§ 255.4 Persons from whom overpayments may be recovered.
Overpaid individual. The Board may recover an overpayment from the individual to whom the overpayment has been made by any method permitted by this part, or by the Federal Claims Collection Standards (4 CFR chapter 2) (Example 1 of this section). If the overpaid individual dies before recovery is completed, then recovery may be effected by recovery from the estate or the heirs of such individual.
Other than overpaid individual. The Board may recover an overpayment from a person other than the overpaid individual if such person is receiving benefits based upon the same record of compensation as the overpaid individual under a statute administered by the Board. In such a case, the Board will ordinarily recover the overpayment by setoff against such benefits as are provided for in § 255.6 of this part (Example 2 of this section). However, the Board may ask for a cash refund of the overpayment.
Individual not in the same household. Recovery under paragraph (b) of this section may be made from an individual who was not living in the same household, as defined in part 216 of this chapter, as the overpaid individual at the time of the overpayment, if the individual from whom recovery is to be made either was aware that benefits were being paid incorrectly or benefitted from the overpayment. (Example 3 of this section).
Examples. This section may be illustrated by the following examples:
An employee receiving a disability annuity returns to work without notifying the Board. The Board discovers that the employee is working and determines that the employee has recovered from his disability and has been overpaid. The Board requests that the employee repay the overpayment by cash refund either in one lump sum or in installment payments. If the employee refuses, the Board may refer the debt to a collection agency or the Department of Justice for civil suit or may collect the debt in any other manner permitted by law.
The employee in Example 1 agrees to refund the overpayment by cash installment payments. However, the employee dies before repaying the total amount of the overpayment. At his death the employee's widow, who was living with the employee at the time the overpayment was incurred, becomes entitled to a widow's annuity. The Board may recover the remainder of the overpayment from any benefits due the widow.
C, a child of a deceased employee by his first marriage, is receiving a disability annuity on the employee's record of compensation. W, the employee's second wife, is receiving a widow's annuity on the employee's record of compensation. C lives with his mother, the employee's first wife. C marries without notifying the Board. Marriage terminates a child's annuity. W is not aware of C's marriage. Upon discovery of C's marriage, the Board demands that C refund the overpaid annuities; C refuses. Even though W is receiving an annuity based upon the same record of compensation as that of C, the Board will not recover the overpayment from W because she is not in the same household as C, was not aware of the incorrect benefits paid, and did not benefit from them.