TN 86 (09-17)

GN 00204.150 Authorization to Obtain Wage and Employment Information from Payroll Data Providers via an Information Exchange for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Programs

Citations:

Public Law 114-74
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, section 824

A. Background on obtaining wage and employment information from payroll data providers via an information exchange

On November 2, 2015, the President signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA). Section 824 of the BBA (Section 824) authorizes the Commissioner to enter into information exchanges with payroll data providers for the purposes of improving program administration of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs, and preventing improper payments under these programs. Payroll data providers are defined in the law as payroll providers, wage verification companies, and other commercial or non-commercial entities that collect and maintain data regarding employment and wages, without regard to whether the entity provides such data for a fee or without a cost. Section 824 defines information exchanges as the automated comparison of our system of records with records of payroll data providers.

Section 824 grants the Commissioner the authority to request authorization from any person filing for or receiving SSDI or SSI benefits and from any SSI deemor or SSI ineligible child to obtain such person’s wage and employment information via the information exchange. Providing authorization to obtain wage and employment information via the information exchange is optional, meaning we cannot use a refusal or revocation of authorization to deny or suspend benefits. If a person refuses or revokes his or her authorization, we will not obtain his or her wage and employment information via the information exchange. However, we can still verify wages using other wage verification methods as described in SI 00820.135.

Individuals who provide us with their authorization may have reduced reporting responsibilities and may receive protection from certain penalties, such as administrative sanctions, pursuant to section 1129A and section 1631(e)(2) of the Social Security Act. We will be collecting authorization from individuals prior to implementation of the information exchange, which will occur sometime in the future. An individual may be afforded protection from these penalties and reduced reporting responsibilities only after the information exchange is operational. We will provide formal notification once the information exchange is in place.

NOTE: A person’s authorization for third party disclosure as provided on the SSA-8510 and Personal Information Authorization screen in Modernized Supplemental Security Income Claims System (MSSICS) does not constitute a person’s authorization to obtain wage and employment information authorization as discussed in this section. Similarly, authorization to contact employers on the SSA-820/821 does not constitute the wage and employment information authorization.

B. Policy for requesting authorization to obtain wage and employment information from payroll data providers via an information exchange

Request authorization to obtain wage and employment information from payroll data providers via an information exchange from any person who is:

  • Applying for or receiving SSDI benefits for disabled worker, disabled widow, and childhood disability (DIB, DWB, and CDB);

  • Applying for or receiving any SSI payments;

  • An SSI deemor;

  • An SSI ineligible child; or

  • An SSDI beneficiary or SSI recipient who has turned age 18 since the last time we collected authorization from his or her parent or legal guardian.

The authorization to get wage and employment information is not a factor of entitlement or eligibility. Therefore, an individual’s refusal or revocation of authorization will not affect entitlement to SSDI benefits or SSI eligibility.

For information on who can provide authorization, see GN 00204.150B.2 in this section.

1. When to request wage and employment information authorization

Request wage and employment information authorization during the following claim events:

  • SSDI initial claims;

  • Expedited Reinstatements (EXR);

  • Work continuing disability reviews (CDR);

  • SSI full and deferred initial claims; and

  • SSI redeterminations.

If the person is filing concurrent T2/T16 claims or has concurrent T2/T16 entitlement, you must request wage and employment information authorization for each title separately.

You may choose to request authorization during other post-entitlement (PE) events. Requesting authorization during claim events not listed above is optional.

You can also obtain authorization upon the request of the individual.

For instructions on how to request wage and employment authorization, see GN 00204.150C in this section.

2. Who can provide wage and employment information authorization

Request authorization from the person who has the legal authority to provide it. Competent adults and emancipated children may provide their own authorization.

a. Authorization for minor children, SSI ineligible children, and legally incompetent adults

Minor children and legally incompetent adults cannot give us authorization. For a beneficiary, recipient, or claimant who is a minor child and for an SSI ineligible child, a parent or legal guardian must give us authorization on the child’s behalf. For a legally incompetent adult, a legal guardian must give us authorization on his or her behalf.

b. Authorization from representative payees

A person’s status as a representative payee alone provides no authority for the person to sign the authorization on behalf of a competent claimant, recipient, or beneficiary. A representative payee can only give us authorization on behalf of a claimant, recipient, or beneficiary, if the person is the parent or legal guardian. For example, a representative payee can provide authorization when the claimant, recipient, or beneficiary is:

  • a minor child and the payee is a parent of the child;

  • a minor child and the payee is the legal guardian of the child; or

  • an incompetent adult and the payee is the legal guardian of the incompetent adult.

