42 U.S. Code § 404 - Overpayments and underpayments
In any case in which more than the correct amount of payment has been made, there shall be no adjustment of payments to, or recovery by the United States from, any person who is without fault if such adjustment or recovery would defeat the purpose of this subchapter or would be against equity and good conscience. In making for purposes of this subsection any determination of whether any individual is without fault, the Commissioner of Social Security shall specifically take into account any physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitation such individual may have (including any lack of facility with the English language).
No certifying or disbursing officer shall be held liable for any amount certified or paid by him to any person where the adjustment or recovery of such amount is waived under subsection (b) of this section, or where adjustment under subsection (a) of this section is not completed prior to the death of all persons against whose benefits deductions are authorized.
For payments which are adjusted by reason of payment of benefits under the supplemental security income program established by subchapter XVI of this chapter, see section 1320a–6 of this title.
For provisions relating to the cross-program recovery of overpayments made under programs administered by the Commissioner of Social Security, see section 1320b–17 of this title.
 So in original. Probably should be “delinquent”.
2009—Subsec. (a)(1)(B). Pub. L. 111–115 designated existing provisions as cl. (i), substituted “Subject to clause (ii), with” for “With”, and added cls. (ii) and (iii).
2004—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 108–203 amended subsec. (g) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (g) read as follows: “For payments which are adjusted or withheld to recover an overpayment of supplemental security income benefits paid under subchapter XVI of this chapter (including State supplementary payments paid under an agreement pursuant to section 1382e(a) of this title or section 212(b) of Public Law 93–66), see section 1320b–17 of this title.”
1999—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 106–169, § 201(a), inserted at end “If any payment of more than the correct amount is made to a representative payee on behalf of an individual after the individual’s death, the representative payee shall be liable for the repayment of the overpayment, and the Commissioner of Social Security shall establish an overpayment control record under the social security account number of the representative payee.”
Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 106–169, § 203(c), substituted “3711(f)” for “3711(e)” and inserted “all” before “as in effect”.
1998—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 105–306 added subsec. (g).
1996—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 104–134, which directed that subsec. (f) be amended to read as follows: “(f)(1) With respect to any deliquent amount, the Commissioner of Social Security may use the collection practices described in sections 3711(f), 3716, 3717, and 3718 of title 31and in section 5514 of title 5, as in effect immediately after April 26, 1996.”, was executed by substituting the new language for par. (1) only to reflect the probable intent of Congress. Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows: “With respect to any delinquent amount, the Commissioner of Social Security may use the collection practices described in sections 3711(f), 3716, and 3718 of title 31as in effect on October 1, 1994.”
Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 104–316 substituted “sections 3711(e)” for “sections 3711(f)”.
1994—Subsecs. (a)(1), (b), (d)(1), (4), (5). Pub. L. 103–296, § 107(a)(4), substituted “Commissioner of Social Security” for “Secretary” wherever appearing.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 103–387 added subsec. (f).
1990—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 101–508 inserted “or shall obtain recovery by means of reduction in tax refunds based on notice to the Secretary of the Treasury as permitted under section 3720A of title 31,” after “payments to such overpaid person,”.
1989—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–239 inserted at end “In making for purposes of this subsection any determination of whether any individual is without fault, the Secretary shall specifically take into account any physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitation such individual may have (including any lack of facility with the English language).”
1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–272 redesignated existing subsec. (a) as (a)(1) and pars. (1) and (2) thereof as subpars. (A) and (B), respectively, and added par. (2).
1980—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 96–265 added subsec. (e).
1968—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 90–248, § 152(a), incorporated in text preceding par. (1) part of existing provisions and broadened the Secretary’s authority to include recovery of overpayments.
Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 90–248, § 153(a), inserted last sentence which provided that payments made on an erroneous report by the Defense Department of the death, in the line of duty, of a member of the uniformed services on active duty are not to be deemed incorrect payments until the Department notifies the Secretary that he is alive.
Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 90–248, § 152(a), incorporated in par. (2) part of existing provisions and broadened Secretary’s authority to provide that in the case of underpayments, the Secretary is to pay the balance due the underpaid person but if he dies before receiving the full amount due him or before negotiating checks representing the correct payments, the balance due or the amount for which the checks were issued but not negotiated are to be paid under subsec. (d) of this section.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 90–248, § 152(b), authorized the Secretary to waive adjustment or recovery of overpayments from any person who is without fault, even where he is not the overpaid person and the latter is at fault, whereas heretofore a condition for waiver was that the overpaid person be without fault.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 90–248, § 154(a), struck out, in text preceding par. (1), provision excepting subsec. (d) from subsec. (a) and provision that the total amount due at the time of death may not exceed the amount of the monthly insurance benefit to which an individual was entitled for the month preceding the month in which he died, added cl. (ii) in par. (1), added pars. (2) to (6), designated existing provisions as par. (7) and inserted therein references to pars. (1) to (6).
1965—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–97 added subsec. (d).
1954—Subsec. (a). Act Sept. 1, 1954, inserted “and self-employment income” after “wages” in second sentence.
1950—Act Aug. 28, 1950, substituted “Administrator” for “board”.
1939—Act Aug. 10, 1939, omitted former provisions relating to payments to aged individuals not qualified for benefits and substituted the present section relating to overpayments and underpayments.
Amendment by section 203(c) of Pub. L. 106–169 applicable to debt outstanding on or after Dec. 14, 1999, see section 203(d) of Pub. L. 106–169, set out as a note under section 3701 of Title 31, Money and Finance.
Amendment by Pub. L. 103–387 applicable to collection activities begun on or after Oct. 22, 1994, see section 5(c) of Pub. L. 103–387, as amended, set out as a note under section 3701 of Title 31, Money and Finance.
Amendment by Pub. L. 101–508 effective Jan. 1, 1991, and inapplicable to refunds to which the amendments made by section 2653 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, Pub. L. 98–369, do not apply, see section 5129(d) of Pub. L. 101–508, set out as a note under section 6402 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.
Amendment by Pub. L. 96–265 applicable in the case of payments of monthly insurance benefits under this subchapter, entitlement for which is determined on or after July 1, 1981, see section 501(d) of Pub. L. 96–265, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1320a–6 of this title.
Act Aug. 10, 1939, ch. 666, title II, § 201, 53 Stat. 1362, provided that the amendment made by that section is effective Jan. 1, 1940.
LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.