TN 33 (06-19)

GN 02408.610 Overview of the Reclamation Process for Title II and Title XVI Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payments

Reclamation is the process the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) uses to reclaim Federal benefit payments issued after death. For check reclamation procedure, see GN 02408.301.

A. General – Reclamations

1. Payments issued after death to the beneficiary

For Title II, a payment for the month of death or later is not due and must be reclaimed. For Title XVI, a payment for any month later than the month of death is not due and must be reclaimed.

For a description of the exception of early payment delivery dates for Title II and Title XVI, see GN 02408.650 and GN 02408.301. For further information on automatic and manual reclamations (E-stops), see GN 02408.010 and GN 02408.012.

2. Payments issued after death to a Representative Payee (RP)

A payment going to a beneficiary with a representative payee after the beneficiary's death is a legally defined overpayment (LDO). SSA must give the representative payee due process in order to collect the overpayment. Accordingly, do not place a manual reclamation request (E-stop) on a payment that SSA paid to a representative payee following a beneficiary's death. See GN 02201.001D, GN 02408.007, SI 02220.053, and GN 02201.000 regarding Title II and Title XVI overpayment policy.

NOTE: SSA will not reclaim funds when the beneficiary had a representative payee, even following the conclusion of due process. For information on exclusions, see GN 02408.615D1.

3. Responsibility for reclamations

Treasury is responsible for reclaiming erroneous Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) payments that were sent by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and other federal agencies to U.S. financial institutions (FI) after the death of the beneficiary or recipient.

4. SSA sends reclamation request to Treasury

SSA sends a request for reclamation to Treasury, referred to as an E-stop, either automatically or by manual input, after SSA sends Title II or Title XVI EFT payments to the FI following the beneficiary recipient’s death. SSA does not send manual reclamation requests (E-stops) on payments issued to representative payees, as such payments are LDOs, requiring due process.

5. 120-Day rule

The request must arrive at the FI no more than 120 days after SSA learns of the death and sends the death notification entry (DNE). The FI can protest to Treasury if the reclamation was sent by SSA more than 120 days after the DNE.

For the process of automated reclamation requests to Treasury, see GN 02408.615.

For manual requests, see GN 02408.620.

6. Three-year rule

Treasury imposes a three (3) year time limit for federal agencies to submit final debits (i.e., ACH reclaims) of a FIs Federal Reserve account via the FMS-135, Request for Debit. An ACH reclaim represents a debit against an FI for certain liability on payments disbursed after the death of a beneficiary. Agencies have three years from the date of the FMS-133, Notice of Reclamation, to submit ACH reclaims via the FMS-135 to Treasury's Regional Financial Center in Philadelphia. Items older than three years are rejected and not processed.

7. Six-year rule

The Green Book is a comprehensive guide for FIs that receive ACH payments from, and send payments to, the Federal Government. The Green Book states that the FI is not liable to return any post-death payments the FI received more than six years prior to the date of the notice of reclamation, except under the following circumstance:

“If the account balance at the time the FI receives the notice of reclamation exceeds the total amount of all post-death payments made by the agency during such six-year period, this limitation shall not apply and the FI shall be liable for the total amount of all payments made, up to the amount in the account at the time the FI receives the notice of reclamation and has had a reasonable opportunity (not to exceed one business day) to act on the notice.”

Treasury's Green Book may be found at www.fiscal.treasury.gov/reference-guidance/green-book/.

B. Process when Treasury responds to SSA's reclamation request

Treasury matches the information in the reclamation request (E-stop) against its records and does the following:

  • When the requested payment matches Treasury's records and has not been returned, Treasury returns a code 01 to SSA. For Title II, the 01 is posted as part of the SF-1184 information on the Payment History Update System (PHUS) under event code 070. For Title XVI the 01 is posted on the Treasury Status Query (UPTQ) screen, see MS 00303.020.

  • Treasury then sends the FI a form FMS-133, Notice of Reclamation, that contains the date, payment amount, social security number (SSN), and other payment identification information for all payments made after death that are subject to reclamation. This form is found in the Reclamations section of Treasury's Green Book at www.fiscal.treasury.gov/reference-guidance/green-book/.

