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OVERPAYMENT ON BEHALF OF INDIVIDUALS AND SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS ON BEHALF OF DECEASED INDIVIDUALS

Sec1870[42 U.S.C. 1395gg] (a) Any payment under this title to any provider of services or other person with respect to any items or services furnished any individual shall be regarded as a payment to such individual.

(b) Where—

(1) more than the correct amount is paid under this title to a provider of services or other person for items or services furnished an individual and the Secretary determines (A) that, within such period as he may specify, the excess over the correct amount cannot be recouped from such provider of services or other person, or (B) that such provider of services or other person was without fault with respect to the payment of such excess over the correct amount, or

(2) any payment has been made under section 1814(e) to a provider of services or other person for items or services furnished an individual,

proper adjustments shall be made, under regulations prescribed (after consultation with the Railroad Retirement Board) by the Secretary, by decreasing subsequent payments—

(3) to which such individual is entitled under title II of this Act or under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974[305], as the case may be, or

(4) if such individual dies before such adjustment has been completed, to which any other individual is entitled under title II of this Act or under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974, as the case may be, with respect to the wages and self-employment income or the compensation constituting the basis of the benefits of such deceased individual under title II of such Act.

As soon as practicable after any adjustment under paragraph (3) or (4) is determined to be necessary, the Secretary, for purposes of this section, section 1817(g), and section 1841(f), shall certify (to the Railroad Retirement Board if the adjustment is to be made by decreasing subsequent payments under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974) the amount of the overpayment as to which the adjustment is to be made. For purposes of clause (B) of paragraph (1), such provider of services or such other person shall, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, be deemed to be without fault if the Secretary’s determination that more than such correct amount was paid was made subsequent to the fifth year[306]following the year in which notice was sent to such individual that such amount had been paid; except that the Secretary may reduce such five-year[307]period to not less than one year if he finds such reduction is consistent with the objectives of this title.

(c) There shall be no adjustment as provided in subsection (b) (nor shall there be recovery) in any case where the incorrect payment has been made (including payments under section 1814(e)) with respect to an individual who is without fault or where the adjustment (or recovery) would be made by decreasing payments to which another person who is without fault is entitled as provided in subsection (b)(4), if such adjustment (or recovery) would defeat the purposes of title II or title XVIII or would be against equity and good conscience. Adjustment or recovery of an incorrect payment (or only such part of an incorrect payment as the Secretary determines to be inconsistent with the purposes of this title) against an individual who is without fault shall be deemed to be against equity and good conscience if (A) the incorrect payment was made for expenses incurred for items or services for which payment may not be made under this title by reason of the provisions of paragraph (1) or (9) of section 1862(a) and (B) if the Secretary’s determination that such payment was incorrect was made subsequent to the fifth year[308] following the year in which notice of such payment was sent to such individual; except that the Secretary may reduce such five-year[309] period to not less than one year if he finds such reduction is consistent with the objectives of this title.

(d) No certifying or disbursing officer shall be held liable for any amount certified or paid by him to any provider of services or other person where the adjustment or recovery of such amount is waived under subsection (c) or where adjustment under subsection (b) is not completed prior to the death of all persons against whose benefits such adjustment is authorized.

(e) If an individual, who received services for which payment may be made to such individual under this title, dies, and payment for such services was made (other than under this title), and the individual died before any payment due him under this title with respect to such services was completed, payment of the amount due (including the amount of any unnegotiated checks) shall be made—

(1) if the payment for such services was made (before or after such individual’s death) by a person other than the deceased individual, to the person or persons determined by the Secretary under regulations to have paid for such services, or if the payment for such services was made by the deceased individual before his death, to the legal representative of the estate of such deceased individual, if any;

(2) if there is no person who meets the requirements of paragraph (1), to the person, if any, who is determined by the Secretary to be the surviving spouse of the deceased individual and who was either living in the same household with the deceased at the time of his death or was, for the month in which the deceased individual died, entitled to a monthly benefit on the basis of the same wages and self-employment income as was the deceased individual;

