POMS Reference

GN 02201: General Information Title II, Title XVI, and Title XVIII Overpayments - Part I

TN 28 (03-09)

A. Policy for currently entitled debtors

A debtor may request a hearing if he/she has exhausted other administrative appeal rights (i.e. reconsideration or waiver). Recovery will begin for a debtor in current pay and who has requested a hearing although no personal contact will be made until the hearing is completed. For field office (FO) handling of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing request, see GN 03103.010 through GN 03103.140, GN 03103.080 and GN 03103.090. For FO processing of an Appeals Council (AC) level request, see GN 03104.100. If a person comes into the FO to request a hearing in response to a reconsideration and/or waiver denial notice, the Social Security Act (Section 205(t)) requires that he/she have a face-to-face interview that same day.

NOTE: If the FO escalates the case to a hearing because they cannot conduct a personal conference on a waiver request see GN 02270.009C. for escalating the case to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Recovery will not resume.

B. Policy for nonrecoop/terminated debtors

A debtor who is active or potentially active in the Treasury Offset Program/External Collection Operation (TOP/ECO) will need to have a properly coded hearing request in DMS to prevent collection by Tax Refund Offset (TRO), Administrative Offset (AO), Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG), Federal Salary Offset (FSO), as well as Credit Bureau Reporting. In other words the nonrecoop/terminated debtor can enter into a repayment agreement with SSA while the hearing is pending but none of the ECO methods of recovery will apply. For more information on the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) see GN 02201.029.

IMPORTANT: Because SSA does not refer debts with any pending protests to the Department of Treasury, it is important that the debtor’s request for a hearing be coded immediately and correctly to prevent erroneous offsets and/or withholdings.

C. Procedure for currently entitled debtors and nonrecoop/terminated debtors

Input the hearing request following the same procedures used to input other protests which defer overpayment recovery due to a pending protest (i.e. Waiver).


  • Input the debtor’s request via the Protest/Stop Recovery - (DRPF) screen.

    • Select option 7 (Hearing Fact Amount) or option 8 (Hearing Waiver).

    • See MSOM DMS 006.019 for further processing instructions.


  • Input the debtor’s request via the Protest/Stop Recovery - (DRPR) screen.

  • Select option 7 (Hearing Fact Amount) or option 8 (Hearing Waiver).

  • See MSOM DMS 006.003 for further processing instructions.

REMINDER: Coding the hearing request does not stop all overpayment recovery efforts. Recovery efforts resume after the reconsideration request is denied, unless there is a pending waiver request.