Request for Waiver of Indebtedness

B-201253: May 26, 1981

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An Air Force employee requested reconsideration of the denial by the Claims Division of his application for waiver of debts incurred through overpayments made to him incident to a temporary lodging allowance (TLA). The employee was at one time entitled to TLA. When he moved to permanent quarters, he became eligible for a living quarters allowance (LQA). Due to an administrative error, the employee continued to receive TLA in addition to the authorized LQA. In the original claim, the employee contended that he was unaware of the overpayment. GAO held that it was reasonable to expect the employee to be aware of the overpayment since it caused a significant increase in his pay. Since the employee failed to inquire into the matter when his pay continued to include a substantial allowance that he knew was to terminate, he was not without fault. In the request for reconsideration, the employee cited financial hardship as a basis for granting the waiver. However, financial hardship cannot form the basis for waiver. Accordingly, the original decision was sustained.

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