Thus, a legal guardian who is a representative payee may provide authorization, but only because the person is the legal guardian, not because the person is the representative payee. Competent adults must give us authorization even if they have a representative payee.

3. Providing the scope and duration, and the Privacy Act Statement, for the authorization

Before you request authorization, you must provide the individual with the scope and duration of the authorization and the Privacy Act Statement regarding the authorization. For more information on how to provide this information, see GN 00204.150C.1.b in this section.

After the individual gives us his or her authorization, you must provide a printed authorization scope and duration statement and Privacy Act Statement to the individual. For more information on providing these statements, see GN 00204.150C.1.f in this section.

When an individual revokes his or her authorization, you must provide him or her with a printed revocation statement. For more information on revocations, see GN 00204.150D in this section

4. Potential penalty relief and reduced reporting responsibilities

We will not subject individuals who give authorization to penalties under 1129A, such as administrative sanctions, for errors or omissions in wage and employment information that is provided by the payroll data provider via the information exchange. For more information on administrative sanctions, see GN 02604.405.

Additionally, for SSI cases where an individual has provided authorization, we will find good cause if the claimant or recipient fails or delays to report a change in his or her employer and we will not subject the claimant or recipient to a penalty under 1631(e)(2). For more information on SSI penalties, see SI 02301.100.

Lastly, SSDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients whose wages we receive via the information exchange have reduced reporting obligations. However, SSDI beneficiaries must continue to report changes in employment and SSI recipients must continue to report their wages if their employers do not participate with the payroll data provider.

NOTE: An individual may be afforded protection from these penalties and reduced reporting responsibilities only after the information exchange is in place.

5. Terminating events of a wage and employment information authorization

A wage and employment information authorization is valid until a terminating event occurs. Terminating events apply separately for SSDI and SSI, except for a revocation of authorization, which terminates the authorization for both programs. All terminating events apply prospectively only, and do not invalidate the use of information obtained during past periods.

a. Terminating events for a wage and employment information authorization under the SSDI program

If a claimant or beneficiary gives us authorization, the authorization is valid until a terminating event occurs. For SSDI, the individual’s authorization will remain effective until the earliest of the following occurs:

  • the individual revokes his or her authorization;

  • the individual’s entitlement(s) to SSDI benefits has terminated, the period for appealing any adverse decision has lapsed and no appeal was filed, and no other SSDI claim(s) are pending;

  • there has been an adverse decision on the individual’s SSDI claim, the period for appealing the adverse decision has lapsed and no appeal was filed, and there are no other entitlements or claims pending; or

  • the individual turns 18 years of age, is not a legally incompetent adult, and previous authorization was given by a parent or legal guardian.

b. Terminating events for a wage and employment information authorization under the SSI program

If the claimant, recipient, deemor, or parent or legal guardian of an SSI ineligible child gives us authorization, the authorization is valid until a terminating event occurs. For SSI, the individual’s authorization will remain effective until the earliest of the following occurs:

  • the individual revokes his or her authorization;

  • the individual’s eligibility to SSI benefits has terminated, the period for appealing any adverse decision has lapsed and no appeal was filed, and no other SSI claim(s) are pending;

  • there has been an adverse decision on the individual’s SSI claim, the period for appealing the adverse decision has lapsed and no appeal was filed, and there are no other claims pending;

  • the deeming relationship ends; or

  • the individual turns 18 years of age, is not a legally incompetent adult, and previous authorization was given by a parent or legal guardian.

NOTE: If the SSDI or SSI record terminates or the appeal period has expired, but you are able to reopen the record under the rules of administrative finality, the previous authorization is invalid and you will need to request wage and employment information authorization.

c. Revocation of authorization

The person may revoke authorization at any time in person, over the telephone, or in writing. A revocation applies to both programs. For example, if an individual requests to revoke authorization under the SSI program, the revocation will also apply to the SSDI program if there is an active authorization for SSDI. The individual’s SSDI benefits or SSI payments are not affected by his or her decision to revoke authorization.

