SI CHI02220.035 Case Referrals to the Department of Justice

A. General

Field offices (FO's) should not prepare the material outlined in GN 02215.165 when forwarding a title XVI case which meets the criteria for Department of Justice (DOJ) referral to the Assistant Regional Commissioner, Processing Center Operations (ARC-PCO). These forms will be completed in the Great Lakes Program Service Center (GLPSC), Debt Management Section (DMS) when a case is referred for possible civil suit.

B. Field Office Procedures

FO's are responsible for preparing and submitting the following material when a case is forwarded to the ARC-PCO for review after all reasonable means of collection have been exhausted and the SSA-L4940 has been sent.

  1. 1. 

    A summary Report of Contact

    The summary Report of Contact (RC) must be clearly and thoroughly written. It will be used to evaluate the referral and, if appropriate, to prepare the "Certificate of Indebtedness" and "Claims Collection Litigation Report" as outlined in GN 02215.166 and GN 02215.168.

    The RC should outline the cause of the overpayment, the overpayment period, details of all recovery efforts, information about any waiver or appeal requests, identification of any weakening factors, and any other information the FO feels is pertinent. The area of compromise settlement must be specifically covered to show when and how this possibility was discussed. In addition, the RC should specify the county in which the debtor resides.

  2. 2. 

    Legible photocopies of the overpayment file.


  3. 3. 

    Copies of all notices related to the overpayment and its recovery.

  4. 4. 

    All RC's related to the case.

  5. 5. 

    All correspondence from the debtor and copies of replies to such correspondence.

  6. 6. 

    The SSA-632 (completed within the last 6 months) or other evidence which clearly identifies the debtor's income/assets and liabilities such as a SEQY or DEQY.

  7. 7. 

    The SSA-8108 relating to the case.

  8. 8. 

    A current SSID on the subject case.

  9. 9. 

    FO's should furnish the appropriate section(s) of the Social Security Act that DMS will need to complete the Certificate of Indebtedness.

C. Forwarding Referrals to the ARC-PCO, DMS

  1. 1. 

    Assemble the dummy file for mailing to the GLPSC. Prior to mailing, the file should receive a thorough management review to assure that all criteria for referral have been met and that all documentation is completed. The "Referral Checklist" (Exhibit A) will be helpful in accomplishing this.

  2. 2. 

    Make systems input showing an "L" TAC code referring the case to another agency (SM 01311.200B). In addition, the CG (case characteristics) field should be coded "CORG," to show that the non-pay overpayment case has been referred to the ARC-PCO for possible DOJ referral (SM 01301.820).

  3. 3. 

    Forward the case, under cover of the "Field Office Referral Form" (Exhibit B) signed by the FO manager to the address below. Include the name and telephone number of a FO contact person, GS-12 or above.


      Harold Washington Social Security Center

      Great Lakes Program Service Center

      Debt Management Section

      600 W. Madison Street, 8th Fl.

      Chicago, IL 60661

      ATTN:  DOJ Coordinator



D. DOJ Referral or Deficiency Notice

A "DOJ Referral or Deficiency Notice" (Exhibit C) will be completed to indicate that the case has been referred to the U.S. Attorney or the reason for it being returned to the FO. Upon receipt of the "DOJ Referral or Deficiency Notice," if the case will not be submitted to the U.S. Attorney, the FO should make a systems input to delete "CODJ" from the CG field and input the appropriate TAC code. If the case has been submitted to DOJ, "CODJ" should remain in the CG field.

The system will automatically build the CG field based on the last referral type selected from the Overpayment Decision (UOPD) screen. The system will build the following CG fields for each type:





Exhibit A


Prior to referral of an overpayment case to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the following criteria (POMS GN 02215.165) should be met:

  1. 1. 

    The debt is $3,000 or more (debts exceeding $100,000 must always be referred unless fraud is involved).

  2. 2. 

    All other avenues of resolution have been exhausted (i.e., refund, installments, etc.).

  3. 3. 

    Compromise settlement is specifically addressed in file.

  4. 4. 

    a. The debt is within the statute of limitations (i.e., within 6 years of overpayment or 1 year after final decision-whichever is later), or

    b. The statute of limitations has run out, but an extension is possible per GN 02215.150B.2.

  5. 5. 

    All obvious weakening factors (e.g., agency error, age 70 or older, health, complex situation, etc.) have been identified.

  6. 6. 

    The debtor's residence address has been verified within 6 months of referral.

  7. 7. 

    The file clearly reflects that there are available income and/or assets to permit repayment or, an explanation documenting why this information is not available.

  8. 8. 

    The person(s) from whom recovery is sought, is legally liable for refunding the overpayment (SI 02201.020).

Exhibit B


TO:         Assistant Regional Commissioner

               Processing Center Operations

               Debt Management Section

FROM:    District or Branch Manager


                   (City and State)

SUBJECT:  Department of Justice Referral—ACTION

Attached is a referral of a title XVI overpayment for possible Department of Justice (DOJ) referral. This case meets all criteria for referral as specified in GN 02215.165.

Recipient's Name: ______________________________________

Clam Number: _________________________________________

Amount of Overpayment: ________________________________

County in which Debtor Resides: __________________________

FO Contact Person: _____________________________________

                                          (GS-12 or above)

Telephone Number: _____________________________________

Exhibit C


TO:          District or Branch Manager


SUBJECT:  Department of Justice Referral


                        (case name, claim number)

                 ___________________ — REPLY


We forwarded the subject case to the U.S. Attorney for possible referral to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on _____________

We are not referring the subject case to the U.S. Attorney for the following reason(s):


We forwarded the subject case to the U.S. Attorney for possible referral to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on _____________

We are not referring the subject case to the U.S. Attorney for the following reason(s):


Claim was not referred within the time limit for bringing a timely suit against the debtor.


Claim was less than $3,000.


Claim did not include the debtor's current (within 6 months) residence address.


Claim was not accompanied by credit data obtained within the last 6 months indicating the present of likely future availability of assets or income from which substantial sum may be obtained by enforced collection proceedings.


The following circumstance(s) would substantially impair our ability to sustain our case in court:



The salability of the subject case is substantially reduced since the size of the debt ( ) is relatively small in comparison to the cost that would be expended to pursue a civil suit.

We are returning the subject case for the following development before it can be considered for DOJ referral.


The liability of both the representative payee who received the incorrect payments and the recipient should be determined before proceeding with further action on the overpayment, since the presumption of liability is questioned (SI 02201.021).


The initial overpayment notice was not sent to the recipient and/or the representative payee.


The subject case does not meet the criteria for enforced collection since the fraud issue remains open. The case should be processed under the provisions relating to overpayments involving fraud (SI 02201.005D).


The following discrepancies must be resolved:


Upon completion of the action(s) as indicated above resubmit the case to the Assistant Regional Commissioner, Processing Center Operations for possible DOJ referral or initiate action to suspend collection of the overpayment, as appropriate.

Questions regarding this case should be directed to the Debt Management Program Analysts at (312) 575-5110.

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SI CHI02220.035 - Case Referrals to the Department of Justice - 02/28/2002
Batch run: 12/26/2017