42 USC 1008 - Overpayments and underpayments

(a) In general 
Whenever the Commissioner of Social Security finds that more or less than the correct amount of payment has been made to any person under this subchapter, proper adjustment or recovery shall be made, as follows:
(1) With respect to payment to a person of more than the correct amount, the Commissioner of Social Security shall decrease any payment under this subchapter to which the overpaid person (if a qualified individual) is entitled, or shall require the overpaid person or his or her estate to refund the amount in excess of the correct amount, or, if recovery is not obtained under these two methods, shall seek or pursue recovery by means of reduction in tax refunds based on notice to the Secretary of the Treasury, as authorized under section 3720A of title 31.
(2) With respect to payment of less than the correct amount to a qualified individual who, at the time the Commissioner of Social Security is prepared to take action with respect to the underpayment
(A) is living, the Commissioner of Social Security shall make payment to the qualified individual (or the qualified individuals representative payee designated under section 1007 of this title) of the balance of the amount due the underpaid qualified individual; or

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(B) is deceased, the balance of the amount due shall revert to the general fund of the Treasury.
(b) Waiver of recovery of overpayment 
In any case in which more than the correct amount of payment has been made, there shall be no adjustment of payments to, or recovery by the United States from, any person who is without fault if the Commissioner of Social Security determines that the adjustment or recovery would defeat the purpose of this subchapter or would be against equity and good conscience.
(c) Limited immunity for disbursing officers 
A disbursing officer may not be held liable for any amount paid by the officer if the adjustment or recovery of the amount is waived under subsection (b) of this section, or adjustment under subsection (a) of this section is not completed before the death of the qualified individual against whose benefits deductions are authorized.
(d) Authorized collection practices 

(1) In general 
With respect to any delinquent amount, the Commissioner of Social Security may use the collection practices described in sections 3711 (e), 3716, and 3718 of title 31, as in effect on October 1, 1994.
(2) Definition 
For purposes of paragraph (1), the term delinquent amount means an amount
(A) in excess of the correct amount of the payment under this subchapter; and
(B) determined by the Commissioner of Social Security to be otherwise unrecoverable under this section from a person who is not a qualified individual under this subchapter.
(e) Cross-program recovery of overpayments 
For provisions relating to the cross-program recovery of overpayments made under programs administered by the Commissioner of Social Security, see section 1320b–17 of this title.