BASIC (04-13)

RM 02236.015 Potential Blanket Adjustment (PBA) Referral Process for DBS

The Division of Business Services (DBS) has the authority to process blanket adjustments to correct an entire or partial employer wage report.

A. Receipt and control PBA referrals in ECWS

DBS’ personnel are responsible for receiving and controlling the referrals in the Earnings Case Workload System (ECWS). See facsimile of ECWS PBA Referral Batch Screen in RM 02236.020.

DBS’s personnel perform the following steps to receipt and control these referrals:

  1. Management Support Specialist (MSS) should:

    • Access ECWS;

    • Check ECWS report for receipt of the referrals; and

    • Inform the Recon Control Area personnel of the referrals.

  2. Earnings Operations Expert (EOE) should:

    • Access ECWS,

    • Select “RECON” from the menu,

    • Select “ASSIGN”,

    • Select “Potential Blanket Adjustment Referral”,

    • Print the batch, and

    • Place it in the “Work-In-Process” tray for the Earnings Specialist to process.

B. Analyzing and investigating the PBA referral

The Earnings Specialist (ES) is responsible for analyzing and investigating the referral to determine the appropriate action to correct the employer’s report and any inaccuracies.

Use the following steps to identify if a blanket adjustment is necessary to correct the employer report:

  1. Check the Wage Reporting System (WRS):

    1. Access WRS (http://nynet.ny.ssa.gov/WRPS/);

    2. Input the Employer Identification Number (EIN)(s) from the referrals;

      If …

      Then …

      EIN is not present in WRS

      Continue case processing – Go to Step 2

      EIN is present in WRS and the tax year is missing or not showing

      Continue case processing – Go to Step 2

      EIN and tax year is present in WRS

      Check the “Status” field to determine, which WRS condition the screen displays – Review the chart below for next action.

    3. Review the following chart to determine the next processing action;

      If the WRS condition displays the following…

      Then …

      • Pending in RO,

      • Pending in OCO, Adjustment in Process, or

      • Report in Process - Report sent to WBDOC; or

      • Investigate

      • Do not process an adjustment;

      • Print WRS results to query;

      • Release case to EOE for referral to Employer Reporting Specialist

      • Resolved at RO level;

      • Complete - Employer Problem Resolved;

      • Unable to Resolve – Take EM 2.8 action if necessary

      • Barred to Correction (Statute of Limitations Applies)

      • Other

      Continue case processing– Go to Step 2

  2. Report Query (ERQY) for EIN.

  3. Check the Employer Report Query Response (ERQR) for posting inaccuracies.

  4. Use EIN and tax year from the referrals to determine if previous blanket adjustment was made:

    1. If no previous correction activity on the ERQR; continue case processing; Go to Step 5 or

    2. If previous correction activity shown resolves the referral condition (i.e., corrected wage report, blanket Access the Report Correction System (RCOR) adjustment):

      • No action is necessary (NAN),

      • Annotate on the referrals “NAN”, and

      • Release to control personnel.

  5. Access RCOR for all EINs and tax years on the referrals to determine if an adjustment is pending or completed. Use the following chart to determine the next processing action:

    If an adjustment is…

    Then …

    Pending;

    Review RCOR screen RR03 to view Owner’s input selection and Owner’s Text screen on RR05.

    RCOR adjustment action does not resolve referral request;

    Continue case processing – Go to Step 6.

    RCOR adjustment action resolves the referral;

    No further action necessary; release to control personnel

    Complete;

    Use the SSN from the RR08 screen to verify if the action taken resolved the request.

    RCOR adjustment action does not resolve referral request;

    Continue case processing – Go to Step 6.

    RCOR adjustment action resolves the referral;

    No further action necessary. Release to control personnel.

  6. Access all appropriate microfilm resources for specific EIN(s) and tax year(s) to determine if the wage report requires a corrective action; Go to Step 7.

  7. Review the following chart to determine if Statute of Limitations is a factor; Go to Step 8.

    NOTE: An employer has 3 years, 3 months, and 15 days following the taxable year to file a report; this period is the Statute of Limitations (SOL).

