BASIC (03-12)

RM 02032.075 Direct Contact (DIRCON) Process in the Division of Earnings and Business Services (DEBS)

The Division of Earnings and Business Services (DEBS) technicians, in the Office of Central Operations, may need to make direct contact with an employer for clarification to assist them in making a clear and accurate decision. During the process of investigating a case, they may find a potential error that was not an SSA processing error. The technician must request a corrected wage report for all employer related errors.

A. DIRCON telephone process

DEBS priority for developing wage-reporting issues with employers is using the telephone for direct contact.

1. Locate employer telephone number

Since SSA electronically identifies the earnings alert condition and the telephone number is not readily available, DEBS must do some research to locate the employer telephone number to make direct contact.

If…

Then…

Unable to locate telephone number via directories

Obtain contact name and telephone number from the W-3 or W-3c.

Contact information not available on the W-3 or W-3c

Follow the Direct Contact (DIRCON) mail process.

Telephone number located

Follow the DIRCON telephone process.

  • Use the agency or commercial directories (e.g., directory assistance or Internet assistance) to attempt to locate a valid phone number. Do Not use operator assistance.

  • Verify area codes and time zones before attempting to contact the employer; refer to the chart located in GN 01070.785. This determines what time you should place the call(s).

2. DEBS telephone process

DBS technicians must use the following instructions to make direct contact via telephone with the employer:

  1. Review the case and determine what information you need from the employer.

  2. Identify yourself and your office. Make sure the employer understands that you are not calling from the local field office (FO).

  3. Make three telephone attempts to reach the employer. Do not make these attempts on consecutive days. (For example, you could make the first attempt on Monday at 10:00, the second attempt on Wednesday at 11:45, and the third attempt on Friday at 2:00).

  4. Document the call. The Report of Contact must indicate who provided the information and the response provided.

    NOTE: Due to limited systems capability with the Report of Contact, we are only able to document cases with tax year(s) located in EM 1.5. In the future, DTPS/OEIO will revisit and develop a process to capture all cases.

    If…

    Then…

    Telephone number disconnected or out-of-service

    Follow the DIRCON mail process

    Telephone contacts are unsuccessful (no one answers the call, answering machine or answering service not available, etc.)

    • Make three separate attempts to reach the employer.

    • Document each call (e.g., time and date) in EM 1.5.

    • Follow the DIRCON mail process.

    Voicemail picks up

    • Leave a message for the caller or the person responsible for the company wage reporting to contact SSA via the Employer 800# Call Center at 1-800-772-6270.

    • Document the call in EM 1.5.

    • Allow two days for the caller to return the call before making another attempt.

    • Make three attempts to reach the employer.

    Successful telephone contact or employer returns the call

    • Ask for the person responsible for wage reporting.

    • Ask the employer to submit a corrected wage report (W-2c with W-3c).

    • Ask the employer to use Business Services Online to submit the report electronically.

      NOTE: Employer must register on BSO.

    • Provide the employer with the Employer 800# Call Center (1-800-772-6270) in case the employer needs help with the registration or wants to verify receipt of their registration submission.

    • Document the call in EM 1.5.

    • Thank the caller for his or her time.

    Employer calls the Employer 800# Call Center (1-800-772-6270) for help with BSO registration

    • Employer Reporting Technician (ERT) assists the employer with the registration, by walking him or her through the process, or

    • Process a phone registration, and then sends the notice via IRES to the employer via mail.

    Employer calls the Employer 800# Call Center (1-800-772-6270) to verify if SSA received the information that was submitted

    ERT will ask the employer to provide the Wage File Identifier (WFID).

    • If the employer finds the WFID, ERT informs the employer of the receipt date.

    • If the employer does not find the WFID, ERT asks the employer to fax a copy of the confirmation (optional), and write up a Problem Referral.

    Language barrier – Non-English speaking individual

    • Ask to speak to an English-speaking individual.

    • If not available, politely end the call.

    • Follow the DIRCON mail process.

    Employer does not want to submit corrected report electronically

    Advise the employer to obtain paper W-3c and W-2c from the Internal Revenue Service to correct the wage report.

    Employer refuses to file corrected report

    • Inform the employer that his or her employees will not receive proper credit for their earnings.

    • Inform the employer that IRS may contact him or her about possible penalties.

    • Document the call in EM 1.5.

    • Thank the caller for his or her time.

    Employer verifies the correct information

    • Take correct action based on the information received.

    • Document the call in EM 1.5.

    • Thank the employer for his or her time.

    Employer wishes to receive SSA request for information in writing

    • Advise the employer that we will send the request via U.S. Postal Service.

    • Verify the mailing address with the employer.

    • Prepare the written request for mailing by following the DIRCON mail process.

    • Document the call in EM 1.5

    • Thank the employer for his or her time.

B. DIRCON mail process

DEBS must make direct contact via mail when unable to contact the employer by telephone. Some examples include:

  • Telephone contact made, but the caller did not speak English;

  • Telephone contact was unsuccessful;

  • Unable to locate a phone number or the number located was disconnected; or

  • Telephone contact was successful, but the employer was unable or unwilling to cooperate

1. Locate employer mailing address

DEBS must use the following method to locate the correct mailing address for the employer.

  • Use the employer mailing address from the W-3 or W-3c.

  • Use the Alpha- (Employer Identification File) Query (AEQY) to verify that the W-3 address is the most current mailing address.

2. DEBS process

You can locate all the DIRCON notices and related notices on the DEBS SharePoint site:

DEBS technicians must use the following instructions to make direct contact via mail with the employer.

NOTE: Technicians should not save the fill-in information in the SharePoint notice.

  1. Prepare an Employee Data Information sheet for each Social Security number (SSN).

    • Fill-in the appropriate gray boxes.

    • Proofread for accuracy.

    • Print a copy to mail.

  2. Prepare initial W-2c Alerts cover notice for mailing.

    • Fill-in the appropriate gray boxes

    • Proofread for accuracy.

    • Print a copy to mail.

    • Do not save keyed information in the SharePoint’s notice.

  3. Prepare envelope for mailing.

    • Place cover notice on top of the Employee Information sheet.

    • Enclose reply envelope, if applicable.

    • Enclose a postage paid envelope when requesting information from an impartial third party, who is not required to furnish the requested information; such as an employer furnishing information to assist SSA in correcting wage report errors that were not the fault of the employer.

    • Annotate the lower left corner “W-2c Alerts”.

  4. Place contents inside the envelope (Do not seal).

  5. Release for review.

  6. Document report of contact in EM 1.5

  7. Annotate listing and release.

C. Undeliverable mail

Occasionally, the U.S. Postal Service will return DIRCON mail as undeliverable. DEBS will not try to re-mail any undeliverable mail. The technician must pull material from the holding file and destroy all case material. No additional action is necessary. Do not adjust the earnings record. Document the action on the Report of Contact in EM 1.5. Annotate the listing and release the case for review.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0102032075
RM 02032.075 - Direct Contact (DIRCON) Process in the Division of Earnings and Business Services (DEBS) - 05/19/2016
Batch run: 05/19/2016
Rev:05/19/2016