TN 14 (04-05)
GN 02403.155 Investigating Lost Remittances - FO Procedure
A. Preview - Investigating Lost Remittances
This section explains the procedures to follow if a refund is lost and therefore, not credited to the overpaid record.
This section has been divided into subsections by the type of remittance:
money order or personal check,
cash converted to money order or cashier's check,
endorsed government check,
bank draft, cashier's check, or bank money order.
B. Procedure - Money Order Or Personal Check
This subsection explains the procedures for investigating commercial or postal money orders or personal checks received in the FO and subsequently lost. Use the following procedures:
1. Obtain Copy of Check or Money Order
Ask the individual to provide a copy of the money order or personal check. If the individual provides a copy, follow the instructions in GN 02403.155B.2.
If the individual refuses to request a photocopy of the money order, the FO should obtain the photocopy. (A postal money order may be traced through the U. S. Postal Service by executing POD Form 6401). If you obtain the photocopy, follow the instructions in GN 02403.155B.2.
If you cannot get a copy of the check or money order, follow the instructions in GN 02403.155B.4.
2. Examine Check or Money Order
a. SSA Negotiated Check
Examine the back of the check:
If part of the endorsement shows “FRB-CLEVE,” the check was probably deposited by SSA at the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland.
Contact the MATPSC RAU via email address ||PHI ARC PCO RDDB DMS to have them research their records to determine if in fact they processed the remittance.
Type “Proof SSA negotiated check—Research Request” in the subject line of the email.
Provide in the body of the email the account number, receipt number, amount of the remittance, and the date the FO entered the remittance into DMS.
Fax the photocopy of the front and back of the negotiated check as a “bank document” into NDRED. For information on sending documents to NDRED, see GN 00301.328B.
If the MATPSC verifies it processed the remittance then SSA negotiated the check. Follow the instructions in GN 02403.155B.3 below.
If the check endorsement shows “FRB-BALTIMORE,” the check was probably sent to SSA's Office of Finance (OF) in Baltimore to be processed as a remittance. In this situation, send an email to the MATPSC with the information listed in the bullets above. The MATPSC will work with OF to have the funds transferred to the remitter's account. Follow the instructions in GN 02403.155B.3.
b. SSA Did Not Negotiate the Check
If none of the check endorsements above are shown on the back of the check, or if the check was received by another Federal agency (e.g., IRS), determine that SSA did not receive the money. Follow the instructions in GN 02403.155B.4.
3. Document the Actions and Clear the Unverified Alert
a. Document Actions Taken
Document the FO investigation using the Remittance ID field of the RCFR screen (See MSOM DMS 003.022 ). (Managers should use the RMCR screen, Remittance ID field per MSOM DMS 004.011 ), so there is a record of what the FO has done to resolve the discrepancy. For example, if the alerted remittance was processed and/or posted to ROAR or the SSR, enter the following information:
Block and item number from the remittance file query display; or
The date posted to ROAR from the history field for TC 31; or
The date posted to the OPDR field with a TR 1 of HU or HUU; or
If none of the above, record that lost check procedures were implemented or other action taken and date. The RMKI screen can be used to enter remarks about the action taken
b. Clear the Alert
Mark the receipt as verified by the FO Manager through an input to the Manager Clear Unverified FO Receipt (RMUR). (See MSOM DMS 004.012 .) Any queries reviewed should be printed as documentation for the investigation. Once the receipt is marked as verified through RMUR, the receipt will no longer appear on the Unverified FO Receipt Alert Listing. STOP
4. Request Replacement Check
Ask the individual to make a second refund, explaining that since SSA did not negotiate the money order or check, SSA has not received payment. (See GN 02403.160 if the individual objects to making a second refund because of the cost involved.)
Tell the individual that if SSA negotiates the original money order or check after receipt of the second payment, the amount of the original money order or check will be returned.
5. Is a Second Refund Submitted?
If yes, issue a new receipt and submit a new FO Remittance Transmittal. Process as a regular remittance (See MSOM DMS 003.006 ).
If it is reasonable to assume that the original remittance will not be found, when the second refund has been posted to ROAR or SSR, use RMUR to clear the Unverified Alert. (See MSOM DMS 004.012 ) Enter the Receipt Number, and in the cleared field, enter “Y.”
