TN 1 (11-21)

RM 02236.010 Potential Blanket Adjustment Referral Process for DEBS, EAB

The Division of Earnings and Business Services, Earnings Adjustment Branch (DEBS, EAB) technicians are responsible for reviewing and investigating the record to determine the appropriate action to correct the number holder’s record via Item Correction (ICOR). For appropriate procedure on the Item Correction Adjustment Process refer to MSOM EM 019.002.

A. Investigate and analyze the discrepancy

DEBS, EAB technicians take the following approach to investigate and analyze the discrepancy:

  1. 1. 

    Obtain a numident for verification purpose;

  2. 2. 

    Analyze the case;

  3. 3. 

    Access all of the necessary queries e.g., Detailed Earnings Report Query and Response (DEQY or DEQR), Employer Report Query and Response (ERQY or ERQR), etc.;

  4. 4. 

    Check all scouting resources, microfilm and online resources (Quarterly-Report Card Listing (RCL) and Master Block - Annual Wage Reporting (AWR) EAMATE Online EAMATE and Online Retrieval System ORS); and

    NOTE: SSA no longer stores EAMATE earnings data for years 1978 through 2000 on microfilm. If the data cannot be retrieved via SSA electronic systems, (i.e., EAMATE Online, GIR, PCOM), the requestor is responsible for obtaining the data by other means (e.g., contacting an employer or the IRS).

  5. 5. 

    Determine the type of error:

    • Error involves more than one employee for the same employer and the same period;

    • Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes processed as FICA wages

    • Original report (Form W-2) and corrected report (Form W-2c) posted to the Master Earnings File (MEF);

    • Medicare Qualified Government Employee (MQGE) wages posted as FICA wages or FICA wages posted as MQGE;

    • W-2 shows FICA wages, ERQY shows as NON-FICA report;

      NOTE: Also could be Agriculture (AG) or Household (HH).

    • Tips not processed or incorrectly processed as FICA wages, (e.g., tips included in wages);

      NOTE: FICA wages plus FICA tips should equal Medicare total on W-2. When making an adjustment in ICOR to correct tips to zero, DO NOT DELETE; Always CHANGE tips to 00 (zero).

    • Adjustment Offset (AOFF) is an electronic duplicate adjustment offset or Duplicate (DUPE) is an electronic offset of duplicate - State & Local wages, posted under the Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) in error (1978-1980);

    • Excess debits or credits;

    • Period Correction; etc.

B. Criteria to identify employer wage report that may need a blanket adjustment

During the course of investigation, DEBS, EAB will use the following criteria to identify an employer wage report that may require a blanket adjustment:

  1. 1. 

    Perform a five employee’s check. Randomly select employees Social Security Number (SSN) from the beginning, middle and end of the report;

  2. 2. 

    Obtain the DEQY or DEQR for each SSN;

  3. 3. 

    Obtain the ERQY for the Employer Identification Number (EIN) or the Report Card List (RCL) microfilm for quarterly;

  4. 4. 

    Review the Master Earnings File (MEF) to verify the money amount posted;

  5. 5. 

    Determine whether the wage report needs a blanket adjustment; and

  6. 6. 

    Prepare the potential blanket adjustment (PBA) referral via the Earnings Control Workload System (ECWS);

    NOTE:Only prepare a PBA referral for a wage report that consists of six or more employees. If the wage report consists of five or less employees, DEBS, EAB is responsible for making the adjustment via ICOR.

C. Preparing a PBA referral via ECWS

NOTE: If the wage report consists of five or less employees, DEBS, EAB is responsible for making the adjustment via ICOR.

If the wage report has six or more employees, DEBS, EAB should access ECWS to establish PBA referral using the following instructions:

  1. 1. 

    Access ECWS to establish a batch;

  2. 2. 

    Select “DEBS, EAB” from the menu;

  3. 3. 

    Select “BATCH”;

  4. 4. 

    Select “Potential Blanket Adjustment Referral”; and

  5. 5. 

    Fill-in the following data:

    • EIN or FEIN – Employer Identification Number;

    • Tax year(s) – enter TY(s) of wage report(s)

    • Employer – Employer or Company’s name;

    • SSN(s) – the five employees’ SSNs used to identify the employer report problem;

    • Reasons for referral; - Select the reasons for the referral from the dropdown menu or select “Other” and provide an explanation. Explain the reason for referral in the comments area: Technicians may use the “Other” box alone or in conjunction with any of the other reasons listed above. See facsimile of ECWS PBA Referral Batch Screen in RM 02236.020; and

  6. 6. 

    Click on ‘Continue” to release the batch to DEBS or select “More Batches” to enter additional referrals.

D. Non blanket adjustment returns

If DEBS determines that the wage report does not require a blanket adjustment, they will return the referral to DEBS, EAB via ECWS. NOTE: These returned items are informational for DEBS, EAB to determine if there is a need to issue reminders or for future training purposes. DEBS, EAB will use the following step to handle any returned items:

DEBS, EAB Management Support Specialist (MSS) should:

  1. 1. 

    Access ECWS Report list to check for returned referrals;

  2. 2. 

    Receive the “Rejects”;

  3. 3. 

    Print the referrals;

  4. 4. 

    Select “RELEASE” on DEBS, EAB Release screen; and

  5. 5. 

    Review DEBS action to determine the reason for not considering the referral a blanket adjustment and then take one of the following actions:

    • Inform the technician,

    • Issue a reminder to all technicians, or

    • Retain the information (if needed) for future training purposes.

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RM 02236.010 - Potential Blanket Adjustment Referral Process for DEBS, EAB - 11/10/2021
Batch run: 11/10/2021