The Social Security Administration is suspending a program in which thousands of people were having their tax refunds seized to recoup decades-old debts owed by relatives.

“I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law,” the acting Social Security commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, said in a statement this week.

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