TN 19 (10-17)
GN 02403.009 Processing Cash Remittances Received in the Field Office
A. Policy when field office receives cash remittances
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will only accept cash to pay programmatic overpayments, conserved funds, gifts to the Social Security Trust Funds, Medicare premiums and overpayments, and misapplied funds. We will not accept cash to pay non-program standard fees for services.
For more information on standard fees, see GN 02403.012.
Convert all cash remittances received in the FO to money orders or cashier's checks and then forward for deposit to the Mid Atlantic Program Service Center (MATPSC) or Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). You must make every effort to convert cash to money orders the same business day. If this is not possible, convert the cash by the next business day. Local management will decide who purchases the money orders, though typically it is the remittance clerk. When exchanging cash from one FO employee to another, you must maintain a cash log. A facsimile of a cash log is shown in GN 02403.010B, that you should reproduce locally. You do not need to prepare a cash log if you did not receive cash. While SSA prefers non-cash remittances, you must accept cash remittances.
For information on completing the cash log, see GN 02403.010.
NOTE: You must convert foreign cash to money orders in U.S. dollars prior to sending to MATPSC or CMS. For information on how to handle foreign currency, see GN 02403.005D.
IMPORTANT: The Social Security Electronic Remittance System (SERS) is an automated payment solution that uses card readers and check scanners to electronically process remittances paid by check, money order or debit/credit card. In 2014, SSA implemented the SERS application in the FOs to collect non-program standard fees for requests for information. In 2017, SSA implemented SERS for certain programmatic debts.
SERS will only accept debit/credit cards, money orders, and checks for remittances related to the payment/return of the following:
Conserved Funds; and
SERS eliminates FOs need to send all programmatic remittances from the FOs to MATPSC. Remittances will process the same day and produce a payment authorization form and receipt for the debtor. FOs will continue to process and send all other acceptable programmatic remittances to MATPSC and non-program administrative remittances to the Office of Finance (as applicable).
B. Procedure for normal processing of cash remittances
The procedure in this section explains how we handle cash remittances received in FOs.
1. Interviewer procedures
Take the following actions:
Prepare a cash log. For information on how to prepare a cash log, see GN 02403.010.
Enter cash remittance into the Debt Management System (DMS) and give the receipt to the remitter. Give the payment coupon to the remittance clerk for safekeeping. Enter remittance type “M” on the Field Office Remittance Input (RFOR) screen.
If the remitter submits, both cash and a check as payment, issue separate receipts for each.
If you receive cash from an anonymous remitter, treat the cash as an anonymous gift to the Social Security Trust Funds.
Enter foreign cash with its foreign amount as foreign currency into the system.
For information on obtaining an automated FO receipt, see MS DMS 003.006 and MS DMS 003.007. For information on processing gifts, see GN 02403.011.
Give the cash remittance and payment coupon along with receipt number to the remittance clerk.
2. Remittance clerk procedures
Take the following actions:
Update the cash log and, if requested, give a copy to interviewer.
Purchase a separate money order or cashier's check for each cash remittance and have it made payable to “Social Security Administration” or “Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.”
Because of amount limits on some money orders, you may need to purchase several money orders to cover the amount of a single cash remittance. If possible, issue receipts in the amounts you will purchase the money orders.
Stamp “For Deposit Only, SSA” on each money order or cashier's check immediately after purchase.
EXCEPTION: Stamp “For Deposit Only, CMS” on each money order purchased for Medicare premium remittance.
For information on endorsement standards, see GN 02403.005.
Annotate on each money order the account identification number (ID) and automated receipt number.
NOTE: Enter the U.S. dollar amount under the foreign cash amount displayed for each foreign cash item listed.
For information on how to obtain the FO Remittance Transmittal (FORT) and FO Daily Receipt Listing (FODRL), see MS DMS 004.008 and MS DMS 004.009.
If you obtain a money order or cashier's check for a cash refund using Third Party Drafts, associate a printout of the receipt file query display with the money order receipt used to document the monthly Third Party Draft Accountability Report.
For information on how to obtain a receipt file query display printout, see MS DMS 004.003.
If a money order is free of charge, attach a copy of the money order to the FORT. This will establish an audit trail of cash conversions.
3. Management procedures
Once the remittance clerk converts the cash remittance to a money order or a cashier's check you must:
use the Correct FO RECEIPT (RCFR) screen—if there is no correction to the money amount;
use the RMCR screen if there is a change in the money amount, to change the Remittance type from “M” for cash to “C” for the money order;
enter information in the check or money order number and check date fields, and
annotate the remittance ID field that the remitter originally submitted cash.
In addition, when the FO converts large cash remittances to more than one money order, take the following actions.
Change the remittance amount (using RCFR) to equal the amount of the money orders and annotate the remittance ID field with the original cash amount.
Use the RFOR screen to record information about the other money order(s).
Use the remittance ID field to cross-refer to the first receipt number and the total cash amount.
Destroy the receipts generated for the additional money order(s) since the remitter will have already received his or her receipt.
Forward the payment coupons generated by DMS along with the money order and the FORT to MATPSC.
Destroy the payment coupon generated from when the interviewer originally entered the cash remittance into DMS.
When purchasing a money order, obtain a receipt showing the money order fee to support the purchase, and retain it to attach to the Third Party Draft Accountability Report.
4. Remittance clerk and designated personnel procedures
If local management designated another person to purchase the money order, prepare a third cash line entry in the cash log to record the giving of cash to the designated person and have the designated person sign the cash log. For information on completing the cash log, see GN 02403.010.
After purchasing the money order or cashier's check, the designated person gives the money order to the remittance clerk.
The remittance clerk records the money order number and date he or she received it in the cash log and signs the cash log. A copy of the cash log is available to the designated person upon request.
If the remittance is for an overpayment, conserved fund, or misused fund, then process it through SERS, see GN 02403.161.
For information on how to handle if the remittance clerk or designated person is unable to obtain a money order or cashier's check the same day, see GN 02403.009C in this section.
C. Procedure for delay in processing cash remittances
Process cash remittances received in the FO as follows when there is a delay in converting the cash to a money order (the bank closed for the day).
1. Remittance clerk
Hold the cash remittance in a secure location.
At the end of the business day, obtain the FORT or FODRL. Annotate the related line entry to reflect a delay in sending a remittance until the FO can obtain the money order.
Subtract the cash amount from the printed credit total on the FORT, enter the new amount below the credit total and line out the printed credit total.
Sign the FORT and give the FORT or FODRL to the remittance supervisor.
For information on how to obtain a receipt file query printout, see MS DMS 004.005.
If you obtain a money order free of charge, attach a copy of the money order to the FORT to establish an audit trail of cash conversions.
GN 02403.006A Processing Remittances Received in the Field Office
GN 02403.011B Processing Money Gifts Received in the FO
GN 02403.030B Processing Medicare Premium Remittances Received in the FO
GN 02403.040D Processing Returned Medicare Contractor’s Checks and Medicare Overpayment Refunds Received in the FO