Sample Initial Overpayment Notification Letter (With 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 were at fault in this matter for the following reason(s):
This letter is not a final decision. You have the right to submit evidence or arguments which you believe will affect these preliminary findings if:
1. You disagree that the overpayment occurred;
2. You disagree with the amount of the overpayment;
3. You believe that the overpayment occurred through no fault of your own; or
4. You believe that the overpayment occurred through no fault of your own and that DEEOIC should waive recovery of the overpayment.
ACTIONS YOU MAY TAKE
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; or
2. Request that the National Office issue a final decision based on the written evidence of record.
The following issues should be addressed 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
When the claimant is without fault in creating an overpayment, the law states that DEEOIC 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 recipient requires substantially all current income to meet current ordinary and necessary living expenses and the recipient assets do not exceed a specified amount as determined by OWCP 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;
2. A claimant, acting on incorrect information from DEEOIC, gives up a valuable right, 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.
DEEOIC may overturn the preliminary finding of fault based on new evidence or arguments you submit. This action may make it possible for DEEOIC to waive recovery of the repayment. Therefore, you should complete the enclosed Form OWCP-20 and submit it to this office.
You should attach supporting documents to Form OWCP-20, including copies of income tax returns, bank account statements, bills and canceled checks, pay slips, and any other records which support the income and expenses listed.
If the preliminary finding is overturned, this information will help us determine whether or not to waive recovery of the overpayment. If the preliminary finding is upheld or waiver is not granted, the information will be used to decide how to collect the overpayment.
Please note that if we make a final decision that you were at fault in creating an overpayment, we cannot waive recovery of the overpayment. However, 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 this office within 30 days. 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 this office within 30 days. (We may still contact you to arrange a telephone conference if the written evidence is not complete enough 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 do not disagree with 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, we will issue a final decision based on the information now 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: ________________