The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently issued Emergency Message EM-18012 – Clarifying State Overpayment Liability for Minors in Foster Care. This EM “provides interim guidance for handling overpayments involving minors who have a State serving as their representative payees during the period when the minor is in foster care under the responsibility of the State.”
The EM is based on provisions of Section 104 of the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, which is discussed in more detail on page 3 of this newsletter.
As of April 13, 2018, the effective date of the Act, when SSA determines that it:
…overpaid a Title II or Title XVI minor beneficiary or recipient who was in foster care under the responsibility of the State and the State was serving as the minor’s representative payee at the time the overpayment was incurred, the State is solely liable for repaying the overpayment.
This provision also applies to any outstanding overpaid Title II amounts not recovered as of the effective date. The minor will no longer be considered liable for repaying those overpayments.
The EM is available at: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/reference.nsf/links/04172018104545AM. The EM provides detailed instructions, and promises additional guidance in the future on how to remove liability from affected minors, and how to establish and recover overpayments from the State.
Thanks to Jim Murphy of Legal Service of Central NY for alerting us to some good news from SSA!