Sample Initial Overpayment Notification Letter (Without Fault)
Dear [Claimant Name]:
The Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) has made a preliminary finding that you have been overpaid benefits in the amount of [$]. The overpayment occurred because:
DEEOIC has also made a preliminary finding that you are without fault in creating the overpayment. If you disagree with the fact or the amount of the overpayment, you have a right to submit new evidence.
When a claimant is without fault in creating an overpayment, the law states that OWCP may not recover the overpayment if the recovery would defeat the purpose of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA), or the recovery would be against equity and good conscience.
To defeat the purpose of the EEOICPA, it must be found that the claimant requires substantially all current income to meet current ordinary and necessary living expenses and the claimant assets do not exceed a specified amount as determined by DEEOIC from data furnished by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It would be against equity and good conscience to recover an overpayment when:
1. A claimant would suffer severe financial hardship in trying to repay the debt; or
2. A claimant, acting on incorrect information from DEEOIC, gives up a verifiably valuable right or changes his or her position for the worse, such as leaving a job which he or she cannot regain; or
3. A claimant, acting on incorrect information from DEEOIC, spends or commits funds in ways which he or she otherwise would not have done, and suffers a financial loss as a result.
ACTIONS YOU MAY TAKE
If you believe that you should receive a waiver instead of repaying the overpayment, you may take any one of the following actions within 30 days of the date of this letter:
1. Request a telephone conference with the National Office of DEEOIC; or
2. Request that the National Office issue a final decision based on the written evidence of record.
The DEEOIC staff will address the following issues during the telephone conference or in writing:
a. Whether or not an overpayment actually occurred and the amount;
b. Whether or not DEEOIC should collect the overpayment.
INFORMATION NEEDED TO WAIVE RECOVERY OF THE OVERPAYMENT
If you are seeking a waiver of recovery (whether you choose a phone conference or not) you should send the following to OWCP:
1. A detailed explanation of your reasons for seeking waiver;
2. A completed Form OWCP-20 (copy enclosed); and
3. Supporting documents, to include copies of income tax returns, bank account statements, bills and canceled checks, pay slips, and other records to support income and expenses shown on Form OWCP-20.
This information will help us decide whether or not to waive recovery of the overpayment. If waiver is not granted, the information will be used to decide how to collect the overpayment. We will not try to collect the overpayment until we reach a final decision on your request for waiver.
Also please note that under 20 CFR 30.518, we will deny waiver if you fail to furnish the information requested on the enclosed Form OWCP-20 (or other information we need to address a request for waiver) within 30 days. We will not consider any further request for waiver until the requested information is furnished.
If you wish to have a telephone conference, please so state on the attached form and send it to the National Office within 30 days. You must also submit a detailed explanation of your reasons for seeking waiver, a completed OWCP-20, and supporting documents along with your request. We will then contact you to arrange a convenient time for the conference, allowing enough time for you to prepare. If we do not receive a reply from you within 30 days of the date of this letter, we will issue a final decision based on the information currently on file.
If you wish to have a decision made based on the written evidence only, please so state on the attached form and send it to the National Office within 30 days. (We may still contact you to arrange a telephone conference if the written evidence is not sufficient to make a decision.)
A request for either a conference or a decision on the written evidence, along with any supporting evidence or arguments, should be sent to the following address:
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ADMINISTRATION
OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION PROGRAMS
DIVISION OF ENERGY EMPLOYEES OCCUPATIONAL ILLNESS COMPENSATION
200 CONSTITUTION AVENUE, N.W., ROOM C-3324
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20210
If you agree with the findings of this decision, and you wish to make payment at this time, please send a check to the address shown below. Make the check payable to the U.S. Department of Labor, OWCP, and include your EEOICPA file number on the check.
US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
POST OFFICE BOX 70943
CHARLOTTE, N.C. 28272-0943
If we do not receive a reply from you within 30 days of the date of this letter, a final decision will be issued on the basis of the information currently of file.
Unit Chief for Policies,
Regulations and Procedures
Enclosure: Form OWCP-20
EEOICPA CLAIM NO:
____ I request a telephone conference with the National Office on the issues of fault and possible waiver of recovery of this overpayment. My supporting financial documents are enclosed.
____ I request that the National Office make a decision based on the written evidence on the issues of fault and possible waiver of recovery of this overpayment. My supporting financial documents are enclosed.
Signed:_________________________________ Date: _________________