TN 27 (11-11)

GN 02406.160 When to Use Forms FMS-1133 and FMS-3858

A. Overview

This section prescribes procedures and forms for resolution of check claims filed by recipients of payments issued by the U.S. Government. We use Department of Treasury (Treasury) Bureau of Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) forms for request of information or assistance.

B. Background of Forms FMS 3858 and 3864

1. FMS 3858

This form contains essential information about the check:

  • check number,

  • symbol,

  • amount,

  • date,

  • the payee's name, address,

  • the stop code input by SSA, and

  • Treasury's status code response, etc.

See, How to read the FMS-3858 SM 01315.212.

The FMS-3858 is Treasury’s claims transmittal cover sheet for form FMS-1133 and check photocopies see SM 01315.210.

IMPORTANT: Treasury sends two computer-generated complete packages for review and completion. Before forwarding the completed packages to Treasury, make sure the FMS-3858 and FMS-1133 match the check photocopy by comparing check number, symbol, date, and amount.

2. FMS 3864

The FMS 3864 is obsolete and no longer used by Treasury; send follow-up requests and status questions etc., via email to check.claims@fms.treas.gov

3. Actions for Treasury manual follow up on physical checks

Call Treasury only after all efforts to locate the credit for the physical check are exhausted. This includes examination of all queries, holding files, and folders in the modules, Megasite, or field office. Treasury will credit the amount of payment back into the SSA trust fund when the beneficiary or recipient returns a payment. Treasury reclaims the money from the death of beneficiary or payee. Non-receipt actions are taken when the check has not been cashed.

Treasury will not supply information based upon the SSN. You must have the check symbol and check number available prior to making the call.

If the investigation was within the last year, Treasury may provide the information immediately.

To follow-up on physical checks and request information, call Treasury at (855) 868-0151.

Example of follow up for an outstanding check:

You receive an inquiry for an outstanding check dated 1/3/11 and you have exhausted all efforts to locate the credit. Treasury will query their check payment and reconciliation (CPR) system. When the query is completed, Treasury provides you with status and credit information. Take the following actions:

  • Using the information post the credit via the SSA-4208 (Limited Payability Determination).  

  • If Treasury does not provide a document number for the SSA-4208, input all sevens (7) in this field.

  • If Treasury states the credit is still outstanding, determine if the accounts receivable system (ARS) still has a control for the credit. If so, note no action necessary (NAN) for the inquiry.
    If the investigation is older, Treasury may have to recreate the record.
    When first contacting Treasury on older cases, Treasury may advise they have no record on their system. However, if payment history update screen (PHUS) shows the stop payment successfully processed (the Treasury department status code (TDSC) is not an exception code), explain the case is old and the record may have to be recreated. You must allow Treasury three workdays to recreate the record before calling back. Treasury will not contact you, recreated records stay online about two weeks, so it is important for you to follow up with Treasury after that three-day timeframe.

  • If a physical, document is required (such as a photocopy of check), request that Treasury mail the document directly to you, and expect the document within 10 to 15 workdays. Request Treasury to place your name and module number on the outside of the envelope to ensure timely delivery, establish a diary to mature in 30 workdays.

NOTE:  It is never appropriate to use direct input as a method of follow-up on any successfully processed investigation.

C. Background of form FMS 1133

1. FMS 1133

The computer-generated form consists of two pages (front and back of one sheet) attached behind the FMS-3858 and contains specific questions pertaining to the receipt and cashing of the missing check. Treasury generates this form when a check payee alleges non-involvement in the negotiation of the original, courtesy, replacement, or settlement check and contains specific questions pertaining to the receipt and cashing of the missing check.

2. How to determine if this is a non-receipt issue

For procedures see, How to determine if a nonreceipt claim is valid SM 00609.105

If the claimant recognizes signature as his own

  • Do not send to Fiscal Services.

  • Initiate overpayment recovery if appropriate.

  • Explain to the claimant since he recognizes his signature on the check, it is not eligible for non-receipt.

3. Non-receipt of a check issued 12 months ago or less

  • Treasury generates a claims package that includes the FMS-3858, FMS-1133, and check photocopy when an allegation of non-receipt of a check issued less than 12 months ago is input. If a B-stop is input, Treasury sends the claims package (“agency claim”) to the processing center of jurisdiction for title II and to Office of Benefit Accounting and System Analysis (OBASA) at central office for title XVI. If a C-stop is input, Treasury generates the package (“payee claim”) and mails it directly to the claimant.

