy was effective 12/04/2008.

For all overpayments greater than $30.00, send a SSA-L8171-U3 addressed to “the Estate of (Name of deceased)” at the deceased recipient’s former mailing address. If the decedent received payment through direct deposit, send the notice to the residence address shown on the Supplemental Security Record (SSR).

All overpayment disposition determinations must be documented. For policies and procedures on documenting your overpayment disposition determination, see SI 02220.005C.

1. Overpayment is less than $30.01

  1. Complete the MSSICS Overpayment Decisions (UOPD) screen.

  2. Select the UNCOLLECTABLE decision (MSOM BUSSR 004.008).

2. Overpayment is between $30.01 and $5,000.00

  1. Take minimal recovery actions unless there is a surviving eligible spouse, a representative payee, or an alien sponsor.

  2. If a representative payee received payments on behalf of a deceased recipient for month(s) after the month of the recipient’s death the representative payee is solely liable for repayment of overpayment. Recover only from the representative payee or from the representative payee’s estate. This policy was effective on 12/04/2008.

  3. Complete the MSSICS Overpayment Decisions (UOPD) screen.

  4. Select the UNCOLLECTIBLE decision. (See MSOM BUSSR 004.008 - Overpayment Decisions (UOPD))

    The system builds a N TAC in the OPDD Segment of the SSR.

    Remember: If the amount of the overpayment is at least $2,000, you must follow the 2-PIN overpayment documentation procedures in SI 02220.005.

  5. Take no further action unless there is:

    • An eligible spouse;

    • A representative payee;

    • An alien sponsor; or

    • A refund

3. Eligible spouse, representative payee or alien sponsor

Do not suspend or terminate your recovery efforts. Continue your recovery efforts against the liable spouse, representative payee or sponsor.

For policies and procedures on development of liability for repayment of an overpayment see SI 02201.020.

4. Refund

Accept any refund offered. Use the automated FO remittance process in GN 02403.001 to record the refund.

Reduce the amount of the N TAC decision by the amount of the refund. Use the MSSICS Add/Change/Delete Overpayment Decisions (UODC) screen. For system instructions see MSOM BUSSR 004.007 and SM 01311.285 - Deleting or Correcting the N TAC or the NT TAC.

5. Overpayment is more than $5,000.00

If the overpayment or the outstanding overpayment balance is more than $5,000.00:

  1. Determine whether an estate exists.

    • If an estate exists, follow the procedures in SI 02220.045.

    • If the estate is closed or will not be administered, follow the procedures in GN 02215.070.

    • If an estate does not exist, continue your recovery efforts against the liable payee or the liable spouse.

    • If there is neither a liable representative payee nor a spouse, discontinue recovery efforts.

  2. Waive recovery from an estate if the deceased was without fault and recovery would have been barred during his or her lifetime as being against equity or good conscience.

  3. If recovery from the estate has been waived, do not recover from the liable spouse or the liable representative payee.

    EXCEPTION: If a representative payee received payments on behalf of a deceased recipient for month(s) after the month of the recipient’s death the representative payee is solely liable for repayment of overpayment. Recover only from the representative payee or from the representative payee’s estate. This policy was effective on 12/04/2008.

6. Distributee(s) of the estate is liable for repayment of the overpayment

A distributee of the decedent’s estate is liable for repayment of the decedent’s overpayment if he or she has in his or her possession proceeds of the estate or property attributable to the proceeds of the estate.

If a distributee is liable, send a notice patterned after the SSA- L8171-U3 (see NL 00806.000 -Stock Title XVI Paragraphs for ODO Use in Issuing Title XVI Notices).

The content of an overpayment notice is found in SI 02201.025. If a distributee is liable the overpayment notice must include the reason you are proceeding against a third party (i.e., as distribute of the deceased's estate, he or she is liable for repayment).

Include appeal and waiver rights in the notice. (See NL 00806.000)

7. Distributee requests waiver

To determine whether to waive recovery from a distributee use regular waiver rules (i.e., the distributee is without fault and recovery from the distributee would defeat the purpose of Title XVI, would be against equity or good conscience, or would impede effective or efficient administration of Title XVI of the Act).

For policies and procedures on waiver of an overpayment see SI 02260.000.

C. References

MSOM BUSSR 004.007 - Add/Change/Delete Overpayment Decisions (UODC)

MSOM BUSSR 004.008 - Overpayment Decisions (UOPD)

NL 00806.000 - Notices for Title XVI

SI 02201.020 - SSI – Who is responsible for repayment

SI 02220.005 - Documenting the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Overpayment

SI 02220.010 - SSI Overpayment – Notifying the Individual

SI 02220.025 - Overpayment – Recovery by Refund

SI 02220.045 - Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Overpayment – Recovery from an Estate

SI 02260.000 - Waiver Provisions for SSI Overpayments

SM 01311.280 - Uncollectible and Erroneous Overpayment Decisions N TAC and NT TAC


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0502220053
SI 02220.053 - Suspension and Termination of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Overpayment Recovery Efforts for a Deceased Individual - 08/30/2012
Batch run: 08/30/2012
Rev:08/30/2012