TN 13 (05-03)
GN 02403.002 Remittance Processing Responsibilities -- General
A. Introduction - Remittance Processing Responsibilities
The following section lists the responsibilities of designated FO personnel.
These policies are intended to provide for the security of remittances received in the field office while safeguarding employees by providing controls for remittances. However, it is recognized that all field offices are not the same size, and that strict adherence to each policy or procedure may be impractical for a particular office all the time. For example, staffing shortages may prevent the ideal separation of duties related to remittance handling (as prescribed in GN 02403.002B., C., D., E., and F.), or make it impractical to have two persons present while opening the mail (GN 02403.004B.2.).
B. Process - Seeking a Waiver From Center for Security and Integrity (CSI)
When an office manager sees the need to deviate from these instructions, he/she should contact the servicing CSI, and request a waiver. The manager may contact CSI via e-mail, memo or FAX, and each request should precisely explain the specific relief being sought; if the waiver is approved, the CSI waiver should be in writing (e-mail, memo, or Fax response), and a copy placed in the FO's Security Action Plan (SAP). The CSI waiver should state precisely what the approved variance is, and bear the signature (e-mail signature is OK) of the approving CSI official. Each approved waiver expires on the two-year anniversary of the approval, and to continue the waiver, solicit approval from CSI a week or two prior to the expiration date of the prior approval. In addition, if the office circumstances change (for example, additional staff), and the waiver reason is no longer valid, notify the CSI and maintain documentation of your notification.
C. List of Interviewer Responsibilities
The interviewer is a claims, service or field representative, and generally should not be the remittance clerk. See GN 02403.002E.
(REFERENCE: See GN 02403.010 for instruction regarding the Cash Log),
examines remittances to determine if they are acceptable,
enters the remittance information into the automated system,
issues the system generated automated receipt to the remitter,
issues SSA-1395-BK receipts when necessary.
D. List of Remittance Clerk (RC) Responsibilities
The designated remittance clerk should not be the third-party draft cashier or receipt book issuer except in offices unable to comply due to staffing limitations, and only after being granted a waiver from the CSI per GN 02403.002A. If the remittance clerk is also the third-party draft cashier, then remittances must be kept separate from third-party drafts.
If a remittance clerk is also an interviewer, an explanation of the office's inability to adhere to this separation of duties should be placed in the office's Security Action Plan (SAP) and reviewed annually. As personnel changes occur, managers should review and update the SAP as appropriate. A request for a waiver from the CSI is not required.
Under no circumstances should the remittance clerk functions be assigned to members of management who have the ability to access the Manager Correct/Delete FO screen (RMCR). (See MSOM DMS 004.011.)
NOTE: These instructions will not dictate precisely how each office must secure remittances. However, each office must lock up all checks/money orders received during the day until they are mailed. In some offices the remittance clerk and back-up remittance clerks are assigned a personal, locking, fireproof cash box that will provide a place to retain refunds and returned checks waiting disposition. Audits of the remittance process have suggested the use of a locked box in a centrally located area of the office restricted from public access and mounted on an immovable object. The box should have a slot. Then, whoever receives a remittance can drop it in the box without the need to locate the remittance clerk. Only the manager and remittance clerk (RC) should have the keys. At the end of day the RC removes the remittances and processes them according to these procedures.
The remittance clerk:
maintains all remittances in a secure location until they are mailed out and, in the event that a refund must be kept overnight in the FO, ensures that it is placed in the safe or locking file cabinet at the close of business,
requests daily the FO Remittance Transmittal(s) (FORTs and Credit Card (CC) FORTs and FO Daily Receipt Listing (FODRL) from the automated system and associates all remittances with the transmittal(s) and listing,
updates the cash log, as necessary, for cash remittances received from the interviewer which must be converted to money orders,
prepares daily the SSA-414-U3, Fee Transmittal Register when fees are sent to the Office of Finance (OF) or the Office of Earnings Operations (OEO) in Metro West in Baltimore.
REFERENCE: See GN 02403.012, Processing Fees Received in the FO.
E. List of Remittance Supervisor Responsibilities
A remittance supervisor is designated by the FO manager and should be at or above the Operations Supervisor/Management Support Specialist level. However, if an Officer in Charge (OIC) has to function as the backup remittance supervisor in the absence of management, an explanation of the office's inability to adhere to separation of duties should be placed in the Security Action Plan (SAP) and reviewed annually. The remittance supervisor cannot be the remittance clerk, the third party draft cashier, or an interviewer. As personnel changes occur, managers should review and update the SAP as appropriate.
The remittance supervisor:
Issues SSA-1395-BK receipt books to interviewers when automated receipts cannot be produced and to representatives issuing out-of-office receipts.
Prepares the Receipt Book Log, and maintains it in a secure location.
Notifies the person with procurement authority to reorder SSA-1395-BK receipt books
Controls SSA-1395-BK receipt book shipments immediately upon receipt in the FO,
Controls redistribution of SSA-1395-BK receipt books to other FOs subject to approval by the FO manager,
Safeguards unissued and completed SSA-1395-BK receipt books in a safe or locked file cabinet, and secures completed receipt books until the remittance review has been completed,
Completes and maintains Form SSA-3944, Master Control Roster,
Ensures that all remittances have an associated coupon,
Reviews returned SSA-1395-BK receipt books and ensuresthat all SSA-1395-BK receipts are accounted for,
Mails the remittances each day. If the day’s FORT and remittances cannot be mailed the same day that the FORT is produced, they should be secured and mailed the next business day. Include them with the next business day's remittances, if there are any, (See GN 02403.025 for more details concerning remittances received after the FORT has been requested.)
Oversees daily processing of all remittances,
Forwards unendorsed returned benefit checks daily to the appropriate Treasury Regional Financial Center,
Reviews reception and mailroom area logs,
Accounts for all of the automated receipts that were issued during the day,
Reviews FORT and CCFORT, the FODRL and the SSA-414-U3's against all remittances received and resolves discrepancies,
Ensures that all remittances have an associated coupon,
Ensures that the correct coupon(s) have been included. The scanner in MATPSC relies on the data contained in the scanline. If any corrections were made to the daily receipts, ensure that the most recent coupon is included with the remittance,
Verifies that no unendorsed returned benefit checks are included in the mailing to MATPSC. These items should be returned to Treasury. On RFOR, these items should be input with reason Code = B (Unendorsed Returned Benefit Check). DMS will then generate an instruction sheet bearing the Treasury addresses. Read those instructions and follow them carefully to prevent any delays in processing,
Verifies that no fee remittances are included in the mailing to the MATPSC,
Mails FORT, CCFORT and SSA-414-U3's each day,
Mails all remittances contained on the FODRL to the appropriate locations each day,
Maintains SSA-4l4-U3, and FODRL control books for follow-up and audit,
Reviews verified SSA-414-U3's upon receipt from Office of Finance and Office of Earnings Operations,
Follows-up on unverified SSA-414-U3's, and
Resolves discrepancies with the MATPSC.
F. List of Manager Responsibilities
The office manager:
resolves discrepancies with FORT/CCFORT and SSA-414-U3s when the remittance supervisor cannot,
approves redistribution of SSA-1395-BK Receipt Books on an emergency basis,
conducts an annual review of the remittance process and ensures that documentation of the review is retained for three years, and is not destroyed when the manager retires or is assigned to another office; and
periodically discusses with the remittance clerk/interviewer the importance of the office compliance with security measures.