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:
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);
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
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).