Program Operations Manual System (POMS)
TN 11 (09-87)
RM 03844.006 Reviewing Initial Field Office Development of Earnings Discrepancy Cases
In the initial development of an earnings discrepancy case, the FO is responsible for supplying the following:
Evidence and/or appropriate documentation to resolve any questionable covered wages.
Primary or sufficient secondary evidence (when primary evidence cannot be obtained) showing earnings in exact or substantial agreement.
A completed Form SSA-7000 U5 (Notice of Determination of SEI), and/or SSA-7010 U5 (Notice of Determination of FICA Wages).
Written documentation explaining the reason(s) for not securing the information in 1. or 2. above.
NOTE: The FO does not have to contact the employer for evidence if the NH does not provide permission to do so.
Written documentation if the NH has agreed to accept the posted amount or accept the amount on evidence furnished by the employer when the amount is not in exact or substantial agreement with the alleged amount.
Written documentation if the NH has withdrawn the request for correction of the earnings record.
Any additional information or evidence which will allow OCRO to correct a reporting problem that also resolves the employee earnings discrepancy.
NOTE: If the FO development indicates an employer reporting problem or includes information/evidence relating to other employees, process per RM 03812.029 A-E.
If the case involves scrambled earnings, the FO is also responsible for resolving the following issues:
To determine if the SSN being used by more than one individual belongs to the individual in their area.
To secure a correct SSN for the individual in their area if it is determined that the scrambled SSN does not belong to that individual.
To secure a written statement claiming or disclaiming earnings on the scrambled record.
When necessary, to contact each employer who reported the wages in question for personal identifying information needed to determine the individual(s) who was employed.
Requesting the issuance of a multiple SSN, when required.
Documenting, in writing, the reason(s) for not securing any of the above information.
Upon receipt of development from the FO, match the EIN of the employer involved in the allegation to the latest Employer Reports Listings received from DEEA. If the EIN:
Appears on any of the three listings, apply the applicable instructions inRM 03812.005C. Make a copy of all material for filing in the established ED folder for the case.
Does not appear on any of the three listings, continue to process the case per the instructions in D.-H. below.
After instructions in C. above have been applied, review the material to ensure that:
The necessary information to resolve the earnings discrepancy to the extent possible has been provided, or
The FO has provided documentation explaining the reason(s) why the information could not be obtained.
Request an updated MEF printout for all SSN's involved in the case.
NOTE: Since the earnings records are updated as frequently as weekly, this action is necessary to determine if additional earnings have been posted to the record(s), if “B” is currently using “A's” SSN, or if a more recent employer is involved of which the DO is not aware, etc..
If the case involves scrambled earnings, determine if the SSN determinations made by the FO's agree. It is possible that each FO decided that the scrambled SSN belongs to the person in its area. If this happens, notify each FO of the other's determination and request that the problem be resolved or that written documentation be provided to show that an SSN determination could not be made.
Redevelop the case with the FO only if one of the following conditions is present:
The FO failed to provide written documentation for not obtaining the information or evidence to resolve the discrepancy to the extent possible.
The FO failed to fully develop an “Exception” Case (migrant farmworker etc.) as spelled out in RM 03870.004.C.
The case material contains a possible address that was not considered by the FO, i.e., latest address shown on the AWR (Annual Wage Report) or EAMATE (Microfilm of Annual Tape Employers) microfilm.
The FO secured the requested information or evidence but the original development request (SSA-5533 U4) did not ask for all the information or evidence necessary to resolve the case.
It is necessary to request additional information, evidence, etc., due to the specific facts of the case.
NOTE: Redevelop the case via telephone contact per RM 03844.009 whenever possible. Prepare another SSA-5533 U4 per RM 03803.055.C. only if the requirements for telephone contact are not met.
When the FO(s) has resolved any SSN issue or provided written documentation for the reason(s) an SSN determination could not be made, and has provided all the information, evidence and documentation necessary to make a determination on any earnings discrepancy, process the case per applicable instructions in this chapter.