TN 11 (09-87)

RM 03812.003 Examining, Processing and Disposing of Earnings Disagreement Cases Not Meeting Informational Requirements

  1. If the SSN, period, name of employer or EIN or a properly signed request (as defined in RM 03812.002B.) is not furnished with the incoming correspondence, take the following actions:

    1. Establish a file for these cases.

    2. Prepare the necessary correspondence to the individual.

    3. Enclose a non-penalty return envelope and a blank Form SSA-7008.

    4. Release the case as soon as possible.

    5. Do not close the case on the electronic control system.

    6. Diary the case for 30 calendar days from the date entered on the correspondence. If:

      1. The requested information is received before the expiration of the 30-day diary due date, process per applicable instructions in this subchapter.

      2. The individual responds before the expiration of the 30-day diary due date, and alleges that he/she will be able to provide evidence within 30 days, re-diary the case an additional 30 calendar days. No correspondence is necessary.

      3. The requested information is not received before the expiration of the applicable diary due date in a. or b. above, continue to process per 7. below.

    7. Prepare a closeout letter per RM 03803.071. Advise the individual that if the requested information is not received within 15 calendar days, an investigation will not be initiated.

    8. Diary the case for 15 calendar days from the date on the closeout letter. Do not close the case on electronic control system at this time. If:

      1. The requested information is received before the expiration of the 15-day diary due date, process per applicable instructions in this subchapter.

      2. The individual responds before the expiration of the 15-day diary due date, and alleges that he/she will be able to provide evidence within 30 days, re-diary the case an additional 30 calendar days. No correspondence is necessary.

      3. The requested information is not received before the expiration of the applicable diary due date in a. or b. above, close the case on the electronic control system and dispose of all material per RM 03803.073.

  2. If the evidence requirements cited in RM 03812.002C are not met, a limited investigation (per applicable instructions in C.-D. below) may be initiated if one of the following exceptions applies:

    1. The worker or self-employed person alleges that the earnings for a specific employer or self-employment income posted to his/her MEF are more than what they should be and signs a statement disclaiming the excess earnings (this usually occurs when another person's earnings have been erroneously reported to the worker's or self-employed person's MEF); or

    2. Good cause exists for the individual's inability to produce supporting evidence and SSA has reason to believe its assistance would be productive in obtaining such evidence. In this context, “good cause” means that, in SSA's judgment, there is a creditable explanation of why primary and secondary evidence is unavailable and the individual has made reasonable efforts to obtain such evidence without success. This includes situations when there is reason to believe that employer records are available, but the employer refuses to provide the requested evidence. Assume the employer's records are available for any year that is within 4 years of the date the W-2 should have been filed. SSA will attempt to contact the employer and may subpoena the employer's records, if necessary (see RM 03870.008B.2. for development guidelines); or

    3. There is no entry on the MEF for the individual for a specific employer and

      • There is an allegation by the worker that FICA taxes were withheld from his or her earnings or it seems clear that the earnings were covered but the worker and the employer cannot provide evidence (it is expected that the worker has contacted the employer, and the employer has given a creditable explanation as to why no evidence is available), and

      • SSA records show that the employer filed a FICA wage report for the period in question, and

      • The individual provides the following information:

        1. the employer's name and location (city and state)

        2. the period involved

        3. the approximate amount of earnings

        4. the SSN and name the NH believes was used by the employer to report the earnings

    4. As required under the consent order and judgment in Rivera v. Heckler, CA. No. K 74-236 CA 8 (W.D. Mich., S.D. 1983), the individual is a migrant farmworker whose agricultural employer did not file proper Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) wage reports.

      NOTE: In all cases where an individual requests correction of an earnings record, a decision to grant or deny the request will be made only after reviewing all the evidence submitted by the individual or developed by SSA during its investigation. The initial determination, which may be appealed by the individual, will be made on the basis of the available information, generally within 3 years of the date the request is filed.

  3. If the exception in B.1. above applies and the requirements in RM 03816.016.B are:

    1. Met, take the following actions:

      1. Transfer the earnings to suspense per RM 03816.021A.

      2. Prepare a closeout letter per RM 03803.071.

      3. Close the case on the electronic control system.

      4. Dispose of all material per RM 03803.073.

    2. Not met, process per instructions in RM 03816.016.C

  4. If the exception in B.2, B.3, or B.4 above applies, process as follows:

    1. Check the MEF printout to determine if the alleged earnings are posted and to verify all other identifying information. If the earnings are:

      1. Posted, close the case per applicable procedure in this chapter.

      2. Not posted and the SSN appears incorrect, process per A.1. - A.8. above.

      3. Not posted, the SSN is correct and only the employer's name has been provided, continue to process per 2.-3. below.

      4. Not posted, the SSN is correct and the EIN has been provided, continue to process per 3. below.

    2. Scout the employer alpha file to obtain an EIN. If an EIN is:

      1. Located, continue to process per 3. below.

      2. Not located, process per A. above.

    3. Scout the REL to determine if the employer filed a report. If the EIN:

      1. Appears on the REL, continue to process per 4. below.

      2. Does not appear on the REL:

        1. Prepare a closeout letter per RM 03803.071.

        2. Close the case on the electronic control system.

        3. Dispose of all material per RM 03803.073.

    4. Scout to the suspense file. If the earnings:

      1. Appear in the suspense file:

        1. Reinstate them to the correct earnings record.

        2. Prepare a closeout letter per RM 03803.071.

        3. Close the case on the electronic control system.

        4. Dispose of all material per RM 03803.073.

      2. Do not appear in the suspense file and the case was received through the FO:

        1. Prepare a closeout letter per RM 03803.071. Advise the individual that no further action can be taken unless additional evidence can be obtained.

        2. Close the case on the electronic control system.

        3. Dispose of all material per RM 03803.073.

          NOTE: Generally, if a case has been received through the FO, it can be assumed that all efforts to obtain evidence have been pursued before the case was forwarded to OCRO for processing. However, if the material associated with the case suggests incomplete development to obtain evidence, do not apply the instructions in D.4.b. above. Instead, redevelop the case through the FO per RM 03803.055.

      3. Do not appear in the suspense file, the case was not received through the FO, and the exception in B.2. above applies, contact the employer per the instructions in RM 03803.053.

      4. Do not appear in the suspense file, the case was not received through the FO, and the exception in B.3. above applies, take the following action:

        1. Prepare a closeout letter per RM 03803.071. Advise the individual that no further action can be taken unless additional evidence can be obtained.

        2. Close the case on the electronic control system.

        3. Dispose of all material per RM 03803.073.

      5. Do not appear in the suspense file, the case was not received through the FO, and the exception in B.4. above applies, develop the case through the FO per RM 03803.055.

  5. If evidence per RM 03812.002C has not been submitted, an SSA-7008 has not been completed and no information is furnished to determine if an exception per B. above applies, process per A.1 - A.8. above.

  6. If evidence per RM 03812.002C has not been submitted, an SSA-7008 has been completed and no exception per B. above applies:

    1. Prepare a closeout letter per RM 03803.071. Advise the individual that no action can be taken unless additional evidence can be obtained.

    2. Close the case on the electronic control system.

    3. Dispose of all material per RM 03803.073.

      NOTE: If insufficient information is supplied on the Form SSA-7008 to determine if an exception in B. above applies, assume that no exceptions are applicable.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0103812003
RM 03812.003 - Examining, Processing and Disposing of Earnings Disagreement Cases Not Meeting Informational Requirements - 03/02/1999
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:03/02/1999