If no, obtain a statement from the individual giving his/her reasons for declining to make another refund and forward to the MATPSC with Attention: Assistant Regional Commissioner, PCO. You can send the statement either via email at ||PHI ARC PCO, via fax to 215-597-0857, or mail the statement to PO Box 3430, Philadelphia, PA 19122-9985. Advise the individual that the MATPSC will notify him/her as to its decision concerning the lost refund. Document the FO development efforts, and clear the unverified alert following the instructions in GN 02403.155B.3.
NOTE: If you are unable to obtain a statement from the individual, document your attempts to call them three times and to send one call-in letter. If they do not respond, forward a statement to the MATPSC ARC, PCO explaining the events concerning the lost refund and that you could not obtain a statement from the individual.
C. Procedure - FO Converted Cash to Money Order/Cashier's Check
This subsection explains the procedure when a cash remittance is received, and the FO purchases a money order/cashier's check, and it is subsequently lost.
Contact the issuer of the money order/cashier's check to determine the appropriate replacement and tracing method.
(NOTE: The FO will be responsible for securing any duplicate money orders/cashier's checks to replace this type of remittance.)
Request the issuer of the money order/cashier's check to cancel the original payment, and issue a replacement. Use third party draft procedures to pay for the stop payment fees if required by the issuing institution. See GN 02403.160.
Upon receipt of the replacement instrument, input the receipt of the remittance to the system.
Annotate the remittance ID field, “Replacement payment for receipt number (show the first receipt number in the blank).”
Destroy the beneficiary/recipient copy of the receipt.
Forward the new remittance to the MATPSC.
D. Procedure - Endorsed Government Checks
This subsection explains the procedure for investigating endorsed government checks received in the FO and subsequently lost.
NOTES: Checks cancelled by limited payability are unacceptable as remittances--see GN 02403.005. For an explanation of checks voided under limited payability checks see GN 02405.300.
Determine if the check has been paid or is still outstanding by using the SF-1184 stop payment facility.
For title II, notify the PSC of jurisdiction to initiate SF-1184 procedures;
For title XVI, the FO will initiate them.
Is the check outstanding?
If yes, forward any available documentation to MATPSC, and request them to credit the beneficiary/recipient's account, after checking the programmatic system to determine that a check cancellation credit has not already been posted.
Annotate the special message field of the MBR or CG field of the SR: beneficiary/recipient was given credit for check(s) dated _____, in the amount(s) of $____, returned on XX/XX/XX.
E. Procedure - Cashier's Check, Bank Draft or Money Order
This subsection explains the procedure for investigating bank drafts, cashier's check or bank money orders received in the FO and subsequently lost. Process as follows:
Did SSA negotiate the remittance?
If contact with the remitter establishes that his/her remittance was in fact negotiated, request a copy of the instrument; then notify the MATPSC to credit the beneficiary/recipient's account. STOP.
If no, ask the individual to secure a duplicate.
Is a duplicate provided?
If yes, forward the duplicate as if it were a new remittance to the MATPSC for processing. Annotate the new FO Remittance Transmittal accordingly.
If no, ask the Debt Management Branch Chief in the MATPSC to request an indemnity agreement from the Department of Treasury (TD) to permit a replacement check, draft or money order from the issuing bank. Furnish the MATPSC with the following information:
a summary of the circumstances,
a copy of the individual's receipt,
a complete description of the bank draft, cashier's check or bank money order,
a letter from the bank (written on their letterhead) stating that the check or money order has not been cashed,
a copy of the bank receipt for the money order,
the name of the person in SSA who purchased the money order (if appropriate),
the complete address of the bank to whom TD will send the indemnity agreement.
Make no recovery demands for the refund in question during the period when the duplicate instrument is being secured.
RESULT: The Department of Treasury will forward the indemnity agreement (original) to the issuing bank with the instructions to remit a duplicate instrument to the MATPSC. MATPSC will be sent a copy. The refund will not be credited until the duplicate instrument is received.
The MATPSC is to send their request to:
Department of the Treasury
Bureau of the Public Debt
200 Third St., Parkersburg, WV 26106
If the original check, draft or money order is located later, notify the MATPSC, Attention: Debt Management Section Chief. When notifying the MATPSC, forward the check, draft or money order.
Remittance Processing Center Procedures, Investigating Lost Remittances, OS 00501.415