TN 35 (02-17)

GN 02406.140 Request for Non-certified Photocopies of Checks

A. When to obtain a non-certified photocopy

You may obtain a non-certified photocopy of a check from the Treasury Check Information System (TCIS) when a claimant alleges nonreceipt for a check that is more than 13 months old. For more information on limited payability, see GN 02401.905 through GN 02401.917.

B. When not to obtain a non-certified photocopy

1. If a nonreceipt action or an SF-1184 stop payment action is appropriate

Do not obtain a check photocopy when a nonreceipt action or an SF-1184 stop payment action is appropriate. Properly transmitting a nonreceipt or stop payment action is the most efficient way to determine what to the missing payment and resolve the problem. It also avoids limited payability situations. For more information on nonreceipt and stop payment actions, see GN 02406.003 and GN 02406.001.

2. Claimant unsure about receipt of check

If a claimant is “unsure” if he or she received a check 12 months or less in the past and wants to confirm whether they cashed or signed the check, input a nonreceipt C-stop payment after status. After inputting the C-stop, explain that if someone cashed the check, the claimant will receive a photocopy of the check with a claims package to review. The claimant must return the package to the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) in order for the handwriting analysis to take place. Assure the claimant that if someone has cashed the check in question, Treasury will not issue a payment until he or she has an opportunity to examine the photocopy. After the handwriting analysis, if the check is still due, we will replace the payment after we receive a credit from Treasury. For more information on a C-Stop action, see GN 02406.150.

3. There is a “Timely” allegation of nonreceipt

Do not obtain a check photocopy for any timely nonreceipt or stop payment situation if the check issue date was 13 months or less in the past. The only EXCEPTION to this rule occurs when the Office of Inspector General (OIG) or another agency requests certified copies for checks (e.g., L-stop for certified copies).

Only allegations of nonreceipt within 12 months of the check issue date are “timely” by law. Input a permanent stop code through the 13th month when the claimant made timely allegations.

The Returned Check Action (REACT) program will produce a code “252 exception” for a stop payment or nonreceipt action performed on a check issued 13 months or more prior to the input date. When you receive exception output or Treasury responds with an FMS-3859 (Claims Disposition Notice) (or its equivalent), immediately obtain a check photocopy from TCIS.

NOTE: For more information on OIG certified photocopy requests, see GN 02406.145

4. Timely nonreceipt received but 14 months have elapsed

After the 13th month, Treasury’s system will not accept a permanent stop code. However, in a timely nonreceipt situation 14-15 months after the issue date (this might occur with a timely reporting of nonreceipt that rejects and goes undetected until after 12 months have passed), contact FMS at 855-868-0151. Treasury can input a stop code that their system will accept and produce the necessary claims package. However, the code will not show up on PHUS or the Q query.

NOTE: Put a special message on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) or Supplemental Security Record (SSR) indicating you reached out to Treasury to input a stop code.

5. If an additional copy of a check is necessary

For information on how to request an additional copy of a check, see GN 02406.140D in this section.

C. Who may request a non-certified photocopy

The following may request a photocopy:

  • the check payee;

  • a second party endorser (an entity or individual who accepted a properly endorsed check from the payee and subsequently endorsed the check when presenting it for payment);

  • an individual representing the check payee or second party endorser, if the basis for representation is shown;

  • other persons, if the photocopy is required in connection with an action or determination for a Title II, Title XVI purpose; or

  • any SSA component for administrative purposes.