TN 25 (04-18)

GN 02403.002 Remittance Processing and Safeguarding Responsibilities in the Field Office (FO)

A. Overview of remittance processing responsibilities

Occasionally, Field Office (FO) staff will need to receive and process remittances. This section lists the:

  • Roles and responsibilities of designated Field Office (FO) personnel in receiving and processing remittances,

  • Procedures for the security of remittances received in the FO, and

  • Safeguards provided to employees through establishing controls for remittances.

We recognize that strict adherence to each policy or procedure may be impractical for some offices due to limited personnel. For example, staffing shortages may prevent the ideal separation of duties related to remittance handling as prescribed in subsections B, C, D, and E herein, or make it impractical to have two persons present while opening the mail (See GN 02403.004B.2). The Note in subsection E herein provides FO management with instructions on obtaining a waiver when an FO is unable to comply with a specific policy or procedure.

B. Interviewer responsibilities for remittance processing

The interviewer is any employee in the FO who receives remittances. The interviewer should not be the remittance clerk. For more information see subsection E of this section.

The interviewer:

  • receives remittances;

  • prepares the cash log and check log for remittances received either in the mailroom or in the reception or interview area (See GN 02403.010 for instructions when cash is received),

  • examines remittances to determine if they are acceptable, following the instructions in GN 02403.005,

  • enters the remittance information into the automated system,

  • issues the system generated automated receipt to the remitter as appropriate,

  • issues SSA-1395-BK Form (Manual receipts) when necessary,

  • renders noncash remittances nonnegotiable following the instructions in GN 02403.004.C, and

  • secures remittances and automated DMS coupons and instruction sheets in the designated FO lock box for later retrieval by the remittance clerk.

C. Remittance clerk processing 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 even then only after the appropriate Center for Security grants a waiver per GN 02403.002E.

Refer to the table below for actions to take depending on the given scenario(s):

IF

THEN

The remittance clerk is also the third-party draft cashier

Keep remittances separate from third-party drafts.

A remittance clerk is also an interviewer

Obtain and maintain the appropriate Center for Security granted waiver, which explains the office's inability to adhere to this separation of duties. Include the waiver in the office’s Security Action Plan (SAP) and review it annually as part of the Annual Management Review.

As personnel changes occur, managers should review and update the SAP as appropriate.

A new request for a waiver from the Center for Security is not required when updates occur to the SAP.

IMPORTANT: Members of management who have the ability to access the Manager Correct/Delete FO screen (RMCR) should not have remittance clerk functions. See MSOM DMS 004.011.

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, a locking file cabinet, or a centrally located drop in lock box at the close of business,

NOTE: These instructions will not precisely dictate how each office should secure remittances. However, each office must lock up all checks/money orders received during the day until the remittance supervisor mails them. In some offices, office managers issue the remittance clerk and back-up remittance clerks a personal, locking, fireproof cash box that will provide a place to retain refunds and returned checks waiting disposition. The lock box should have a slot and be located in a centrally located area of the office restricted from public access and mounted on an immovable object. 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 should have the keys. At the end of day, the remittance clerk removes the remittances and processes them according to these procedures:

  • examine all remittances and the associated coupons and instruction sheets for accuracy,

  • request daily FO Remittance Transmittal(s) (FORTs and Credit Card (CC) FORTs and Field Office Daily Receipt Listing (FODRL) from the automated system and associate all remittances with the transmittal(s) and listing,

  • update the cash and check logs, as necessary, for cash remittances received from the interviewer which must be converted to money orders, and

  • prepare a daily SSA-414-U3, Fee Transmittal Register when fees are sent to the Office of Finance (OF) or to the Office of Earnings Operations (OEO) at Metro West in Baltimore.

See GN 02403.012, Processing Fees Received in the Field Office (FO)

D. Remittance supervisor processing responsibilities

The FO manager designates a remittance supervisor that 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, management should place an explanation of the office's inability to adhere to separation of duties in the SAP (verify with the Center for Security if a waiver is needed for this action), and management should review it annually. The remittance supervisor cannot be the:

  • Remittance Clerk,

  • Third party draft cashier, or

  • 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 when necessary,

  • 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 by storing them in a safe or locked file cabinet, and secures completed receipt books until the remittance review has been completed,

  • completes and maintains the Form SSA-3944, Master Control Roster,

  • ensures that all remittances have an associated coupon,

  • reviews returned SSA-1395-BK receipt books and ensures that all SSA-1395-BK receipts are accounted for,

  • mails the remittances each day via regular mail. Do not send remittances using certified mail. If you cannot mail the current day’s Field Office Remittance Transmittal (FORT) and remittances the same day that the FORT is produced, you should secure and mail them the next business day. Include them with the next business day's remittances, if there are any. See GN 02403.025 for more details on handling remittances received after you have requested the FORT.

  • oversees daily processing of all remittances,

  • reviews the daily end-of-day listing and compares it with all the programmatic remittances submitted in the Social Security Electronic Remittance System (SERS) that day and annotated on the check log to ensure that all remittances are correctly input, processed, and submitted,

  • forwards unendorsed returned benefit checks daily to the appropriate Department of the Treasury (Treasury) Regional Financial Center,

  • reviews reception and mailroom area cash and check logs daily,

  • accounts for all of the automated receipts that were issued during the day,

  • reviews FORT and Credit Card Field Office Remittance Transmittal (CCFORT), the Field Office Daily Receipt Listing (FODRL) and the SSA-414-U3's against all remittances received and resolves discrepancies,

  • ensures that FODRL are maintained for one year, per GN 02403.021B,

  • ensures that all remittances have an associated coupon,

  • ensures that the correct coupon(s) have been included. The scanner in Mid-Atlantic Program Service Center (MATPSC) relies on the data contained in the scan line. 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. Unendorsed return benefit checks should be returned to Treasury. Go into the Debt Management System (DMS) on the Field Office Remittance Input (RFOR), and input these items 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 OF and OEO,

  • follows-up on unverified SSA-414-U3's, and

  • resolves discrepancies with MATPSC RAU.

E. Office manager processing responsibilities

The office manager:

  • resolves discrepancies with the FORT, CCFORT, FODRL, and SSA-414-U3s when the remittance supervisor cannot,

  • designates an FO employee to perform the “interviewer” responsibilities for remittances received in the mailroom,

  • approves redistribution of SSA-1395-BK Receipt Books to other FOs on an emergency basis,

  • conducts an annual review of the remittance process, including the SAP, ensures that documentation of the review is retained for three years, and that it is not destroyed when the manager retires or is assigned to another office, and

  • periodically discusses with the remittance clerks and remittance interviewers the importance of office compliance with security measures.

NOTE: When an office manager determines the need to deviate from these instructions, he/she must contact the servicing Center for Security, and request a waiver. The manager may contact the appropriate Center for Security via e-mail, memo or FAX, and each request should provide a justification for the waiver. If the waiver is approved, the Center for Security waiver must be in writing (e-mail, memo, or Fax response), and a copy placed in the FO's SAP. The Center for Security waiver should precisely state the approved variance, and bear the signature (e-mail signature is OK) of the approving Center for Security official. Each approved waiver expires two-years after the date approval. To continue the waiver, solicit approval from Center for Security 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 is no longer needed, notify the Center for Security and maintain documentation of your notification.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202403002
GN 02403.002 - Remittance Processing and Safeguarding Responsibilities in the Field Office (FO) - 07/20/2018
Batch run: 07/20/2018
Rev:07/20/2018