    SSA …

    Reference …

    may revise an earnings record (ER) at any time before the end of the time limitation.

    For revisions before expiration of time limitation Refer to RS 02201.002

    may revise the earnings record if we initiate an investigation before the time limitation expires but the determination to revise the ER is not made until after the time limitation expires.

    For revisions after expiration of time limitation, refer to RS 02201.008

    can correct an earnings record after the expiration of the time limitation where there is a mechanical, clerical or other error apparent on the face of SSA's record.

    For revisions where there is a mechanical, clerical or other error apparent on the face of SSA's record, refer to RS 02201.012.)

  8. Access a Detailed Earnings Query (DEQY) for a random selection of Social Security Numbers (SSN) shown in the wage report (e.g., select an SSN from begin, middle and three SSNs from the end of the wage report) to compare with the microfilm; Go to Step 9.

  9. Compare the microfilm and the Detailed Earnings Query Response (DEQR) to determine if the referral meet the criteria of a blanket wage correction

  10. Analyze the DEQR to determine if correction resolved the PBA referral

  11. Process the PBA referral according to the chart in RM 02236.015C.

C. Procedure for the potential blanket adjustment referral

The ES should process the PBA referral according to the type of request. Use one of the appropriate following charts to determine the required actions to process the referral:

1. Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes processed as FICA wages

If …

Then …

DEQR shows a partial wage report was processed:

  1. Make correction via RCOR for partial report;

  2. Select 100 percent Manual Intervention to correct money amounts on RR09 screen;

  3. Complete Owner’s Text screen with rationale on RR11 screen; and

  4. Query RCOR to provide print of RR08:

  5. Access ECWS referrals:

    • Select the RCOR box;

    • Annotate an explanation of action taken and send for a review; and

    • Select the “Review” box.

DBS determined that no blanket adjustment is needed;

Access ECWS referrals:

  • Select return to DERO;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken and send for a review; and

  • Select the “Review” box.

2. Original wage report (Form W-2) and corrected wage report (Form W-2c) are both posted to the DEQR (DBS should conform to the employer’s intent of the Form W-2c)

If …

Then …

DEQR shows the entire original report was posted incorrectly;

  • Make correction via RCOR;

  • Use RR09 screen to establish correction for entire original report;

  • Complete Owner’s Text screen with rationale on RR11 screen;

  • Query RCOR to provide print of RR08; and

Access ECWS referrals:

  • Select the RCOR box;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken and send for a review; and

  • Select the “Review” box.

DEQR shows the entire corrected report was not incorrectly posted;

  • Make correction via Item Correction (ICOR) on SSN(s);

  • Complete worksheet remarks with rational for action taken;

  • After releasing adjustment to Master Earnings File (MEF); print ERLS screen; and

Access ECWS referral form:

  • Select the ICOR box;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken and send for a review; and

  • Select the “Review” box.

NOTE: RCOR cannot be used on a corrected report

DBS determined that no blanket adjustment is needed;

Access ECWS referrals:

  • Select the return to DERO;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken and reason for returning to DERO; and

Select the “Review” box

3. Medicare Qualified Government Employee (MQGE) wages posted as FICA wages or FICA wages posted as MQGE

If …

Then …

DEQR shows MQGE wages was posted as FICA wages – entire report;

  1. Make correction via Report Correction (RCOR);

  2. Use RR09 screen to establish correction for entire report;

  3. Complete Employment Type (EET) field on the RCOR RR09 screen;

  4. Confirm EET by entering “Y” on RR10 screen;

  5. Complete Owner’s Text screen with rationale on RR11 screen;

  6. Query RCOR to provide print of RR08; and

  7. Access ECWS referrals:

    • Select the RCOR box;

    • Annotate an explanation of action taken and send for a review; and

    • Select the “Review” box.

