Non-Entitled Debtors Program

Date: 
Friday, August 14, 2015
Report Number: 
A-03-14-24024
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

Non-Entitled Debtors (NED) is a person or entity that owes a debt to SSA but may not be entitled to Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments. Examples include deceased beneficiaries’ representative payees (individual or organizational); persons who owe a court-ordered penalty or restitution; attorneys and non-attorneys who received excess fees; or persons who fraudulently or erroneously obtained benefits.

Before 2005, SSA did not have a process for automatically controlling debts owed by an NED. Further, SSA was unable to use such debt collection tools as the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) and credit bureau reporting to pursue these debts since using them depends on the existence of a Master Beneficiary Record or Supplemental Security Income Record for the debtor.

To address this deficiency and comply with section 201 of the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, SSA created the NED program. The NED program identifies, records, controls, and resolves debts owed by individuals who do not have a master record.

Our objective was to determine whether SSA was taking full advantage of the NED program to identify and collect debts owed to SSA.