TN 2 (09-85)
GN 01704.870 Responding to Status Requests
A. From District Offices
Respond to status requests from DOs if they concern totalization. Written requests from DOs are made on either Form SSA-555-U3 (Request for Action—Delayed Payment) or Form SSA-2339-U3 (Request for Postentitlement Information). Handwrite responses in the “remarks” or “reply” sections of the forms. If BETs can fully respond to the request, line-out “Director of Operations,” replace it with “Benefit Earnings Technician” and sign and date the form. Return the original form to the DO by reversing the “To” and “From” blocks, placing it in an envelope and dispatching it. The copy is placed in the folder for documentation.
If BETs cannot fully respond to the request, they refer the case to a CA after answering whatever question(s) they can.
DO personnel occasionally phone the appropriate module to inquire about specific cases. BETs respond to such phone inquiries when they concern development requests made by the BETs. If the folder can be located quickly, respond at once. If the folder cannot be located quickly, return the DOs call as quickly as possible.
DOs sometimes teletype inquiries. These teletypes are stamped, “Process as 555” or “process as 2339.” They are priority items and BETs should respond to them expeditiously when they concern totalization claims. Reply to teletyped inquiries by completing a Standard Form 14 (SF-14) as follows:
Date Prepared—Enter current date.
Name—Enter name of BET and “Mod #” (the appropriate Mod number).
Phone Number—Enter phone extension.
Message to be Transmitted—Enter after “TO:” “SSA” followed by DO number and address. Enter “From” followed by “OIO—Totalization, P.O. Box 17769, Baltimore, MD 21235.” Enter “RE” followed by name of claimant, address of claimant, SSN of claimant and, if available, the telephone number of claimant.
Enter the response to the DO inquiry, explaining completely but concisely the cause for delay of the claim processing. BETs should prepare a copy of the teletype for folder documentation and dispatch the original to the Data Preparation and Enforcement Unit (DPEU).
B. From FSPs
Also respond to status requests concerning totalization claims from FSPs. These requests are generally teletyped and BETs should reply to them by completing an SF-14. Complete the form as directed in A. above, but following “TO:” enter the address of the FSP: e.g., “American Consulate General” followed by the name of the city and country of the inquiring FSP. In addition, if a Federal Benefits Officer (FBO) inquired personally, show “Attention (name of FBO).” Document the folder with a copy of the teletype and dispatch the original to DPEU.
Before replying, confer with CAs and/or BAs if there are any questions concerning the status of a claim.
C. From Claimants
Answer inquiries about the status of totalization claims when they are received directly from claimants.
Occasionally, BETs may prepare dictated paragraphs to fully answer the inquirer. However, most inquiries can be answered with appropriate paragraphs in NL 00711.000 ff. Consult a CA or BA if there are questions about the preparation of a correct response.
D. From Foreign Agencies
Answer requests for status received from foreign agencies on Forms SSA-2960. Review the folder in question to determine why the delay occurred and when a response is expected. For example, if the agency is inquiring about the status of a request for a medical examination, the Form SSA-847 (SSA Request for Case Action) will show when and where the FDE sent the request. The diary will show when a reply is expected and additional material will explain unusual delays.
After reviewing the folder, enter a concise but complete status report in the “Remarks” section of the Form SSA-2960; e.g., “We sent a request for a medical examination to California on February 8, 1983. Mr. Brown cancelled first appointment scheduled for March 6, 1983. Appointment rescheduled for May 15, 1983. Report expected here on June 6, 1983.”
Be sure to enter all the necessary identifying information on the Form SSA-2960 before sending it to the appropriate agency.