  • Treasury informs SSA when the requested payment has already been returned. For Title II, disposition code 04 is posted on PHUS as part of the SF-1184 information (PHUS event code 070), and a “Returned Check” entry gives the payment information. For Title XVI, disposition code 04 is posted on the UPTQ screen as part of the Stop-Payment information, and Payflag 1 of the PMTH field on the SSR has a slash (/), A, B, C, D, J, K, L, M, S, T, or U for that payment, depending on the type of payment and whether it is returned by the Field Office, Treasury, or both.

  • When the requested payment information does not match Treasury's records, Treasury rejects the request and sends a disposition code 07. (This code is often the result of an input error at SSA.) For Title II the response is posted on PHUS under event code 070. For Title XVI the response on the UPTQ screen shows “07 – NO PAYMENT ISSUED.”

SEE ALSO:

  • SM 00609.610 - for Treasury's Title II disposition codes.

  • MSOM BUSSR 003.020 - for Treasury's Title XVI disposition codes.

  • SM 00624.010B - for “returned check” reason codes shown on PHUS.

  • GN 02408.010 - for the automated E-stop process for check/EFT payments.

  • GN 02408.012 - for the manual E-stop process for checks.

C. Process when an FI responds to a notice of reclamation

1. All/Partial funds are available

The FI returns any funds that are available. The FI completes the FI portions of the FMS-133 and sends the form to Treasury. For information about the FI's possible responses, see GN 02408.625.

If only part of the funds remain in the FI, the FI returns the partial funds AND provides the name and address of the last withdrawer of the funds on the FMS-133 for contact by SSA.

When the FI returns the funds, Treasury returns them to SSA. A Title II return is shown as “009 EVENT RET CHECK” on PHUS. A Title XVI return is shown as a slash (/), S, T, or U in Payflag 1 on the SSR and may also be posted on the Overpayment Refund Data (OPRR) segment of the SSR. For more information on erroneous EFT payment returns from FIs and individuals, see GN 02408.665 and GN 02408.670.

NOTE: For situations where Title II benefits have been deposited into an account shared with a spouse or parent, see exclusions in GN 02408.615D.2. Also see, GN 02201.001F and GN 02205.003C.3.

2. No funds are available

When the account does not contain any funds at all, the FI must return the FMS-133 to Treasury. The FI must provide the name and address of the last withdrawer on the FMS-133 for a Title II and Title XVI reclamations, see GN 02408.630. If the FI does not return a completed FMS-133 timely, Treasury debits the account of the FI or its correspondent bank at the Federal Reserve Bank, and returns the funds to SSA. For the amount of the FI's liability, see GN 02408.625.

3. FI sends “120-day” protest

The FI protests to Treasury if it believes that SSA sent the reclamation request more than 120 days after learning of the death. The 120-day period is usually counted from the date the DNE was sent to the FI. However, in some cases the FI protests because it believes we had the death information before that time.

4. Treasury responds to FI's 120-day protest

When the FI protests a reclamation to Treasury because the reclamation arrived more than 120 days after the FI believes we learned of the death, Treasury notifies us of the protest. After examining our response to the protest, Treasury determines whether we sent the request more than 120 days after learning of the death.

When Treasury determines that we sent the request too late and the money has already been reclaimed, the money goes back to the FI. If Treasury determines that we sent the request within 120 days, the reclamation process continues.

D. Process when an FI does not respond to a notice of reclamation

When the FI does not return the funds or respond to Treasury within 30 days, Treasury sends a “Follow-up to Notice of Reclamation,” Form FMS-2942, to the FI. The FI then has 30 days from the date of the follow-up to return the funds or send a completed Notice of Reclamation to Treasury.

When the FI does not respond after 30 days from the date of the follow-up, Treasury debits the account of the FI or its correspondent bank at the Federal Reserve Bank for the full reclamation amount, and returns the funds to SSA. For the amount of the FI's liability, see GN 02408.625.

E. References

  • SM 01315.134 - When to Initiate a Stop-Payment Action

  • SM 01315.136 - When the SSI System Automatically Generates Stop-Payment Requests

  • GN 02408.900 - Recovery of Title II IDD Payments Improperly Issued After Death of Beneficiary


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202408610
GN 02408.610 - Overview of the Reclamation Process for Title II and Title XVI Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payments - 06/20/2019
Batch run: 06/20/2019
Rev:06/20/2019