TN 10 (10-94)

RM 03870.015 Development of Earnings Records Inaccuracies

A. Procedure

Take the following action to develop and resolve ER inaccuracies involving wages. If the NH alleges self-employment earnings are incorrect, follow RS 01804.044 - RS 01804.200 for development guidelines.

1. Why NH Questions ER

Determine the reason for the NH's inquiry.

  • If the NH does not indicate that there is a specific problem with the ER and the NH has not requested or received a PEBES or other earnings statement, forward a SSA-7004 to the NH.

  • If the NH questions earnings that are for the current or preceding year (lag) see RS 01404.005 - RS 01404.018, RM 03870.006.

  • If the earnings in question are non-covered, explain to the NH that the earnings are not covered for Social Security purposes.

2. Identify NH

If the NH is questioning earnings for a given period, obtain identifying information from the NH and compare it to the Numident to verify that the SSN belongs to the NH.

Follow RM 10210.405 through RM 10210.430 to establish the NH's identity.

3. Obtain SEQY/DEQY

Request SEQY and/or DEQY for period in question to determine if the MEF has already been corrected. For comparison purposes, the DEQY request should include years before and after the year(s) in question.

The DEQY provides such information as:

  • Did the employer report wages for the NH in the year(s) in question correctly? In the other year(s)?

  • Did all the employers report wages for the year in question? Are there missing reports from an employer?

  • Were the wages posted as non-covered instead of covered wages?

If the wages are correctly posted, check the posting run date to see if the wages were posted after the PEBES statement was generated. Explain that the problem has been corrected since the statement was issued.

4. Gap - Prior to 1978

Under IC take the following action if the NH's ER shows no earnings for any year(s) prior to 1978 from a given employer:

  • Request evidence of earnings per RS 01403.010.

  • Request “feedback” (RM 03870.001B.) if the sum of the posted earnings details does not equal the summary earnings or the summary earnings are 0 and the Q/C pattern is other than NNNN. (MSOM EM 016.002, MSOM EM 016.003). If the missing earnings are posted by OCRO as the result of the feedback, no additional development is needed. The DEQY will show that the earnings in question have been posted. Clear the case using the Earnings Development Clearance (ECLR) screen (MSOM EM 031.003). Notify the NH that the earnings have been added.

  • If the missing earnings are not posted as the result of feedback, query on-line Suspense file (MSOM EM 013.001) and reinstate the earnings if located in Suspense to the NH's SSN. (MSOM EM 013.001). Clear the case and advise the NH that the earnings have been added to his/her ER.

    IMPORTANT: DO NOT REINSTATE IF 2 or more individuals are shown in Suspense for the same employer with the same name without sufficient evidence of earnings. Develop as necessary for potential scramble.

  • If the earnings are not located in Suspense, add the earnings to the ER (MEF) using the appropriate IC screens. (MSOM EM 019.001 - MSOM EM 031.001)

5. Gap - 1978 or Later

  1. Take the following action under IC if the NH alleges no earnings posted from an given employer for years after 1977 which are outside the Statute of Limitations.

    • Determine the employer's EIN. The NH may be able to provide the EIN from the W-2, or the EIN can be found on the DEQY for the same employer in the years surrounding those in question.

      If the EIN is unavailable from the above sources, use the Alpha EIN Query (AEQY) to identify the EIN. The EIN is needed in order to query Suspense and the ERQY.

    • Query the ERQY to determine if the employer has submitted wage reports for the years in question. (MSOM QUERIES 005.011)

      NOTE: If the ERQY shows no report filed by the employer in question omit the steps below relating to the Suspense file.

    • Query online Suspense (MSOM EM 013.001).

    • If the earnings are located in Suspense and were placed in Suspense because it is apparent that there is an incorrect surname or SSN on the W-2, reinstate the earnings to the NH via IC (MSOM EM 013.001). It is not necessary to see the W-2, however there must be no question concerning the NH's identity, that the earnings belong to the NH or with the amount of earnings.

    • If the Suspense query shows 2 or more individuals with the same name, or if there is a question of the amount of earnings involved, or any other issue do not reinstate the earnings. Develop to determine the correct amount of earnings.

      EXAMPLE: Maria S~, SSN XXX-XX-XXXX, alleges earnings of $1700 in 1992, from the CBQ Corporation. The DEQY shows no earnings posted for 1992. The Suspense query shows earnings of $1750 for M. A. S~, SSN XXX-XX-XXXX and $1600 for Maria S~, SSN XXX-XX-XXXX from the CBQ Corporation in 1992. No earnings can be posted to Maria S~ without further development.

    • Obtain evidence of earnings per RS 01403.010.

    • When sufficient evidence of earnings is received, correct the ER using the appropriate IC screen.

