TN 29 (03-11)
GN 00203.070 Medicare Only Beneficiary Notices
SSA sends notices to Medicare-only beneficiaries:
Five months prior to the beneficiary attaining age 70 and, whose
Beneficiary Identification Code (BIC) is “T”
These notices inform individuals that they are eligible for full retirement benefits even if they are continuing to work, and encourage them to contact SSA to apply for benefits. Beneficiaries will receive a second notice at age 70, and four months if they have not filed an application for retirement benefits.
In May 2010, SSA began sending a one-time mailing to all BIC “T” beneficiaries who are under age 69 and two months, BIC “T” beneficiaries also will receive a notice one month before they reach full retirement age (FRA).
For a description of written statements that do not meet the requirements for protective filing see GN 00204.010.
A. Responding to benefit inquiries
Take the follow actions below whenever a Medicare only beneficiary inquires about retirement insurance benefits (RIB) because he or she has received one of the notices in NL 00722.155. Make sure the beneficiary files an application for retirement benefits, and follow the protective filing procedures.
1. Explanation of full retirement benefits
Explain that an insured beneficiary will become entitled to full retirement benefits upon the attainment of full retirement age even if he or she continues to work (i.e., work and earnings will not affect his or her ability to receive SSA benefits).
2. Verification of entitlement
Access the appropriate queries (e.g., MBR, MCS, etc.) to determine the status of the individual's entitlement.
3. Protective filings
Establish a protective writing, whenever necessary, based on the date of the inquiry to prevent loss of benefits. Follow the Protective Filing instructions located in GN 00204.010B.
4. Scheduling of appointments
Do not schedule an appointment earlier than the month following the date of the notice if, the individual is making an inquiry concerning his or her retirement insurance benefit (RIB) and wants their Month of Election (MOEL) effective the month he or she attains age 70. The system cannot process advance file cases any earlier than four months prior to the MOEL.
In most cases, a claimant who continues to work will not lose any benefits if:
he or she makes an appointment,
we establish a date of entitlement prior to the month of attainment of age 70, and
we place him or her in work suspense through the month of attaining age 70.
In all other situations, follow routine procedures for scheduling appointments.
B. Claims interview procedure
Take the following actions during the interview:
determine protective filing dates,
consider the effects of delayed retirement credits (DRC), and
explain MOEL options so that the claimant may make an informed decision.