20 CFR § 404.501 - General applicability of section 204 of the Act.
(a)In general. Section 204 of the Act provides for adjustment as set forth in §§ 404.502 and 404.503, in cases where an individual has received more or less than the correct payment due under title II of the Act. As used in this subpart, the term overpayment includes a payment in excess of the amount due under title II of the Act, a payment resulting from the failure to impose deductions or to suspend or reduce benefits under sections 203, 222(b), 224, and 228(c), and (d), and (e) of the Act (see subpart E of this part), a payment pursuant to section 205(n) of the Act in an amount in excess of the amount to which the individual is entitled under section 202 or 223 of the Act, a payment resulting from the failure to terminate benefits, and a payment where no amount is payable under title II of the Act. The term underpayment as used in this subpart refers only to monthly insurance benefits and includes nonpayment where some amount of such benefits was payable. An underpayment may be in the form of an accrued unpaid benefit amount for which no check has been drawn or in the form of an unnegotiated check payable to a deceased individual. The provisions for adjustment also apply in cases where through error:
(1) A reduction required under section 202(j)(1), 202(k)(3), 203(a), or 205(n) of the Act is not made, or
(2) An increase or decrease required under section 202(d)(2), or 215 (f) or (g) of the Act is not made, or
(3) A deduction required under section 203(b) (as may be modified by the provisions of section 203(h)), 203(c), 203(d), 203(i), 222(b), or 223(a)(1)(D) of the Act or section 907 of the Social Security Amendments of 1939 is not made, or
(4) A suspension required under section 202(n) or 202(t) of the Act is not made, or
(5) A reduction under section 202(q) of the Act is not made, or
(6) A reduction, increase, deduction, or suspension is made which is either more or less than required, or
(7) A payment in excess of the amount due under title XVIII of the Act was made to or on behalf of an individual (see 42 CFR 405.350 through 405.351) entitled to benefits under title II of the Act, or
(8) A payment of past due benefits is made to an individual and such payment had not been reduced by the amount of attorney's fees payable directly to an attorney under section 206 of the Act (see § 404.977).
(9) A reduction under § 404.408b is made which is either more or less than required.
(b)Payments made on the basis of an erroneous report of death. Any monthly benefit or lump sum paid under title II of the Act on the basis of an erroneous report by the Department of Defense of the death of an individual in the line of duty while such individual was a member of the uniformed services (as defined in section 210(m) of the Act) on active duty (as defined in section 210(l) of the Act) is deemed a correct payment for any month prior to the month such Department notifies the Administration that such individual is alive.
(c)Payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution. When a payment in excess of the amount due under title II of the Act is made by direct deposit to a financial institution to or on behalf of an individual who has died, and the financial institution credits the payment to a joint account of the deceased individual and another person who was entitled to a monthly benefit on the basis of the same earnings record as the deceased individual for the month before the month in which the deceased individual died, the amount of the payment in excess of the correct amount will be an overpayment to the other person.