TN 94 (02-18)

GN 02402.035 Documenting Financial Institution (FI) Information

A. Procedure – Development of FI information

Follow these procedures for documenting FI information.

1. Information to obtain

Obtain the following information to start or change direct deposit payments:

  • The FI routing transit number (RTN), and

  • The depositor account number (DAN), including the type of account (checking or savings).

2. How to obtain FI information

Follow these procedures to obtain FI information:

  1. Make every attempt to get the RTN and DAN from the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee.

  2. Ask to see a personal check if the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee has a checking account. (Most people have a checking account, and the check is the best place to look for the RTN and DAN).

    NOTE: Do not send the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee to the FI to complete a SF-1199A (Direct Deposit Sign-up Form) when the RTN, DAN, or both are not available at the time of contact. For instances of when an SF-1199A is required, see GN 02402.070.

  3. Use other means to get the following information:

    • the RTN Database (Routing Transit Number query),

    • records of RTNs available in the field office (FO),

    • the beneficiary, recipient, representative payee, or the field office (FO) could call the FI for the information,

    • the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee could call the FO with the RTN, DAN, or both from home immediately after the interview, or

    • if an initial claim is pending, the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee could mail the voided check to the FO. Be sure to tell the person to write “VOID” across the check before mailing it. If the FO receives a check without “VOID” on it, personnel must immediately write the word on the check.

3. Where to record FI information

Record the FI information by entering it as follows:

  • directly onto a screen,

  • on the claim form in “Remarks”,

  • on a Form SSA-5002 (Report of Contact), or

  • on any other convenient document in file.

4. Routing Transit Numbers (RTNs)

Use the RTN to direct the payment to the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee’s FI.

The RTN is 9 positions, all numeric. The last position is called a “check digit” and is used by the system to verify the number.

For checking accounts, locate the RTN in the coding on the check. You may also use records of RTNs available in the FO. Do not use the routing number on a deposit slip. This number is for the FI’s internal routing and may cause the payments to erroneously go through International Direct Deposit (IDD) when used for direct deposit enrollment.

For savings accounts, the RTN is usually not found on account statements or passbooks. Therefore, use other means of getting the information (see subsection GN 02402.035A.2.c. in this section).

For instructions on where to find the RTN on account documentation, see GN 02402.040.

5. Depositor Account Numbers (DANs)

Use the DAN to credit the payment to the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee’s account. The DAN can be up to 17 positions.

Any alpha or numeric combination is acceptable, and the field can contain hyphens. Enter any hyphens exactly as shown on the account documentation. Do not enter spaces in the DAN for title II. The MBR does not accept spaces.

For checking accounts, locate the DAN in the coding on the check or account statement.

For savings accounts, locate the DAN on the savings passbook or account statement.

For instructions on where to find the DAN on account documentation, see GN 02402.040.

6. Type of account

If you do not know if an account is for checking or savings, code it as a checking account (“C”). Do not refuse the direct deposit action in these cases. The FI will be able to credit the account, and will notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of any necessary correction.

If the type of account is unclear in representative payee cases, call the FI for verification.

B. Procedure – Documentation of account information

1. Which documents can be used

Ask the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee for one of the following documents:

  • a personal check,

  • an account statement, or

  • a passbook.

2. Which documents cannot be used

Do not use any of the following documents for the indicated account information:

  • Deposit tickets (for RTNs). They often contain pseudo RTNs.

  • Internal Revenue Service Forms 1099 INT (for RTNs and DANs). These forms can be issued for dormant or closed accounts, certificates of deposit, or mortgage escrow accounts (all are not acceptable for direct deposit).

  • Starter checks (for account titles), and those without a pre-printed name. The account title information will not be shown, see subsection GN 02402.035B.4. in this section.) In these cases, the FO can call the FI to verify the account title.

3. Looking at documentation

Look at the account documentation when possible; i.e., when the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee has brought the appropriate document to the FO.

Where it is not possible to look at the documentation; i.e., when getting the FI information over the telephone, make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the RTN, the DAN, or both. Read the numbers back to the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee to double check them.

4. Special situations

Be alert to the following situations:

  1. The account title must indicate ownership by the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee (see GN 02402.050). It will be printed:

    • in the upper left corner of personal checks,

    • near the top of account statements,

    • on or near the first page of passbooks.

    If obtaining the information by telephone, ask the beneficiary, recipient, or representative payee to read the account title exactly as it appears on the account documentation.

  2. The term, “payable through” checks, can be use by credit unions, and sometimes by banks or savings and loan companies. Contractors who handle paper items only process these checks, and the RTNs on the checks belong to the contractors, not the FIs. (They comprise fewer than 4 percent of consumer accounts in the U.S.)

    The checks always say “payable through (name of contractor)” directly under the FI's logo on the lower left of the check. (For an example, see GN 02402.040B.4.)

    Use the DANs on “payable through” checks for direct deposit actions.

    Do not use the RTNs on “payable through” checks. These RTNs belong to the contractor. (See subsection GN 02402.035A.2.d. in this section for instructions on how to get the correct RTN for the FI.)

C. References

GN 02402.040 Where to Find Routing Transit Numbers (RTNs) and Depositor Account Numbers (DANs) on Account Documentation

GN 02402.050 Account Titles

GN 02402.070 When an SF-1199A is required


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202402035
GN 02402.035 - Documenting Financial Institution (FI) Information - 02/08/2018
Batch run: 02/08/2018
Rev:02/08/2018