TN 36 (04-16)
GN 02607.890 Requests for Prisoner Record Changes, Updates, or Deletions to the Prisoner Update Processing Systems (PUPS)
Citations: Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. §552a(d), 20 CFR §
401.65, 20 CFR §
401.70 Social Security Act, Sec. 202(x),
A. Prisoner records changes or updates
Most requests for changes to our agency’s records regarding beneficiary or recipient prisoner information are initial program-related determinations. We often learn of these changes or updates from the beneficiary or the recipient during our normal Prisoner Update Processing System (PUPS) alert development or verification actions. These types of determinations are subject to the administrative review process (i.e., reconsideration, administrative law judge hearing, and Appeals Council review). Process any beneficiary or recipient requests for prisoner record (i.e., PUPS record) changes or updates by using your regular prisoner program processing instructions.
Processing instructions for:
B. Prisoner record deletions
A beneficiary or recipient may contact a Social Security office and ask that we delete his or her incorrect PUPS record. The prisoner record may be a regular PUPS record that matched on entitlement or eligibility (i.e., beneficiary or recipient record), or a PUPS non-beneficiary (i.e., skeleton) record. The PUPS Systems Manager administers all requests for deletion of PUPS records. For instructions on processing requests for deletion of PUPS records, see GN 02607.890E in this section.
Deletion requests for PUPS records fall under the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 for individual records corrections. A beneficiary’s or recipient’s request to change, update existing PUPS record information, or delete a PUPS record (i.e., remove fraudulent, erroneous, or incorrect PUPs records) supplements our efforts to maintain an accurate and proper prisoner records system. To maintain the integrity of the data in our PUPS system, we will not delete records from PUPS that accurately report a beneficiary’s or recipient’s confinement period during which, he or she was receiving Social Security benefits or payments. We will also review and investigate any requests for PUPS record deletions before we delete a prisoner record from PUPS.
C. Beneficiary, recipient, or non-beneficiary requests for PUPS records changes, updates, or deletions
1. National 800 Number Network (N8NN) processing of PUPS records changes, updates, or deletion requests
Beneficiaries, recipients, or non-beneficiaries may telephone the N8NN to request PUPS changes, updates, or deletions.
The N8NN agent will:
not provide any information about the caller’s PUPS record over the telephone.
refer all requests from a non-beneficiary, Title II, Title XVI (non-Modernized SSI Claims System (MSSICS)), or concurrent entitlement caller that require PUPS changes, updates, or deletions to the caller’s servicing field office (FO) using a Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW).
refer all requests from a Title XVI (MSSICS) caller that require PUPS changes, updates, or deletions through MSSICS to the caller’s servicing FO using a Modernized Claims System (MCS) Development Worksheet (DW01).
tell the caller that someone from the FO will contact him or her to discuss the request.
2. FO processing of PUPS records changes, updates, or deletion requests
FOs may receive MDW requests from N8NN, telephone calls directly from beneficiaries, recipients, or non-beneficiaries, other forms of electronic communications (e.g., fax, emails), or FO walk-in requests for PUPS records changes, updates, or deletions. Process all requests for PUPS records changes, updates, or deletions as indicated in the chart in this subsection.
Type of PUPS Record Request
Action on Request
Beneficiary or recipient
Change or update prisoner data on PUPS record (excluding PUPS deletion requests)
Process changes or updates per existing prisoner instructions. For prisoner processing instructions see:
Beneficiary or recipient
Delete PUPS record
Instruct the beneficiary or recipient to write to the PUPS System Manager to request a prisoner record deletion. For instructions on processing PUPS deletion requests and address information for the PUPS System Manager, see GN 02607.890E.1. in this section.
Change or update prisoner data on PUPS skeleton record (excluding PUPS deletion requests)
Do not make changes or updates to non-beneficiary (i.e., PUPS skeleton records) prisoner records.
Explain to the non-beneficiary that, instead of changing or updating the prisoner record, we will correct his or her record by deleting the prisoner record from PUPS. For instructions on processing PUPS deletion requests, see GN 02607.890E.1. in this section.
Delete PUPS skeleton record
Instruct the beneficiary or recipient to write to the PUPS System Manager to request a PUPS deletion. For instructions on processing PUPS deletion requests, see GN 02607.890E.1. in this section.
Non-beneficiary will not agree to deletion of PUPS skeleton record, he or she insists on change or update of PUPS data on skeleton record
Instruct the non-beneficiary to write to the PUPS System Manager to request a change or update to the PUPS skeleton record. Inform the non-beneficiary to explain why the record change or update is necessary and why he or she requires changes or updates to PUPS instead of a PUPS record deletion. For instructions on processing a non-beneficiary request for change or update of a PUPS skeleton record, see GN 02607.890E.2. in this section.
