Program Operations Manual System (POMS)
TN 19 (05-07)
GN 01070.830 OEO DERO Direct Telephone Contact—Making the Call
Apply the following telephone techniques when making the telephone call:
If you get the person, STOP. Go to step 2.
If you get a busy signal, try again. Do not consider the call an unsuccessful telephone attempt.
If you get an answering machine, hang up, and count the call as an unsuccessful telephone attempt. If a.m., place second call in p.m. and vice versa.
After second unsuccessful attempt, the Benefit Earnings Technician (BET) will use the appropriate form letters to write directly to the employer or individual involved (see GN 01070.835 for list of notices). The BET should also prepare and send Address Information Request (E-Form SSA-L2001) to verify the individual’s address with the post office.
NOTE: The case will remain the development holding file (DHF) pending a response.
Identify yourself by name and state that you are calling from the Social Security Office of Earnings and Records Operations in Baltimore, Maryland.
Make it clear that you are not calling from the SSA field office. Go to Step 3.
Should you reach someone with a language barrier, or does not understand your request, advise the individual in English that the Social Security Administration will be sending a letter to “Mr.” or “Ms.” _______. Thank them for listening and end the conversation in a tactful and professional manner.
Explain the reason for the call. If the individual you are calling is not available, ask when you may call back.
Note: Do not disclose any personal information about the client to the individual answering the telephone, because of Privacy Act considerations.
When telephone contact is established with the appropriate wage earner, obtain as much information as possible during the initial conversation:
All the SSN and names the individual has used for employment purposes and/or the numbers and names on all SSN cards the individual may have used.
All the correct identifying information for each wage earner so SSA can determine to whom the number(s) belong.
All the years and employers for whom the individual may have worked that pertain to the case.
Inform the individual that SSA will be sending him/her a letter. A form SS-5 and itemized employment statement to be completed and returned within 30 days.
Advise the individual that without their cooperation, SSA may not be able to correct their records.
Thank the individual for their assistance and should additional telephone contact be necessary, ask them the best time to contact them and at what telephone number.
Arrange for a call back if necessary.
Note: DERO personnel will initiate a call back to the individual if information or data is not available during the initial call.
When telephone contact is established with an employer and they are unable or unwilling to cooperate over the phone:
Ask the individual to:
Express gratitude and end call.