(3) if there is no person who meets the requirements of paragraph (1) or (2), or if the person who meets such requirements dies before the payment due him under this title is completed, to the child or children, if any, of the deceased individual who were, for the month in which the deceased individual died, entitled to monthly benefits on the basis of the same wages and self-employment income as was the deceased individual (and, in case there is more than one such child, in equal parts to each such child);

(4) if there is no person who meets the requirements of paragraph (1), (2), or (3), or if each person who meets such requirements dies before the payment due him under this title is completed, to the parent or parents, if any, of the deceased individual who were, for the month in which the deceased individual died, entitled to monthly benefits on the basis of the same wages and self-employment income as was the deceased individual (and, in case there is more than one such parent, in equal parts to each such parent);

(5) if there is no person who meets the requirements of paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4), or if each person who meets such requirements dies before the payment due him under this title is completed, to the person, if any, determined by the Secretary to be the surviving spouse of the deceased individual;

(6) if there is no person who meets the requirements of paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), or (5), or if each person who meets such requirements dies before the payment due him under this title is completed, to the person or persons, if any, determined by the Secretary to be the child or children of the deceased individual (and, in case there is more than one such child, in equal parts to each such child);

(7) if there is no person who meets the requirements of paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6), or if each person who meets such requirements dies before the payment due him under this title is completed, to the parent or parents, if any, of the deceased individual (and, in case there is more than one such parent, in equal parts to each such parent); or

(8) if there is no person who meets the requirements of paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), or (7), or if each person who meets such requirements dies before the payment due him under this title is completed, to the legal representatives of the estate of the deceased individual, if any.

(f)[310] If an individual who received medical and other health services for which payment may be made under section 1832(a)(1) dies, and no assignment of the right to payment for such services was made by such individual before his death, and payment for such services has not been made—

(1) if the person or persons who furnished the services agree to the terms of assignment specified in section 1842(b)(3)(B)(ii) with respect to the services, payment for such services shall be made to such person or persons, and

(2) if the person or persons who furnished the services do not agree to the terms of assignment specified in section 1842(b)(3)(B)(ii) with respect to the services, payment for such services shall be made on the basis of an itemized bill to the person who has agreed to assume the legal obligation to make payment for such services and files a request for payment (with such accompanying evidence of such legal obligation as may be required in regulations),

but only in such amount and subject to such conditions as would be applicable if the individual who received the services had not died.

(g) If an individual, who is enrolled under section 1818(c) of the Social Security Act or under section 1837, dies, and premiums with respect to such enrollment have been received with respect to such individual for any month after the month of his death, such premiums shall be refunded to the person or persons determined by the Secretary under regulations to have paid such premiums or if payment for such premiums was made by the deceased individual before his death, to the legal representative of the estate of such deceased individual, if any. If there is no person who meets the requirements of the preceding sentence such premiums shall be refunded to the person or persons in the priorities specified in paragraphs (2) through (7) of subsection (e).

(h) Notwithstanding subsection (f) or any other provision of law, the Secretary shall permit a provider of services or supplier to appeal any determination of the Secretary under this title relating to services rendered under this title to an individual who subsequently dies if there is no other party available to appeal such determination.


[305]  P.L. 75-162 [as amended by P.L. 93-445].

[306]  P.L. 112-240, §638 (a) (1), struck out “third year” and inserted “fifth year”, effective January 2, 2013.

[307]  P.L. 112-240, §638 (a) (2), struck out “three year” and inserted “five year”, effective January 2, 2013.

[308]  P.L. 112-240, §638 (a) (1), struck out “third year” and inserted “fifth year”, effective January 2, 2013.

[309]  P.L. 112-240, §638 (a) (2), struck out “three year” and inserted “five year”, effective January 2, 2013.

[310]  See Vol. II, P.L. 99-177, §256, with respect to special rules applicable to the Medicare program.