3. Processing center or payment center (PC) processing of PUPS records changes, updates or deletion requests
PCs may receive MDW requests from an FO on a beneficiary’s behalf, telephone calls from a beneficiary, other forms of electronic communications (e.g., fax, emails), or written beneficiary requests for PUPS records changes, updates, or deletions. Process all requests for beneficiary PUPS records changes, updates, or deletions as indicated in the chart in GN 02607.890C.2. in this section.
D. Erroneous PUPS pending alert regarding beneficiary or recipient
PUPS generates a “pending” PUPS alert for technician review if there is a match on eligibility or entitlement. Sometimes the prisoner computer matching operation incorrectly identifies a beneficiary or recipient as a “prisoner.” If during our investigation we learn that the beneficiary or the recipient is not the incarcerated inmate on the PUPS alert, close the PUPS pending alert. For instructions on closing the PUPS pending alert, see GN 02607.890D.1. in this section.
1. Mark PUPS pending alert as “ERRONEOUS PERSON”
Instead of deleting the erroneous PUPS pending alert, process as follows.
Close the PUPS pending alert by using a TYPE OF ACTION “03 CLEAR CONTROL – ERRONEOUS PERSON” on the T2 Prisoner Update (PU02) screen, or on the T16 Update (PU16) screen to close the PUPS alert. For instructions on closing a PUPS pending alert as “ERRONEOUS PERSON,” see MS PRISON 003.001I.
Add remarks in PUPS to the Remarks (PRMK) screen documenting both our development and why we find the record erroneous. The remarks will notify other technicians that the incarcerated inmate is not our beneficiary or recipient. The “ERRONEOUS PERSON” annotation on the PUPS record shows that someone else is using the Social Security number (SSN) fraudulently, or that PUPS incorrectly identified our beneficiary or recipient as a prisoner.
Inform the beneficiary or recipient that our method of annotating the PUPS record alerts our technicians to the problem if we receive another erroneous alert for the same beneficiary or recipient.
NOTE: Since there is no pending alert for a PUPS skeleton record, the only changes you can update to a skeleton record are the facility ID, released date, and remarks. If you need to update a skeleton record as an “erroneous person,” annotate a released date equal to the confinement date on the skeleton record, add a remarks screen (i.e., PRMK screen), and explain why the skeleton record is incorrect. For additional information on skeleton records, see MS PRISON 003.001J.
2. Request to delete PUPS pending record
Although a PUPS record is marked as “ERRONEOUS PERSON,” the beneficiary or recipient may request deletion of the PUPS record. Notify the beneficiary or recipient that we will consider his or her request.
For processing instructions on a request for a deletion of a PUPS record, see GN 02607.890E.1. in this section.
E. Beneficiary, recipient, or non-beneficiary requests a PUPS record deletion
For information on our agency’s policy concerning a beneficiary’s, recipient’s, or non-beneficiary’s, request for correction to his or her record per the Privacy Act of 1974, see GN 03345.001 through GN 03345.020.
1. FOs or PCs response to a beneficiary’s, recipient’s, or non-beneficiary’s, request for PUPS deletion
If a beneficiary, recipient, or a non-beneficiary contacts an FO or a PC requesting deletion of a PUPS record, use the information in the chart in this subsection to process the request.
Requestor’s Contact Method
Actions on PUPS deletion request
Telephone to FO or PC
Explain to the requester that he or she must write to the PUPS System Manager to request a PUPS record deletion. The requestor should mail his or her letter to:
SSA Prisoner Update Processing System Manager
PO Box 17713
Baltimore MD 21235-6401
For information the requestor must submit to us to support his or her request for a PUPS record deletion, see GN 03345.005B.
Notice or other electronic communications (e.g., fax or email) received in the FO or PC
For instructions on forwarding a notice, fax, email, or other electronic communication received in the FO or PC that requests PUPS changes or updates, see GN 02607.890E.3. in this section.
In person contact at FO
Verify the requestor’s identity.
For instructions on verifying identity, see GN 00203.020.
If a beneficiary, recipient, or non-beneficiary requesting a PUPS deletion did not visit the FO, ask for additional identity information from him or her.
For information on establishing identity for a records correction request, see GN 03345.005B.2.
