(a) Competing claimants are applicants for survivor benefits based on the service of an employee, separated employee, or retiree when—
(1) A benefit is payable based on the service of the employee, separated employee, or retiree; and
(2) Two or more claimants have applied for benefits based on the service of the employee, separated employee, or retiree; and
(3) An OPM decision in favor of one claimant will adversely affect another claimant(s).
(b) In cases involving competing claimants, the Associate Director or his or her designee will issue a final decision that will be in writing, will fully set forth findings and conclusions, and will contain notice of the right to appeal provided in § 841.308. Copies of the final decision will be sent to all competing claimants.
(1) When OPM receives applications from competing claimants before any payments are made based on the service of the employee or Member, OPM will begin payments to the claimant(s) found entitled in the decision issued under paragraph (b) of this section.
(2) When OPM does not receive an application from a competing claimant(s) until after another person has begun to receive payments based on the service of the employee or Member, the payments will continue until a decision is issued under paragraph (b) of this section. When a decision is issued under paragraph (b) of this section, OPM will—
(i) If OPM affirms its earlier decision, continue payments to the claimant(s) OPM originally determined to be entitled; or
(ii) If OPM reverses its earlier decision, suspend payment to the claimant(s) OPM originally determined to be entitled and immediately begin payment to the claimant(s) OPM determines to be entitled in its decision under paragraph (b) of this section. OPM will not take action to collect the overpayment until the time limit for filing an appeal has expired or the MSPB has issued a final decision on a timely appeal, whichever comes later.
Title 5 published on 2014-01-01
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