C. Procedure for requesting and recording wage and employment information authorization

Request wage and employment information authorization from the appropriate individual during SSDI initial claims, SSI full and deferred initial claims, SSI redeterminations, work CDRs, and EXRs, and record it in the Wage and Employment Information Authorization (WEIA) application. Requesting authorization for other PE events is optional.

1. How to access the Wage and Employment Information Authorization (WEIA) Application

During SSDI initial claims, SSI full and deferred initial claims, and SSI redeterminations, the WEIA authorization pages will appear automatically in the Modernized Claim System (MCS) and Modernized Supplemental Security Income Claims System (MSSICS) claim path when we need to request authorization. If we have the individual’s active authorization on file, the authorization screens will not appear in the claim path.

During work CDRs, eWork will not automatically display the WEIA authorization pages when we need to request authorization.

To determine whether you need to request wage and employment information authorization for work CDR cases, EXR cases, during other PE events, or when the individual requests to provide authorization, access the WEIA application to query the authorization status.

You may access the WEIA application via:

  • I-Main,

  • option #18 in the Post-entitlement Online System (POS) Selection Menu, or

  • the left navigation list for the General Identification tab in MSSICS, or APWA.

If you need to request the authorization, follow the instructions in GN 00204.150C.2 or C.3 in this section.

NOTE: POS will display alerts when we do not have an active authorization on file to remind you that you may request authorization.

2. Steps for requesting and recording wage and employment information authorization

Take the following actions to get the wage and employment information authorization:

  1. Determine whether the appropriate person to provide authorization is available. For more information on who can provide authorization, see GN 00204.150B.2 in this section. If the authorizing person is not available, see GN 00204.150C.2 in this section.

  2. Read the following information before asking for wage and employment information authorization:

    1. The Social Security Act allows us to collect your authorization. Providing us with your authorization is voluntary.  We use this authorization to ask payroll information providers to give us information on your wages.

    2. We will use the wage and employment information we receive from the payroll data providers via the information exchange to determine, as applicable, entitlement to SSDI benefits, eligibility for SSI benefits, continuation of benefits, or SSI payment amounts. We may share your information in accordance with the Privacy Act and other Federal laws. For instance, we may share your information for specified purposes listed in our Master Beneficiary Record system of records or Claims Folder Systems system of records.

    3. The wage and employment information authorization you provide us will remain effective until:

      • your application(s) is denied in a final decision and no other claims or appeals are pending;

      • your entitlement or eligibility for payments ends and no other claims or appeals are pending;

      • you revoke your authorization; or

      • we no longer count your income and resources to determine the claimant’s SSI eligibility, if you are an SSI deemor.

    4. We will record your response electronically.

  3. Request authorization for SSDI and SSI if the person is filing a concurrent claim or is receiving concurrent benefits. Otherwise, only request authorization for the benefit he or she is filing for or receiving, or is material to an SSI claimant or recipient’s eligibility.

  4. Document the individual’s answer in the WEIA application.

  5. Select the “attestation” checkbox to attest you heard the authorizing person’s response.

  6. Select OK to print the authorization scope and duration statement and Privacy Act Statement and hand to the authorization person when face-to-face or mail to the individual when on the phone.

NOTE: During initial claims and SSI redeterminations, the authorization screens will appear automatically in the MCS and MSSICS path. For other PE situations, work CDRs, and EXRs, you may access the WEIA application from iMain.

3. Steps for requesting and recording wage and employment information authorization when the individual is not available

Take the following actions to get wage and employment information authorization when the appropriate person to provide authorization is not available:

  1. Try to reach the individual via telephone to get his or her authorization. If the person provides authorization, mail his or her authorization scope and duration statement and Privacy Act Statement to his or her mailing address. If telephone contact is unsuccessful, continue to steps b thru e immediately below.

  2. If the person is not accessible by telephone, annotate in the WEIA application that the individual is not available to provide authorization.

