TN 26 (08-09)
GN 02605.055 Title II Undeliverable Mail — Change of Address (COA)
CFR § 422.135, 404.1596(b)(2)(ii)
A. Policy for Title II undeliverable mail
SSA must have a current address for all beneficiaries so that we can contact them when necessary to ensure that entitlement still exists. Mail returned as “undeliverable” by the United States Postal System (USPS) may indicate that:
The beneficiary has moved;
The address of record is incorrect due to an error; or
An event affecting entitlement has occurred (i.e. death).
1. Undeliverable mail that requires development
Undeliverable mail that requires an action by the beneficiary needs to be developed for a better address. The following types of undeliverable mail require development:
Beneficiary Recontact Notices (follow-up only by the requesting field office (FO) or program service center (PSC), all others can discard the notice);
Any notice containing waiver and appeal rights (i.e. Due Process notices) of an adverse action;
Direct contact notices sent by the FO (follow-up only by the requesting FO, all other offices discard the notice);
Direct contact notices sent by the PSC (follow-up only by the requesting PSC, all other offices discard the notice);
Notices of Award, Disallowance, or Disapproved Claim;
FO or PSC requests for information (i.e. FO come-in notices) (follow-up only by the requesting FO or PSC, all others discard the notice);
Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) notices;
Initial Medicare enrollment packages; and
Representative Payee Accounting Forms (i.e. SSA-623, SSA-6230, SSA-623, SSA-6233) (follow GN 00605.045).
EXCEPTION: Except for special situations in (GN 02605.055C), all other mail not requiring a response may be destroyed.
2. Undeliverable mail that does not require development
Undeliverable mail that is “informational” in nature and does not require a response from the claimant may be discarded without further development. The following are types of undeliverable mail that does not require development and can be discarded. This list is not all inclusive:
Any undeliverable mail without a full SSN can be discarded;
General Enrollment Period (GEP) Medicare packages;
Automatic enrollment in Medicare notices;
Benefit Verification (BEVE) notices;
Benefit Rate Increase (BRI) notices;
Continuing Disability Review (CDR) cancellation notices;
Change of Payee notices where final accounting is not due;
Direct Deposit or change of address confirmation notices;
Returned check call-in (REACT & LAF S9) notices;
Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) outreach notices;
Mid-Year mailer notices; etc.
NOTE: Any Title XVI undeliverable mail received in the PSC can be forwarded to the servicing field office for their action.
See the Undeliverable Mail Processing Guide to further assist clerical personnel in determining which undeliverable mail requires development and which undeliverable mail items can be discarded without further development.
B. Procedure for undeliverable mail that requires development
Follow the steps below to obtain the beneficiary’s current address.
1. Query the MBR or SSR
If benefits are terminated or suspended on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR), destroy the undeliverable mail even if it’s considered actionable mail at this point.
If a more current address is found on the MBR, remail the notice using an appropriate cover letter (i.e. Undeliverable Mail Cover Letter found in the Document Processing System (DPS) or Aurora).
If a more current address is not found, check for a SID line on the MBR, see (SM 00510.510) Supplemental Security Income (SID) Data Line. Query the Supplemental Security Record (SSR) when a SID line is present for a more current address.
On the Supplemental Security Income Queries (SSQM) screen key in “ADDR” on the Segment Request Identifiers line.
When the record is displayed look for the address change date (ACD) field.
If this date is later than the ADDR Updated field on the MBR, accept the Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) address as the most current address for the beneficiary.
If a more current address is found, update the MBR via the Post Entitlement Online System (POS) (see MSOM T2PE 003.002), remail the notice using an appropriate cover letter (i.e. Undeliverable Mail Cover Letter found in DPS or Aurora).
2. Better address not found on MBR or SSR
Review MBR or SSR to see if the beneficiary has direct deposit. If the beneficiary has direct deposit contact the financial institution (FI) and the USPS. If the beneficiary does not have direct deposit, contact the USPS only.
Develop to FI, USPS, or both using the following steps:
Contact the beneficiary’s FI (if receiving direct deposit) and the USPS at the same time;
Prepare the letter E3759, Request to Financial Institution For Correct Beneficiary Address in (NL 00703.759), or the document processing system (DPS) Locate Letter (Beneficiary’s Bank) under “General” category, or prepare a letter similar to the E3759 to develop to the FI;
Fax or mail the E3759 or substitute letter to the FI. Under the Right to Financial Privacy Act, 12 U.S.C. 3413(k), banks are permitted to disclose the information to SSA;
Send an SSA-L2001, Address Information Request, to the USPS servicing the address of record.
CAUTION: Develop in-care-of addresses per (GN 02605.005).
Diary the case for 30 days.
3. If a new address is obtained from FI or USPS
Input any new address furnished by the FI or USPS through POS, see (MSOM T2PE 003.002). Redate and remail the notice using an appropriate cover letter (i.e. Undeliverable Mail Cover Letter found in DPS).
If the USPS replies to the SSA-L2001 that the address of record is good and they still deliver the beneficiary’s mail to that address, follow the CAUTION below under (GN 02605.055B.5.).
NOTE: If the beneficiary is also receiving Title XVI benefits and the new address doesn’t match the SSR send a Request for Assistance or modernized development worksheet (MDW) to the servicing FO to alert them of the new address and that the SSR needs to be updated via Modernized Supplemental Security Income Claims System (MSSICS).
4. FI and USPS cannot furnish a current address
If the FI and USPS cannot furnish a current address and the beneficiary is in LAF C take the following actions:
Suspend benefits (S-6) using POS and use MONET to annotate the Special Message field on the MBR.
EXAMPLE: MBR Special Message - “HA’s overpayment notice dated 01/20/99 returned as undeliverable, unable to obtain current address, suspending benefits.”
Discard the undeliverable mail if the notice is stored in the Online Retrieval System (ORS); or
If the MBR shows the record is other than LAF C (i.e. LAF D, U, N, ND, etc) take the following actions:
Annotate the Special Message field on the MBR;
EXAMPLE: MBR Special Message - “T’s notice of award dated 01/20/09 returned as undeliverable, unable to obtain current address.”
Discard the undeliverable mail if the notice is stored in ORS; or
If the notice is not stored in ORS fax the notice to the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed). See (GN 00301.310) for the link to the NDRed application.
5. Beneficiary responds to suspense action
Reinstate benefits immediately by inputting the new address. See CAUTION below if beneficiary states the address of record is correct.
Update the address with direct deposit data to continue direct deposit. Follow instructions in (MSOM T2PE 003.002) if cancellation or new direct deposit data is involved.
Redate and remail the notice using an appropriate cover letter (i.e. Undeliverable Mail Cover Letter found in DPS).
Delete the Special Message regarding undeliverable mail.
CAUTION: If the beneficiary states that the address of record is correct, input it with a slight variation (i.e., change “St.” to “Street” or “Box” to “BX”). For examples see (NL 01501.000).
C. Special situation references
Follow these specific references and instructions for developing mail in the following special situations:
Returned benefit checks, see GN 02405.000;
Mail marked “deceased,” see GN 02602.050;
Undeliverable overpayment notices and bills, see GN 02210.213C;
Representative Payee Reporting Forms, see GN 00605.045;
Title XVI mail, see GN 02605.060;
Medicare Part D (i.e. SSA-1026SCE) notices, see HI 03090.001D;
Advance notice prisoner suspension: Add a Special Message to the MBR stating the advance notice was returned as undeliverable because the beneficiary is in prison. See GN 02607.700A1; and
Continuing Disability Review mailer forms (i.e. SSA-455), see DI 40502.001.