TN 48 (04-13)
GN 02602.500 The Centenarian Project
Social Security Act, Section 202(j), 404.603, 404.610, 404.611, 404.612, 404.613, 404.614, 404.620, 404.621, 404.623, 404.630, 404.631, 404.632, 404.633
A. Introduction for the Centenarian Project
The Centenarian Project ensures that we pay benefits to eligible, living Title II beneficiaries and Title XVI recipients. A centenarian is an individual who is at or near 100 years of age. We should schedule telephone interviews, when possible, with centenarians who we select for the project to verify whether they are living. If the centenarian needs assistance during the interview, a third-party helper (with the centenarian’s consent) or a representative payee may speak on behalf of the centenarian.
B. Background for the Centenarian Project
There are several reasons for interviewing centenarian Title II beneficiaries and Title XVI recipients.
1. Determining if centenarian is alive
Past studies show that we issued a small percentage of benefits to deceased centenarians. By interviewing the centenarian and the representative payee, if applicable, we can verify that he or she is living.
2. Ensuring program integrity
We need to verify the identity of the centenarian who is receiving benefits. To ensure program integrity, an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) referral is mandatory.
Immediately refer the case to OIG using form e8551 (Reporting Form for Programmatic Fraud) if you:
Provide as much information as possible on the e8551.
3. Determining centenarian capability
We prefer to pay the centenarian directly, if possible. If the centenarian appears capable, we do not require a representative payee. However, if during the interview, it becomes apparent that the centenarian is not handling his or her affairs or is not capable of continuing to do so, develop for a representative payee. For instructions on Determining Capability for Adult Beneficiaries, see GN 00502.020.
4. Ensuring payment accuracy
Verify that SSA is paying benefits correctly. Review entitlement or eligibility factors and adjust payments, if necessary.