The “Ensign Amendment” for FY 2009 precludes the crediting of QCs for the purpose
of Title II benefit payment to a NH who needs additional QCs to meet insured status
requirements when he or she has been convicted of using an incorrect SSN. This includes
situations where the NH asserts he/she worked and had earnings under the SSN that
was not assigned to him/her by SSA and SSA has determined that the NH was convicted
of fraudulently using the other SSN.
If the NH files a new claim for benefits or requests a correction to his/her earnings
record and either the FY 2009 or FY 2008 "Ensign Amendment" provisions were previously
deemed to be applicable, then:
Determine whether the "Ensign Amendment" provision of FY 2008 was previously found
to apply. The Special Message Field on the MBR should read: “Ensign Amendment.” If
the case was previously denied under the “Ensign Amendment of FY 2008” then follow
the steps outlined in RS 01404.256B.
Determine whether the "Ensign Amendment" provision beginning with FY 2009 applies.
If so, then:
SSA records should indicate that the “Ensign Amendment/Conviction” applied; and
SSA is prohibited from crediting the earnings in order to obtain the QC’s to meet
insured status; and
Based on the face of the NH's earnings record, he/she lacks insured status and the
NH presents no new evidence regarding conviction status, process the claim as a Res
Judicata case. (GN 03101.160)
If the claimant subsequently calls the SSA's 800 telephone number or visits a field
office (FO) solely to request a correction(s) to his/her earnings record, assume that
the ultimate purpose for the request is to obtain the necessary QC’s for benefit purposes.
Take the following action:
Do not take any action to correct the NH’s earnings record;
Explain to the claimant that as the result of the conviction, SSA is unable to take
any action to correct the earnings record due to the “Ensign Amendment” provisions.
If the claimant insists upon SSA taking action to correct their earnings record, then:
Take the request for the correction of the earnings record; and
If the claimant states he/she has evidence of the earnings not previously submitted
with the prior claim, accept the evidence; and
Document the Remarks screen (ERMK, EM 017.005 ) and the Report of Contact (EROC, EM
017.006) screen of the Earnings Modernization Item Correction System (ICOR) of the
evidence submitted and the relationship to the “Ensign Amendment” determination for
the prior Title II claim; and
Deny the request for correction pursuant to the “Ensign Amendment” Provision and include
the Ensign Amendment denial language in the notice to the claimant. (RS 01404.260)
The claimant can appeal SSA’s decision regarding the conviction and present any evidence
in support of the allegation that he/she was not convicted based upon working under
an erroneous SSN. (GN 03101.010, Time Limit for Filing Appeal; GN 03102.175, Component Responsibility in the Reconsideration Process)