  • Treasury will not process a photocopy of an FMS-1133 for a non-receipt claim. For Limited payability cases, see GN 02401.905

  • Review the form for completeness; ensure the claimant signs and dates both sides of the form. Treasury conducts a handwriting analysis and reclaims money from the bank if forgery is involved. United States Secret Service uses signatures on the back of the form for investigation. Treasury returns incomplete forms for title II claims directly to the claimant for title II and OBASA for title XVI to be completed and resubmitted.

  • Review the form for content and carefully check responses to questions 1 through 6 in particular.

D. Non-receipts alleged prior to death of claimant

IMPORTANT: If completion of the FMS-1133 is not possible review GN 02406.300

  1. If completion of an FMS-1133 is necessary in a non-receipt claim but the payee is now deceased have the form completed by an individual eligible to receive an underpayment per

  2. If no individual is eligible to receive an underpayment, and we need a forgery determination,

    • write "N/A" in the blanks for questions 1-8 on the FMS-1133 and

    • sign your name and position title on the bottom of the FMS-1133.

  3. Obtain signature samples from the date of the check, such as gasoline receipts, cancelled personal checks, tax returns, and attach them to the FMS-1133 with a note explaining why the payee (deceased) does not sign the FMS-1133. Send to the address in GN 02406.160H in this section.

E. FMS 1133 for limited payability claims packages

If the case meets the criteria in GN 02401.901, and the limited payability claim is appropriate:

  • Follow the procedures outlined in Handwriting Analysis Needed on a Limited Payability Case GN 02401.910.

  • Review the form for content using criteria in the sample GN 02406.160 in this section.

F. Treasury request for additional signature specimens

Occasionally, Treasury requires additional signature specimens to determine forgery. These circumstances might include:

  • Limited payability case where check in question was endorsed several years ago; for more information see, Handwriting Analysis Needed on a Limited Payability Case GN 02401.910

  • Claimant who filed non-receipt is now deceased and unable to complete an FMS-1133 (although the FMS-1133 can be completed by a family member, signature specimens are still necessary).

Obtain this information from a review of the claims folder if available, from around the time of the issue date of the check, and by asking for copies of cancelled checks or other examples of claimant's signature from the pertinent time period.

Call Treasury's general number (855-868-0151) and explain the problem.

  • If the check would not become a limited payability issue, Treasury will advise you to input a K-stop (photocopy request) for the check(s) needed.

  • If limited payability is an issue, Treasury will request the check photocopies to complete the claim form (provide check number and symbol at the time of the request).

For those who have access to it, the Treasury Check Information System (TCIS) can provide a check image for checks.

G. Claims disposition notice (CDN)

The CDN is a computer generated form and does not have a form number. Based on the information on the FMS-1133, the CDN provides this information:

  • Whether forgery was determined to be a factor or not;

  • If additional information is needed to make the forgery determination (e.g., additional signature specimens from around the time the check was issued);

  • Treasury's recommended action on the case (e.g., “Claim valid but settlement not appropriate, based on your recertified or non-entitlement stop. Treasury will credit your account when refund is received.”)

Review CDNs to determine action:

  • If Treasury needs additional information respond promptly so the investigation can be completed;

  • If Treasury determines that forgery was involved, review records to determine whether claimant is due a payment (e.g., in a double check negotiation (DCN) situation if both checks were forged and no additional funds were issued to claimant for that benefit month);

  • If forgery was NOT involved and no protest to Treasury's determination within the 60-day appeal period GN 02406.310, and DCN is involved commence overpayment recovery.

H. Procedure for mailing completed forms

When a title II beneficiary comes into the field office for assistance complete the FMS-1133;

  • photocopy the form; send the photocopy to the appropriate payment center for their records, and

  • mail the original to Treasury at the address provided. Do not mail to the PSC or CO.

  • Instruct the payee to use the envelope Fiscal Service provides or use the following address:

    Department of the Treasury
    Bureau of the Fiscal Service
    P.O. Box 51318
    Philadelphia, PA 19115
  • Diary for 90 days for return of the CDN from Treasury; Obtain status of the case through TCIS or by calling the general inquiries number at 855-868-0151.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202406160
GN 02406.160 - When to Use Forms FMS-1133 and FMS-3858 - 04/12/2017
Batch run: 04/12/2017
Rev:04/12/2017