TN 11 (09-98)

GN 02402.035 Documenting Financial Institution Information


Follow the appropriate procedure below for documenting financial institution information.

1. Information To Gather

Get 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

  1. Make every attempt to get the RTN and DAN from the beneficiary.

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

  3. Do not send the beneficiary to the FI to complete an SF 1199A when the RTN and/or DAN are not available at the time of contact. Use other means of getting the information. (See GN 02402.070 for instances when an SF 1199A is required.)

  4. Use other means such as:

    • The RTN Database (Routing Transit Number query),

    • Records of RTNs available in the FO,

    • The beneficiary or the FO could call the FI for the information,

    • The beneficiary could call the FO with the RTN and/or DAN from home immediately after the interview, or

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

3. Where To Record

Record the FI information by entering it:

  • directly onto a screen,

  • on the claim form; e.g., in Remarks,

  • on a report of contact (SSA-5002), or

  • on any other convenient document in file.

4. Routing Transit Numbers

Use the RTN to direct the payment to the beneficiary'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 go mistakenly through IDD when used for direct deposit enrollment.

  • For savings accounts, the RTN will usually not be found on account statements or passbooks. Therefore, use other means of getting the information (see subsection A.2.d. above). (See GN 02402.040 for instructions on where to find the RTN on account documentation.)

5. Depositor Account Numbers

Use the DAN to credit the payment to the beneficiary'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. (See GN 02402.040 for instructions on where to find the DAN on account documentation.)

6. Type of Account

If it is unclear whether 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 SSA of any necessary correction.

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


1. Which Documents Can Be Used

Ask the beneficiary for one of the following documents:

  • A personal check, or

  • Account statement, or

  • 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 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 B.4. below.) 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