VB 02005: SVB Overpayments
A. Policy – General
Full refund of an SVB overpayment is the preferred method of recovery in all cases. Every written notice of overpayment contains a request for full refund of the overpaid amount. Installment payments are acceptable if the debtor is financially unable (or unwilling) to make full refund in a single payment and benefit withholding form the debtor is not available. Installments are scheduled for payment on a regular monthly basis. The following policies and processes/procedures apply equally to full refund and to refund by installment payments.
B. Policy – Nonpayment Status
When the SVB overpaid veteran is in nonpayment status he or she will be advised to:
Refund the SVB overpayment by check of money order for the full amount of the overpayment, or
Refund as much as he or she can and contact SSA to arrange repayment by monthly installments.
C. Controlling Overpayment
SVB overpayments to be refunded via monthly installments cannot be controlled by the Recovery and Collection of Overpayment Process (RECOOP). As a result, monthly bills will not be electronically generated and sent to the debtor.
The Central Processing Site or Field Office (CPS/FO) must manually control any SVB overpayment recovery by refund. This includes manual preparation and mailing of monthly billings and maintenance of the overpayment on the Debt Management System (DMS).
Negotiate the highest monthly repayment the debtor can manage. Do not accept a repayment rate of less than $10.00 per month.
Obtain a signed statement from the debtor outlining the monthly installment amount and the repayment schedule agreed upon.
Secure the first installment payment.
SVB overpayment recovery via refund cannot be processed and/or controlled by RECOOP. As a result, refunds by installments require manual processing and control by the CPS/FO having SVB jurisdiction (see VB 00901.015). The following sections provide procedures on processing SVB overpayment recovery via refund(s).
As discussed in VB 02005.115, the notification of SVB overpayment instructs the overpaid person to refund the overpayment within 30 days, or if unable to refund the full amount, submit partial payment using the envelope enclosed with the letter. (The envelope will be addressed to the CPS/FO having SVB jurisdiction.) In addition, the person is provided with contacts if additional information is necessary.
IMPORTANT: The vast majority of SVB overpayments will involve debtors in the Philippines. Therefore, the following procedures focus mainly on the Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) in Manila and on CPS/FO handling. However, a person who has incurred an SVB overpayment may contact a FBU to refund (or arrange installments to refund) an SVB overpayment. In this event, document the contact on an SSA-5002. Send the originals to the CPS/FO having SVB jurisdiction.
F. Procedure – Refunds paid in FBU or a CPS/FO
1. FBU Handling
Generally, the refund will be submitted to the cashier in an FBU. (The cashier will deposit into general funds.) The cashier will issue a receipt showing the amount received and the applicable exchange rate. Offices with access to DMS should follow procedures described in VB 02020.005 for accepting the refund and issuing the receipt. FBU procedures in place specify the types of paper receipts which may be issued, and under what circumstances. FBUs without access to DMS will issue an SSA-1395-BK, per GN 02403.130. Regardless of the form of the receipt, verify that the following elements are reflected on the receipt:
The name and SSN of the SVB recipient;
“SVB Overpayment” is annotated;
The date the refund is received by FBU
The foreign currency amount remitted; and
The U.S. dollar equivalency
Fax and then mail a copy of the receipt to the CPS/FO having SVB jurisdiction (see VB 00901.015). The original of the receipt will be given to the refunder, and a copy placed in the veteran’s SVB file.
NOTE: Current FBU procedures are in place to accept and to forward the receipt and payment voucher to the U.S. Department of State’s Regional Administrative Management Center (RAMC) in Bangkok, Thailand for deposit to the appropriate U.S. Treasury SVB trust fund. Where a refund is submitted in an FBU, receiving personnel should accept the refund as above and then forward the receipt and payment voucher to RAMC Bangkok based on those instructions. RAMC Bangkok personnel forward copies of receipts and accompanying transaction forms to:SSA Office of Finance
P.O. Box 47
Baltimore, MD 21235
Office of Finance personnel immediately provide copies of these documents to the OCO component responsible for input to credit the refund against the overpayment shown on the veteran’s SSR.
2. Direct Remittance to CPS/FO in Foreign Currency
Convert into U.S. dollars using the exchange rate in effect on the date the remittance is actually received.
Obtain the dollar-to-foreign currency exchange rate applicable by accessing the San Francisco RO SVB Intranet site.
Click on the Currency Conversion category listed under INFORMATION.
Document the exchange rate applied using a printout of the Intranet screen. (If unavailable, use a Form SSA-5002, Report of Contact showing the remittance amount in foreign currency, the exchange rate applied, the source of the information, the exchange rate date and the U.S. dollar equivalency after conversion.)
3. Refund Received Directly in CPS/FO
Process full refund payments received directly in the CPS/FO (e.g., mailed using the envelope enclosed with the overpayment notice) per SI 02220.025B.2.e.
Whether recovery is by a single refund or installment payments; follow the instructions in SI 02220.025 (for NON-RECOOP processing) and in GN 02403.006, GN 02403.130 and MSOM DMS 003.006 for processing of the refund and for issuing the receipt in DMS. Ensure that the trust fund code entered in DMS is ‘O’—other.