Inform the requester that he or she must write to the PUPS System Manager to request a PUPS record deletion. The requestor should mail his or her letter to: SSA Prisoner Update Processing Systems Manager
PO Box 17713
Baltimore MD 21235-6401
For information the requestor must submit to us to support his or her request for a PUPS record deletion, see GN 03345.005B.
Obtain the requester’s name, SSN, and mailing address. Retain this information to include in the email that you will send to the PUPS Systems Manager (also known as, the Office of Representative Payee and Due Process Policy (ORPDP)).
NOTE: ORPDP will use the requestor’s identity verification and contact information you provide in your email to associate with the requestor’s formal written PUPS record deletion request that ORPDP should receive via mail directly from the requestor.
Email ^PUPS SYSTEMS MANAGER (i.e., ORPDP) to send ORPDP your verification of the beneficiary’s, recipient’s, or non-beneficiary’s identity. The email also serves to notify ORPDP that the beneficiary, recipient, or non-beneficiary intends to submit a written PUPS deletion request. Include the following information in the email to ORPDP:
Subject: Request for PUPS Deletion
Requestor’s SSN: XXX-XX-XXXX
Requestor’s Name: (Name of Requestor)
“(Name of Requestor) came into FO #XXX on MM/DD/CCYY to request deletion of an incorrect PUPS record. Verified identity of requestor as (Name of Requestor), SSN=XXX-XX-XXXX on MM/DD/CC/YY.
Requestor’s mailing address: XXX Street Address, Road, City’s Name, State’s Name, Zip Code.
(Name of FO technician), (SSA component title) Date of email MM/DD/CCYY.”
ORPDP will store the FO’s or PC’s identity verification email in an electronic file until ORPDP receives the written request from the beneficiary, recipient, or non-beneficiary. For information on ORPDP’s actions once ORPDP receives the beneficiary’s, recipient’s or non-beneficiary’s written request, see GN 02607.890E.4. in this section.
2. Non-beneficiary does not want PUPS record deletion, he or she insists on PUPS record change or update
The deletion of a PUPS record removes the record from PUPS. Explain to the non-beneficiary that we believe deleting his or her incorrect PUPS record is more beneficial than updating or changing the incorrect non-beneficiary prisoner record. If we delete the incorrect record, we cannot disclose or redisclose this record for subsequent possible identification as a “prisoner” by another federal benefit-paying agency. If a non-beneficiary refuses deletion of his or her PUPS record, and requests that we change or update the non-beneficiary PUPS record instead, refer the request to SSA’s PUP Systems Manager for review and resolution of the request.
Process this non-beneficiary request by sending the request to the SSA PUPS Systems Manager. In the subject line of the email message to the SSA PUPS Systems Manager, annotate the phrase, “Non-beneficiary request for PUPS skeleton record change.”
For instructions on how to refer the request to the SSA PUPS Systems Manager, see the chart in GN 02607.8901E.1. in this section.
3. Requestor’s incorrectly sends written statement and evidence for PUPS deletion to FO or PC
If a beneficiary, recipient, or non-beneficiary mistakenly sends his or her written statement for PUPS deletion and the accompanying evidence to an FO or a PC instead of directly to ORPDP, forward the statement and evidence to ORPDP. Use the following methods to forward the information to ORPDP: SSA Prisoner Update Processing Systems Manager
PO Box 17713
Baltimore MD 21235-6401, or
NOTE: Use this method only when you do not have scanning capability to send the statement and evidence to ORPDP electronically.
4. Central Office (CO) actions on a beneficiary, recipient, or non-beneficiary’s request for a PUPS record deletion
a. ORPDP processing of PUPS deletion requests
The PUPS Systems Manager (i.e., ORPDP) will process all beneficiary, recipient, or non-beneficiary PUPS deletion requests.
Acknowledge, in writing, receipt of a request within 10 working days, unless ORPDP can review and process the request and give an initial determination of denial or compliance before that time.
Review the PUPS deletion request and investigate the request within 30 days of receipt to determine whether the PUPS record is fraudulent or inaccurate.
NOTE: If any SSA office or component receives additional inquiries or other written statements for a PUPS deletion request that an SSA office or component already transferred to ORPDP for processing, refer the subsequent inquiry or information to ORPDP. For instructions on referring a deletion request information to ORPDP, see GN 02607.890E.2. in this section.
b. Transfer of prisoner record change, update, or deletion request to another agency
ORPDP makes a preliminary review of the beneficiary, recipient, or non-beneficiary’s request for deletion, change or update. If ORPDP determines that another government agency’s law or regulation governs the prisoner record change, update, or deletion request, ORPDP will forward the beneficiary, recipient, or non-beneficiary’s request to that government agency. That government agency will process the request. ORPDP will inform the beneficiary, recipient, or non-beneficiary in writing of the referral.