DEQR shows MQGE wages was posted as FICA wages – partial report;

  1. Make correction via RCOR

  2. Use RR09 screen to correct partial report

  3. Complete EET field on the RCOR RR09 screen

  4. Confirm EET by entering “Y” on RR10 screen

  5. Input range number (last five digits of Master Run Number (MRN)

  6. Complete Owner’s Text screen with rationale on RR11 screen

  7. Access ECWS referrals:

    • Select the RCOR box;

    • Annotate an explanation of action taken and send for a review; and

    • Select the “Review” box.

DEQR shows FICA wages was posted as MQGE wages – entire report;

  1. Make correction via Report Correction (RCOR);

  2. Use RR09 screen to establish correction for entire report;

  3. Complete EET field on the RCOR RR09 screen;

  4. Confirm EET by entering “Y” on RR10 screen;

  5. Complete Owner’s Text screen with rationale on RR11 screen;

  6. Query RCOR to provide print of RR08; and

  7. Access ECWS referrals:

    • Select the RCOR box;

    • Annotate an explanation of action taken and send for a review; and

    • Select the “Review” box.

DEQR shows FICA wages was posted as MQGE wages – partial report;

  1. Make correction via Report Correction (RCOR)

  2. Use RR09 screen to correct partial report

  3. Complete EET field on the RCOR RR09 screen

  4. Confirm EET by entering “Y” on RR10 screen

  5. Input range number (last 5 of MRN)

  6. Complete Owner’s Text screen with rationale on RR11 screen

  7. Access ECWS referrals:

    • Select the RCOR box;

    • Annotate an explanation of action taken and send for a review; and

    • Select the “Review” box.

DBS determined that no blanket adjustment is needed;

Access ECWS referrals:

  • Select the return to DERO;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken and reason for returning to DERO; and

  • Select send to review.

4. Form W-2 shows FICA wages or the Employer Report Query (ERQY) shows non-FICA report

If …

Then …

Form W-2 shows FICA wages, however, the ERQY or DEQY shows non-FICA report;

Access ECWS referrals:

  • Select return to DERO;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken with the following remarks “Does not meet blanket criteria; SSA does not maintain non-FICA Wages. ICOR correction needed”; and

  • Select send to review.

DBS determined that no blanket adjustment is needed;

Access ECWS referrals:

  • Select return to DERO;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken and reason for returning to DERO; and

  • Select send to review.

5. Tips not processed or incorrectly processed as FICA wages (tips included in wages)

If …

Then …

DEQR shows no Tips was processed or the Tips were incorrectly processed as FICA Wages;

  1. Make correction via RCOR;

  2. Select 100 percent Manual Intervention to correct money amounts on RR03 screen; and

  3. Access ECWS referrals:

    • Select the RCOR box;

    • Annotate an explanation of action taken; and

    • Select send to review.

DBS determined that no blanket adjustment is needed;

Access ECWS referrals:

  • Select return to DERO;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken and reason for returning to DERO; and

  • Select send to review.

6. Adjustment Offset (AOFF) posted (Duplicate (DUPE), or Master Earnings File (MEF) Updated Generated System (MUGS)

If …

Then …

DEQR shows an adjustment action posted creating a MUGS;

  1. Make correction via Item Correction (ICOR) on SSN(s)

  2. Complete worksheet remarks with rational for action taken

  3. After releasing adjustment to Master Earnings File (MEF); print ERLS screen

  4. Access ECWS referrals :

    • Select the ICOR box;

    • Annotate an explanation of action taken; and

    • Select send to review.

DEQR shows a Duplicate Report and the EIN had wages that was previously deleted;

Restore the deleted wages.

DBS determined that no blanket adjustment is needed;

Access ECWS referrals :

  • Select return to DERO;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken and reason for returning to DERO; and

  • Select send to review.

7. Restoring excess debits or credits

If …

Then …

DEQR shows an excess debits exists;

NOTE: This condition involves two EINs.

  1. Make correction via Report Correction (RCOR)

  2. Use RR09 screen to establish correction to delete the entire original report

  3. Complete Owner’s Text screen with rationale on RR11 screen

  4. Query RCOR to provide print of RR08

  5. Access ECWS referrals:

    • Select the RCOR,

    • Annotate an explanation of action taken, and

    • Select send to review.

