20 CFR 260.4 - Request for waiver of recovery of an overpayment and/or for reconsideration of an initial erroneous payment decision.
(a)General. A beneficiary who has been determined to have received an erroneous payment under § 260.1(a)(7) shall have the right, upon the filing of a timely request in accordance with the requirements of this section, to request waiver of recovery of the erroneous payment and/or reconsideration of the erroneous payment decision. The beneficiary shall have the right to an informal oral hearing on the issue of waiver of recovery and/or reconsideration of the erroneous payment decision, before an employee of the Board designated to conduct such a hearing, prior to commencement of recovery by suspension or reduction of a monthly benefit.
(b)Request for waiver of recovery and/or reconsideration of an erroneous payment decision and for a personal conference. A request for reconsideration of an erroneous payment decision must be filed in accordance with § 260.3(b) of this part. A request for waiver of recovery of an overpayment decision and for a personal conference under this section shall be in writing and addressed to the field office of the Board set forth in the initial decision letter or to the Debt Recovery Manager and shall be filed within 60 calendar days from the date on which notice of the overpayment decision was sent to the beneficiary. The beneficiary shall state in the request whether he or she elects to have a personal conference. If the beneficiary does not elect to have a personal conference with respect to his or her request for waiver of recovery or for reconsideration of the overpayment decision, he or she may, along with the request, submit any evidence and argument which he or she would like to present in support of his or her case.
(c)Right to further review of an initial overpayment decision. The right to further review of an initial overpayment decision shall be forfeited unless a written request for reconsideration is filed within the time period prescribed in § 260.3(b) of this part (60 days) or good cause, as defined in section 260.3(d) of this part, is shown by the beneficiary for failing to file a timely request for reconsideration. Nothing in this section shall be taken to mean that waiver of recovery will not be considered in these cases where the request for waiver is not filed within 60 days, but action to recover the erroneous payment will not be deferred if such a request is not filed within 60 days. Any amounts recovered prior to the date on which the request for waiver as permitted under the preceding sentence is filed shall not be waived under part 255 of this chapter.
(d)Delay in commencement of recovery of erroneous payment. Where a timely request for waiver or reconsideration is filed as provided in this section, the Board shall not commence recovery of the erroneous payment by suspension or reduction of a monthly benefit payable by the Board until a decision with respect to such request for waiver or reconsideration has been made and notice thereof mailed to the claimant.
(e)Impartial review. Upon receipt of a timely request for personal conference under this section, the Board shall promptly arrange for the selection of a Board employee to conduct a personal conference in the case. The employee designated to conduct the personal conference under this section shall not have had any prior involvement with the initial erroneous payment decision and shall conduct the personal conference in a fair and impartial manner. The employee designated to conduct the personal conference under this section shall promptly schedule a time and place for the personal conference and promptly notify the beneficiary of such. If the beneficiary agrees, the personal conference may be conducted by telephone.
(f)Personal conference. The beneficiary shall upon request have the opportunity to review, prior to the personal conference, his or her claim folder and all documents pertinent to the issues raised. A personal conference conducted under this section shall be informal. At the personal conference the beneficiary shall be afforded the following rights:
(1) To present his or her case orally and to submit evidence, whether through witnesses or documents;
(2) To cross-examine adverse witnesses who appear at the personal conference; and
(3) To be represented by counsel or other person.
(g)Preparation of recommended decision. Upon completion of the personal conference the employee who conducts the personal conference shall prepare a summary of the case including a statement of the facts, the employee's findings of fact and law, and a recommended decision.
(h)Timely review. The Board shall make every effort to render a decision with respect to the beneficiary's request for reconsideration of the initial erroneous payment determination and/or waiver of recovery and notify the beneficiary of that decision within 60 days of the date that the request for reconsideration and/or waiver is filed or the date that the summary of the case is received from the employee who conducts the personal conference, whichever is later.
(i)Right to appeal adverse decision. If the Board renders a decision adverse to the beneficiary, he or she may appeal the decision to the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals, as provided in § 260.5 of this part.
(j)Repayment is not a bar to requesting waiver and/or reconsideration. The fact that a beneficiary may have notified the Board with respect to the method by which he or she could choose to have the recovery made, or the fact that such beneficiary may have actually tendered to the Board a portion or all of the amount of the erroneous payment, shall in no way operate to prejudice his or her right to request reconsideration of the initial erroneous payment determination or to request waiver of recovery.