F. ORPDP approves the request for PUPS record deletion
If ORPDP approves the PUPS deletion request, ORPDP will:
Notify the Office of Systems to delete the erroneous PUPS record.
Send the requestor a notice informing him or her of ORPDP’s decision on the PUPS deletion request. ORPDP will file the requestor’s written letter demanding the PUPS deletion in the requestor’s electronic file, along with his or her identity proof and supporting evidence for the deletion.
Send a notice indicating that ORPDP made a PUPS record deletion correction to any other agency previously given a copy of the incorrect PUPS record based on the requestor’s claim, if required, and approved by the Office of the General Counsel.
G. ORPDP denies the request for deletion of the PUPS record
If ORPDP denies the PUPS deletion request, ORPDP will:
Send a notice informing the requestor of our reason for denying his or her PUPS deletion request. For additional information on the policy for refusing to correct or amend a record, see GN 03345.015.
Include appeal rights in the denial notice. Appeal rights allow the requestor further consideration of his or her deletion request. The notice will instruct the requestor to submit his or her appeal to: Executive Director, Office of Privacy and Disclosure
617 Altmeyer Building
6401 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21235–6401
For general information on appealing a records correction decision, see 20 CFR 401.70 and GN 03345.016.
H. ORPDP processing of non-beneficiary request for change or update to PUPS skeleton record versus PUPS skeleton deletion
1. ORPDP review of non-beneficiary’s request to change or update PUPS skeleton record
ORPDP will evaluate the statement and evidence provided by the non-beneficiary to explain why he or she insists on correcting the PUPS skeleton record versus deleting the record. After ORPDP reviews the non-beneficiary’s statement and evidence, ORPDP may contact the non-beneficiary to resolve any misconceptions the non-beneficiary has regarding deletion of a PUPS record versus correcting a non-beneficiary skeleton record.
ORPDP will also explain to the non-beneficiary:
the agency only keeps PUPS skeleton records for 24 months after a skeleton’s creation. If the inmate identified on the PUPS skeleton record does not become a Social Security beneficiary or recipient during that time, we delete the record, and
deleting his or her PUPS skeleton record now immediately removes the skeleton record from PUPS and prevents further disclosure of the prisoner record information. For information on the disclosure of prisoner records, see GN 02607.890I in this section.
2. ORPDP actions on non-beneficiary’s request
Based on the non-beneficiary’s statements, evidence, and discussions with ORPDP, ORPDP will:
Approve the request to change or update the non-beneficiary’s skeleton record. ORPDP will correct the non-beneficiary’s skeleton record based on the non-beneficiary’s statement and evidence. ORPDP will notify the non-beneficiary of this change or update after ORPDP revises the PUPS skeleton record. For information on how ORPDP approves a record correction request, see GN 02607.890F in this section.
Deny the request to change or update the non-beneficiary’s skeleton record. ORPDP will notify the non-beneficiary of the denial of his or her request for a skeleton record change and provide him or her with the reason for the denial and appeal rights in the denial notice. ORPDP will also notify the non-beneficiary in the denial notice where he or she can write to file an appeal of the denial decision. For information on how ORPDP denies a request for correction, see GN 02607.890G in this section.
NOTE: The non-beneficiary may revise his or her initial request to change or update the PUPS skeleton record after discussions with ORPDP staff. If the non-beneficiary changes his or her initial request for change or update to the skeleton record to deletion of the skeleton record, ORPDP will delete the non-beneficiary’s PUPS skeleton record. ORPDP will also notify the requestor of the skeleton record deletion. For instructions on how ORPDP deletes a PUPS record, see GN 02607.890F.
I. Deletion requests related to prisoner data disclosures to agencies administering Federal or federally-assisted cash, food, or medical assistance programs
1. Prisoner data disclosure
We disclose prisoner information to other Federal agencies when the Privacy Act, Social Security Act (Act), or another Federal law authorizes us to release prisoner information. For additional information on our record information disclosure to other Federal agencies, see GN 03313.001.
For information about disclosure to state and local agencies, see GN 03314.005.
2. Request for prisoner record deletion
A non-beneficiary may contact us and ask that we delete his or her incorrect or erroneous prisoner record (i.e., SSN or name) from PUPS because a Federal agency denied or stopped his or her federal benefits or payments. For instructions on processing non-beneficiary requests for PUPS deletions, see GN 02607.890C.2.