DBS determined that no blanket adjustment is needed;

Access ECWS referrals:

  • Select return to DERO;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken and reason for returning to DERO; and

  • Select send to review.

DEQR shows an excess credits exists;

NOTE: This involves multiple manual adjustments prior to ICOR and RCOR system adjustments.

  1. Make correction via Report Correction (RCOR)

  2. Use RR09 screen to establish correction for entire original report

  3. Complete Owner’s Text screen with rationale on RR11 screen

  4. Query RCOR to provide print of RR08

  5. Access ECWS referrals:

    • Select the RCOR box,

    • Annotate an explanation of action taken; and

    • Select send to review.

8. Period correction (Incorrect tax year)

If …

Then …

DEQR shows wages posted under the incorrect tax year;

Annual Year

  1. Make correction via Report Correction (RCOR)

  2. Access ECWS referrals:

    • Select the RCOR box,

    • Annotate an explanation of action taken, and

    • Select sent to review.

No Annual Year (Quarterly)

  1. Prepare a referral to EOE

  2. Access ECWS referrals:

    • Select the RCOR box,

    • Annotate an explanation of action taken, and

    • Select send to review.

DBS determined that no blanket adjustment is needed;

Access ECWS referrals:

  • Select return to DERO;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken and reason for returning to DERO; and

  • Select send to review.

9. Other remarks annotated by DERO

If …

Then …

DERO provided comment that does not fit any criteria listed above;

Process these actions based DBS existing processing instructions.

DBS determined that no blanket adjustment is needed;

Access ECWS referrals:

  • Select return to DERO;

  • Annotate an explanation of action taken and reason for returning to DERO; and

  • Select send to review.

D. Direct Contact (DIRCON) needed with the employer

The Division of Business Services (DBS) technicians 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 take the following steps to request a corrected wage report for all employer related errors.

  1. Obtain the employer telephone number using the following sources:

    • Processed Form W-3 or W-3c; and

    • Use the agency or commercial directories (e.g., directory assistance or Internet assistance); Do Not use operator assistance;

  2. Make three telephone attempts to reach the employer; follow the example below if all three attempts are unsuccessful:

  3. Once you make contact with the employer; request the employer to correct or resubmit the wage report.

Example:

One attempt at each interval is necessary to satisfy the maximum number of attempts:

  • First day - attempt made in the morning,

  • Second day – attempt made in the mid-afternoon

  • Third day – final attempt in the evening

    1. Send a dictated notice to the employer, (See facsimile of notice in RM 02236.020) Use the notice on DBS SharePoint site.

    2. Prepare the PBA Direct Contact notice for mailing:

      • Fill-in the appropriate gray boxes,

      • Proofread for accuracy,

      • Print a copy for mailing, and

      • Do not save keyed information in the SharePoint notice.

    3. Prepare envelope for mailing:

      • Enclose reply envelope, if applicable;

      • Enclose a postage paid envelope when requesting information from an impartial third-party. NOTE: An impartial third-party 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;

      • Place contents inside the envelope (Do not seal); and

      • Release for review.

E. Review for the potential blanket adjustment referral

The Earnings Operations Expert (EOE) reviews each case to verify that the Earnings Specialist (ES) processed all actions in accordance to the existing instructions.

EOE should take the following steps to review and determine if the ES process the case correctly:

  1. Review the referral for the incoming information;

  2. Compare the action taken by the ES with the incoming information; and

  3. Review the support material (microprints, ICOR or RCOR screenshot) to verify if the ES processed the request correctly.

  • If the ES processed an incorrect action; return the referrals back to the ES for correction

  • If the ES processed the action correctly; release to the control area

F. Releasing the completed potential blanket adjustment referral

The MSS should take the following steps to close out the case in ECWS:

  1. Access ECWS;

  2. Select DBS Release screen; and

  3. Select release button to close out the batch.

G. Retaining the completed case material

The Control Area’s ES retains the case mater