TN 13 (11-11)

GN 01010.009 Certified and uncertified earning records (e/r)

A. Policy about certified E/Rs

Certified earning records refer to the available SSA records containing earnings from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that we can utilize to make a “formal” determination for benefits.

1. List of certified E/Rs

  • The Modernized Claims System (MCS) adjudicative earnings computation (EC) determination screens;

  • MCS pre-adjudicative EC screens (only if no issue involving the Office of Earnings (OEO) or other unresolved earnings issue exists);

  • An adjudicative Benefit and Earnings Statement (BEST);

  • A pre-adjudicative BEST (only if no issue involving (OEO) or other unresolved earnings issue exists);

  • A certified output document from the Informational/Certified Earnings Records System (ICERS); and

  • An E/R that contains OEO's signed statement of manual certification.

2. Documenting the certified E/R

  • For paper claims, obtain a certified E/R and include it in the claims paper file to support the adjudicative determination.

  • Do not retain paper copies if the adjudication is completed using MCS.

Note: The MCS archives retain the adjudicative EC screens (e.g., DPIA) for reference purposes.

  • MCS also archives pre-adjudicative EC screens used to support the adjudicative determination if they are part of the last EC requested. If more than one EC was requested (e.g., for a primary insurance amount (PIA) comparison) and there is a pending issue (e.g., Military Service (MS) or lag earnings), but it does not affect the PIA then annotate the report of contact (RPOC) screen indicating the reason and the result of the comparison (e.g.,“NO INCREASE - MS NOT DEVELOPED”).

  • Document development of the Earnings Alert Query (EARQ) alerts as per RS 01404.110.

B. Policy about uncertified E/Rs

In limited situations, an adjudicator may use an uncertified E/R to document entitlement, disallowance, or non-entitlement. You can use an uncertified E/R for earnings assessment purposes. If for any reason, the adjudicator doubts its validity, obtain a certified E/R using the instructions in MSOM MCSEC 001.005.

Important: Never use an uncertified E/R to document non-entitlement on any social security number (SSN) due to lack of insured status, per GN 00204.004.

1. List of uncertified E/Rs

The following is a list of uncertified E/Rs.

  • MCS pre-adjudicative EC screens with an existing issue involving the Office of Earnings (OEO) or other unresolved earnings issue;

  • A pre-adjudicative BEST with an existing issue involving the OEO or other unresolved earnings issue;

  • Summary Earnings Query (SEQY) (see SM 00345.902 and MSOM QUERIES 003.004);

  • Detailed Earnings Query (DEQY) (see SM 00344.001 and MSOM QUERIES 003.005);

  • Personal Earnings Benefit Estimate System (PEBES) Online Response (see MSOM QUERIES 007.002);

  • Disability Insured Status Calculator Online (DISCO); or

  • Online Computational Earnings (OCE) program in the Interactive Computation Facility (ICF) (see MSOM ICFT2 024.001).

2. Interactive computation facility (ICF) online computational earnings (OCE)

The ICF OCE program (function #24), like the EC, draws its earnings information from the Master Earnings File (MEF). However, the OCE is not acceptable as a certified E/R because:

  • it is possible to manipulate earnings data on the MEF;

  • no traceable record-of-change screen exists;

  • no access to prior entitlement, railroad or MS data files exists; and

  • no automatic OEO resolution exists for earnings or Quarters of Coverage (QC) problems.

    See MSOM ICFT2 024.002 and MSOM ICFT2 024.001 for additional information about the ICF OCE.

C. References

  • GN 01010.011 Reviewing the E/R with the NH - Policy

  • GN 00204.004 Considering Possible Entitlement to Retirement Insurance Benefits (RIB) when a Spouse's Application is Filed