  3. Access InForm to print the paper form SSA-8240, Authorization for the Social Security Administration to Obtain Wage and Employment Information from Payroll Data Providers.

  4. Mail the paper form SSA-8240 to the authorizing person along with a cover letter indicating the individual should complete, sign, and return the paper form SSA-8240. Use letter L-8240 “Cover Letter for Request of Wage and Employment Information Authorization” in the Document Processing System (DPS) as a cover letter.

  5. Once the authorizing person returns the completed and signed paper form SSA-8240, access the WEIA application via I-Main, MSSICS or POS to record and attest to his or her response.

    • If the individual provides authorization, print the authorization scope and duration statement and Privacy Act Statement and mail it to the individual along with his or her signed form for his or her records.

    • If the individual refused authorization, upload the signed paper form SSA-8240 into the Certified Electronic Folder (CEF) or NDRED.

If the person returns the form incomplete, for example, the form is not signed or the checkboxes are not marked, try reaching the person by telephone to confirm his or her authorization. If you cannot reach the person by telephone, document the incomplete form as a refusal of authorization and upload the paper form SSA-8240 to the CEF.

If the person does not return the form SSA-8240, do not follow up with the person and do not document the non-receipt. Since providing authorization is optional and it is not a factor of eligibility or entitlement, it does not affect the adjudication of any claim events. Next time you interview the person, you may request authorization again.

NOTE: If there is a systems outage, use the SSA-8240 to obtain the wage and employment information authorization and then load it into the WEIA application once the systems is available again.

4. Requesting and recording authorization for SSDI (Adult Disability, Disabled Widow/er, and Childhood Disability) paper cases

Access the WEIA application via the iMain menu to request and record wage and employment information authorization from the authorizing person when he or she is available and follow steps in GN 00204.150C.1. in this section.

5. Wage and employment information authorization for Non-MSSICS cases

For Non-MSSICS cases, use the paper form SSA-8240 to request wage and employment information authorization. Once you have a completed and signed SSA-8240, upload it to the CEF or NDRED.

When seeding the case into MSSICS, query the CEF and enter the authorization response indicated in the SSA-8240 into the WEIA application.

NOTE: Do not use the WEIA application to request and record wage and employment information authorization for Non-MSSICS cases.

D. Procedure for recording revocations

A person may revoke his or her authorization at any time in person, over the telephone, or in writing.

1. What information to provide when a person revokes

When a person requests to revoke his or her authorization, explain the following:

  • The revocation will apply to all claims under the SSDI and SSI programs;

  • We may continue to use information we obtained before he or she revoked the wage and employment information authorization;

  • We will stop requesting his or her wage and employment information from payroll data providers via an information exchange;

  • He or she must report wages accurately and timely to us;

Additionally, when the person revoking the authorization is the claimant or recipient, explain that:

  • He or she may be subject to penalties, such as administrative sanctions, under 1129A for any errors concerning his or her wages that affect his or her SSDI or SSI eligibility and benefits; and

  • We may not find good cause if he or she reports late or fails to report a change in employer and he or she may be subject to SSI penalties under 1631(e)(2).

2. How to document revoked authorizations

Follow these steps when a person wants to revoke his or her wage and employment information authorization:

  1. Access the WEIA application via the iMain menu, #18 in the POS Selection Menu, or the left navigation list for the General Identification tab in MSSICS.

  2. Select the revocation checkbox under the New Authorization Response section and document the relationship and name of the person providing the revocation.

  3. Select the “Attested this response” checkbox.

  4. Select OK to print the authorization revocation statement and give or mail it to the person.

E. References

  • GN 02604.405 Administrative Sanctions- Policy

  • INTRANET SSI 008.017  Personal Information Authorization

  • MSOM WA 001.001 Wage Authorization - Overview

  • SI 00820.130 Evidence of Wages or Termination of Wages

  • SI 00820.143 Monthly Wage Reporting

  • SI 00820.147 Evidence of Wages from Wage Verification Companies

  • SI 02301.100 Assessing Penalties


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200204150
GN 00204.150 - Authorization to Obtain Wage and Employment Information from Payroll Data Providers via an Information Exchange for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Programs - 10/23/2017
Batch run: 10/23/2017
Rev:10/23/2017