Program Operations Manual System (POMS)
TN 11 (09-87)
RM 03803.020 Time Limits for Resolving Possible Errors in Employee Earnings Records
The Rivera court decision requires the Social Security Administration to provide an initial determination to the number holder (NH) within 3 years of the filing of the Form SSA-7008 (Request for Correction of Earnings Record) or similar signed statement.
An initial determination is necessary for all disagreement, discrepancy, scrambled wage or IRS cases.
The timeframe for the 3-year period does not begin until SSA receives notice from an individual of possible error in his/her earnings record or SSA notifies an individual that it is reviewing on its own motion his/her earnings record for accuracy.
Use the following processing guidelines in applying time limits for initial determinations:
In all cases where the NH has notified SSA of a problem with his/her earnings, whether by an SSA-7008 or similar signed statement, an initial determination must be made within 3 years of the receipt date by SSA.
In those cases where SSA has been notified by a third party, becomes aware of the problem internally, or discovers the earnings problem by any means other than the NH, the 3-year period begins with the date SSA first contacts the individual(s) involved to advise that we are reviewing the pertinent earnings record for accuracy.
The 3-year period may be extended to 3 years, 3 months and 15 days only if, at the end of the 3-year mark, SSA is awaiting a response to a specific request for additional evidence. However, an initial determination must be made within 3 years, 3 months, 15 days of receipt or notification discussed in D.1. and D.2. above.
NOTE: SSA's policy goal is to strive to complete ED development and make an initial determination in all cases within 6 months' time.