    • See RS 01404.110 for prelag development requirements in claims cases, i.e., documentation requirements of uncorrected gap situations, etc.

  2. If no evidence of earnings is available, request scouting from OCRO for the employer's EIN and year. If scouting locates the earnings, clear the case using the above appropriate procedure.

    If scouting does not locate the earnings, see RS 01403.080 for consideration of possible subpoena action. (If the case is in IC, clear the case, document the referral to the RO for possible subpoena action and advise the NH of the action taken.)

  3. If the request for correction is being denied because of no evidence or insufficient evidence (subpoena action is not appropriate), forward the request and evidence to either OCRO or the PSC, as appropriate for a final decision.

6. Gap - Within Statute of Limitations

Take the following action via IC if the gap is within the Statute of Limitations:

  • Query the ERQY to determine if the employer filed a report.

  • If the ERQY shows no employer report, request evidence of earnings per RS 01403.010. Correct the ER in IC.

  • If the employer filed a report, query online Suspense. If the earnings are located in Suspense, reinstate the earnings (MSOM EM 013.001) if there is no question concerning the identity of the NH or the amount of earnings. (See 4. and 5. above concerning Suspense reinstate requirements.)

  • If the wages are in Suspense but there is a question of identity or of the earnings amount, develop evidence to resolve the issue.

  • If the earnings are not in Suspense and the ERQY shows that an employer report was filed, request scouting. (MSOM EM 016.001).

  • If the scouting locates the earnings, clear the case. (MSOM EM 031.003) Notify the NH of the action taken.

  • If scouting does not locate the earnings, develop for evidence of earnings, RS 01403.010.

  • Correct the MEF using IC. If IC has not been expanded to your office, follow the steps above to correct an ER within the Statute of Limitations, except prepare an SSA-7010-U5 to correct the ER.

7. Incomplete Posted Earnings Prior to 1978

  1. Under IC take the following action, if the NH alleges incomplete earnings from his/her employer for any year prior to 1978.

    • Request evidence of earnings. (RS 01403.010)

    • Request “feedback” (RM 03870.001B.) (MSOM EM 016.001) from OCRO if required.

    • If OCRO locates the missing earnings as the result of the feedback request, OCRO will post the earnings to the MEF. The DEQY will reflect the updated posting and credit the earnings to the NH's MEF. Clear the case. Notify the NH of the action taken.

  2. If no evidence of earnings is available, request scouting from OCRO for the employer's EIN and year (MSOM EM 016.001). If scouting locates the missing earnings, clear the case per a. above. Advise the NH of the action taken.

  3. If IC has not been expanded to your office or the correction is for unreported tips then:

    • Request an SSA-7008 (RM 03870.010).

    • Request evidence of earnings.

    • Prepare form SSA-7010-U5 to correct the wages per RS 01405.000 ff.

    • If the NH's request for correction is being denied because of insufficient evidence and/or no evidence (subpoena action is not being considered), then forward the SSA-7008 and any documentation to either OCRO or the PSC as appropriate.

8. Incomplete Postings After 1977

  1. Take the following action under IC for years after 1977 where the NH alleges incomplete earnings posted to the ER.

    • Request evidence of earnings.

    • Correct the MEF. (MSOM EM 022.001)

  2. If no evidence of earnings is available, request scouting from OCRO for the employer is EIN and year case per A. above. If scouting does not locate the earnings, see RS 01403.080 for consideration of possible subpoena action. If the case is transferred to the RO for possible subpoena action, clear the case, indicate the transfer the RO and the reason what. Advise the NH of action taken.

  3. Take the following action for years after 1977 where the NH alleges incomplete earnings on his/her ER and IC has not been expanded to your office.

    • Request an SSA-7008.

    • Request evidence of earnings.

    • Prepare form SSA-7010-U5 and forward the SSA-7010 along with the evidence to OCRO or the PC, as appropriate.

      NOTE: See RS 01404.110 for claims cases documentation requirements if the MEF is not being corrected.

9. Duplicate or Erroneous Postings

If the ER problem is the result of a duplicate or erroneous posting, see RS 01404.140 for development and correction of the ER.

10. Evidence Retention

Do not retain evidence for cases processed in IC. Document any special circumstances or evidence on the narrative portion of the Earnings Adjustment Rationale (EART) screen (MSOM EM 026.001).

Prior to the expansion of IC (or if the correction is for unreported tips or certain lag situations) forward the request for correction, evidence and any pertinent adjustment form to either OCRO or the PSC, as appropriate for a final decision and adjustment of the MEF.

B. References


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0103870015
RM 03870.015 - Development of Earnings Records Inaccuracies - 08/03/2011
Batch run: 08