§ 416.537. Overpayments—defined.

(a) Overpayments. As used in this subpart, the term overpayment means payment of more than the amount due for any period, including any amounts of State supplementary payments which are due and administered by the Social Security Administration. For purposes of this section, payment has been made when certified by the Social Security Administration to the Department of the Treasury, except that payment has not been made where payment has not been received by the designated payee, or where payment was returned. When a payment of more than the amount due 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 is the surviving spouse of the deceased individual and was eligible for a payment under title XVI of the Act (including any State supplementation payment paid by the Commissioner) as an eligible spouse (or as either member of an eligible couple) for 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 surviving spouse.

(b) Actions which are not overpayments —(1) Presumptive disability and presumptive blindness. Any payment made for any month, including an advance payment of benefits under § 416.520, is not an overpayment to the extent it meets the criteria for payment under § 416.931. Payments made on the basis of presumptive disability or presumptive blindness will not be considered overpayments where ineligibility is determined because the individual or eligible spouse is not disabled or blind. However, where it is determined that all or a portion of the presumptive payments made are incorrect for reasons other than disability or blindness, these incorrect payments are considered overpayments (as defined in paragraph (a) of this section). Overpayments may occur, for example, when the person who received payments on the basis of presumptive disability or presumptive blindness is determined to be ineligible for all or any part of the payments because of excess resources or is determined to have received excess payment for those months based on an incorrect estimate of income.

(2) Penalty. The imposition of a penalty pursuant to § 416.724 is not an adjustment of an overpayment and is imposed only against any amount due the penalized recipient, or, after death, any amount due the deceased which otherwise would be paid to a survivor as defined in § 416.542.

(c) Pandemic period. As used throughout this subpart, the term pandemic period for the purposes of the waiver authority in § 416.550 refers exclusively to the period of time beginning on March 1, 2020, and ending on September 30, 2020.

[40 FR 47763, Oct. 10, 1975, as amended at 43 FR 17354, Apr. 24, 1978; 50 FR 48572, Nov. 26, 1985; 55 FR 7313, Mar. 1, 1990; 58 FR 52912, Oct. 13, 1993; 62 FR 38454, July 18, 1997; 85 FR 52915, Aug. 27, 2020]