TN 26 (10-16)
GN 02401.001 General Information on Title II Checks
A. General check information
SSA certifies all Title II payments and submits the payment file to the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) for processing.
1. Types of Title II checks
SSA issues the following types of Title II checks:
Current month accrual (CMA),
Single Payment System (SPS), critical payment (CPS), immediate payments (IPs), and
Prior month accrual (PMA).
2. Check date
All checks, except regular monthly checks, bear the date on which Treasury printed them. Monthly recurring checks show the scheduled delivery date.
SSA pays recurring monthly check payments, which include the cycle payments, on one of four dates in the month following the month for which they are due:
If the regularly scheduled payment date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal Federal holiday, Treasury dates the checks for the first day before that date that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal Federal holiday.
For example, the regularly scheduled payment date for the June 2016 payment was July 3. However, the third fell on a Sunday. Therefore, Treasury dated the June 2016 payment July 1, 2016.
We prepare PMA checks after the cutoff date of the current month, but before the first of the next month. A PMA check includes the amount due for the current calendar month. We date PMA checks for the first of the next month.
NOTE: Since this type of PMA check includes payments for the current month, the payment date must be the first day of the next calendar month.
B. Check file processing
After SSA certifies the payments and transmits the file to Treasury, Treasury prints and disburses Title II checks to our beneficiaries.
1. Updating check data
The Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) is the main data source for certifying payments. Every month, the MBR updates by segment on a varying schedule, depending on the number of workdays in the month. The Regional Financial Center (RFC) maintains a check-writing file of the accounts handled by the processing centers. The RFC maintains the file by ZIP Code in SSN sequence. Upon receipt of the updated MBR data, the RFC updates its file and prints the checks.
2. Check production
Treasury prints the checks; a machine encloses them in envelopes and places them in trays by ZIP Code and check number, awaiting pickup by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
3. Check stuffer
Treasury includes a check stuffer with all PMA checks, unless there is a foreign address, advising the beneficiary that a letter of explanation will follow shortly.
From time to time, Treasury includes a stuffer with recurring checks to suggest that direct deposit is a better way to receive payments. In addition, all courtesy disbursement or replacement checks have an insert warning against cashing both the original and the enclosed check.
4. Regular transcript index (RINDEX) file
The RFC maintains a RINDEX file on tape. The file represents a visual record of all benefit checks that Treasury printed, but did not necessarily release, in a given month.
C. Description of Title II Treasury Check
1. Date line
This is the first print line located below the words “Check No.” and runs the length of the check. Typical information found on the date line, from left to right, includes:
Date of the check, far-left side;
Check symbol, a four-digit check symbol related to the series of the check number; and
Check number, far-right side.
2. Payment ID line
The second print line is located directly below the date line. Typical information found on the payment ID line, from left to right, includes:
Agency Location Code (ALC) - an eight-digit number identifying the federal payroll agency that prepared the payroll file that Fiscal Service issued.
An “S” after the ALC code indicates that the check is an SSA income-attached benefits check. The number immediately following the “S” indicates the type of SSA payment. For example:
Sometimes, the beneficiary receives the first check before receiving the notice. As a result, checks contain a single letter code on the payment ID line that enables the field office (FO) to explain the type of payment involved.
3. Name and address line
These are the print lines 3 – 7 and include the following data elements:
The name of the payee we issue the check to is on the third print line. On a child support check, the payee would be the State Disbursement Unit. A numeric code repeating the last two digits of the check number appears after the name line (first line of the address legend).
The name of non-custodial parent or payer, fourth print line,
The case or member identification number, and the amount of the payment are on the far right of the third or fourth print line, depending on number of lines in address.
For recurring payments, the words, “SOC SEC FOR (month)” show which month the payment represents. For example, a recurring payment check dated 06 15 16 would have the words “SOC SEC FOR MAY”.
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GN 02401.035 – SSI Checks
GN 02401.065 – Checks Issued to Beneficiaries Residing in Foreign Countries
GN 02402.002 – Direct Deposit for Title II and Title XVI
GN 02402.201 – Background and General Policy for Direct Deposit outside the U.S.
GN 02407.005 – Payment Cycling