TN 6 (06-09)

GN 02820.080 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – Beneficiaries Who Refuse the Economic Recovery Payment

A. Introduction

The agency is receiving requests from beneficiaries who want to refuse their Economic Recovery Payment (ERP).

Section 2201 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) requires that a one-time ERP of $250 be made to certain recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SSA, Railroad Retirement Board, and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits.

The ARRA does not amend the Social Security Act. Economic Recovery Payments are not considered an SSA or an SSI benefit.

B. When beneficiaries do not want the payment – prior to payment

The law requires us to send an ERP to all beneficiaries Social Security has identified as being eligible for the one-time $250.00 payment. The ERP is not a Social Security or SSI benefit.

If a beneficiary objects to receipt of ERP, follow the steps below:

  • 800 Number Sites should follow the instructions in 800 Number Operational Bulletin OB 09-006 dated April 10, 2009 to explain the purpose of the payment and the eligibility requirements for the payment. Also explain that the law requires us to send an ERP to all beneficiaries SSA has identified as being eligible for the one- time $250.00 payment. The ERP is not an SSA or SSI benefit.

  • Field offices (FOs) and payment centers (PCs) should refer to GN 02820.001 when explaining the ERP payment requirements. Also, explain that the law requires us to send ERP to all beneficiaries SSA identifies as eligible for the one-time $250.00 payment. The ERP is not an SSA or SSI benefit.

Explain that payments cannot be stopped at this time.

C. When beneficiaries do not want the payment after electronic funds transfer (EFT) has been made

1. If beneficiary wants to refuse ERP

Verify that the ERP was issued from SSA by querying the economic recovery list query (ERLQ ). If the payment was issued by Railroad Board (RRB) or Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), refer the beneficiary to the appropriate agency.

Only SSA employees had access to the ERLQ link at http://erl.ba.ssa.gov/. (Please note that this link is no longer active.)

If the beneficiary wants to refuse ERP because of possible tax implications, refer them to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website at www.irs.gov or have them call (800) 829-1040.

2. If beneficiary still refuses the ERP issued by EFT offer the following options:

  1. If the beneficiary asks that the ERP be applied to an existing overpayment (see GN 02403.001), advise them that the payment must be made in the form of a personal check or money order.

  2. They can gift the funds to the government by personal check or a money order (see GN 02413.002 through .004).

Send the personal check or money or to the U.S. Department of Treasury at:

Department of Treasury, Financial Management Service
3700 East West Highway
Attn: Credit Accounting Branch
Rm. 622D
Hyattsville, MD 20782

Include a note or indicate on the memo line of the personal check or money order that it is for refusal of ERP.

NOTE: Payment must be a money order or personal check.

D. When beneficiaries do not want the payment for ERP issued by check

1. FO Instructions–

a) Beneficiary wants to apply the funds to an existing overpayment or give the funds to the Government as a gift

The ERP check must not be endorsed to the US Government.

The check must be cashed and the funds converted to a personal check or money order.

If they still want to refuse the funds, they have the following options:

· They can apply it to an existing overpayment if the beneficiary asks, see (GN 02403.001). Advise them that the payment must be made in the form of money order or a personal check.

· They can gift the funds to the government by personal check or a money order, see (GN 02413.002 through .004). Send the personal check or money order or to the U.S. Department of Treasury at:

Department of Treasury, Financial Management Service
3700 East West Highway
Attn: Credit Accounting Branch
Rm. 622D
Hyattsville, MD 20782

Include a note or indicate on the memo line of the personal check or money order that it is for a refusal of ERP.

NOTE: Cash must be converted to a money order.

b) Beneficiary insists on refusing an unendorsed ERP check, take the following action.

· Identify the check to ensure it is an ERP issued by SSA. The ERP check has the words “Soc Sec Economic Recovery Payment” or “SSI Economic Recovery Payment” below the payee legend, depending on which entitlement program issued the payment.

· If the check is a Title II or Title XVI ERP, follow steps 3-11 below.

· If the check is an ERP issued by the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) or Veterans Administrations (VA), instruct the beneficiary to return the check to the issuing agency. These checks will have RRB Economic Recovery Payment or VA Economic Recovery Payment below the payee legend. Do not take any further action.

3. Enter the ERP into the mailroom or reception area log per (GN 02403.004D).

4. Stamp the check “Not Negotiable.”

5. Annotate the check with the reason for return, see (GN 02405.010) and (GN 02405.105).

6. Access the Treasury Check Verification Query (TCVQ) screen to determine the claim number of the beneficiary. For instructions on how to access the TCVQ screen see MSOM QUERIES 003.022 .

IMPORTANT: DO NOT write the SSN on the check.

7. Input the returned ERP check into the Debt Management System (DMS) per MSOM DMS 003.006 Field Office Remittance Input (RFOR), with a returned check remittance reason of “I” (Returned Economic Recovery Payment Check) or “J” (Returned Economic Recovery Payment Check with Limited Payability).

8. Enter the receipt number in the lower right portion of the check, above the solid line; and

9. Give the remitter the remittance receipt produced by DMS.

10. Follow normal returned check procedures in (GN 02405.010C) and (GN 02405.100B) for the remittance clerk.

11. Follow normal returned check procedures in (GN 02405.010D) and (GN 02405.100B) for the Remittance Supervisor.

NOTE:Inform the beneficiary that a replacement ERP is made if any change in address or bank data occurs prior to December 31, 2010. In this case, a replacement check is reissued. If they still wish to refuse the ERP, they have to return the replacement check.

2. PC Instructions

When a beneficiary refuses an unendorsed ERP check, follow the instructions as outlined below.
When an unendorsed ERP check is received in the PC, take the following actions.

  1. Stamp today's date on the check.

  2. Stamp the check “Not Negotiable - For Payment and Credit in Treasurer's Account.”

  3. Record each check on Form SSA-1627, Returned Benefit Check Log.

  4. Forward the checks daily to the appropriate Regional Financial Center (RFC) below.

IMPORTANT: Do not forward ERP limited payability checks to the module.

Title II:

Department of the Treasury
Financial Management Service
Regional Finance Center
PO BOX 34440-0840
Kansas City, MO 64116-0840

or

Department of the Treasury
Financial Management Service
Regional Finance Center
PO BOX 51320
Philadelphia, PA 19115-6319

Title XVI:

Department of the Treasury
Financial Management Service
Regional Financial Center
P.O. Box 165670-5670
Kansas City, MO 64116- 5670

Open the attached spreadsheet below and choose either the SSA or SSI tab (as appropriate) located at the bottom of the spreadsheet. Fill in the requested information for each case. At the end of each business day send an email with your completed spreadsheets to:

^DCO.OPSOS.ERP.Returned.Check.Not.Wanted@ssa.gov

E. Reference

  • GN 02820.001 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA): Introduction

  • GN 02403.001 Overview Field Office Remittance Process

  • GN 02405.010 How to Process Unendorsed Title II Returned Benefit Checks Received in the FO

  • GN 02405.100 How to Process Unendorsed Title XVI Returned Checks in the FO (Including Claimant Representative/Attorney Fee Checks)

  • GN 02405.105 Kinds of Title XVI Returned Check Codes

  • QUERIES 003.022 Treasury Check Verification Query (TCVQ)

  • GN 02413.000 Gifts to the Government


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202820080
GN 02820.080 - American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - Beneficiaries Who Refuse the Economic Recovery Payment - 03/31/2014
Batch run: 03/31/2014
Rev:03/31/2014