TN 8 (01-24)

RS 01405.003 Earnings Record Correction Policy

A. Policy

The following provides an overview of SSA’s E/R correction policy.

1. Presumption

It is presumed that an individual's record of earnings is correct as posted. This presumption also applies to the absence of postings; i.e., the absence of postings is evidence that no wages were paid.

2. Correction

The presumption that the record of earnings is correct may be overcome under certain circumstances.

3. Evidence

The Commissioner of Social Security has full authority to determine what evidence is sufficient to overcome the presumption of correctness and may subpoena evidence and/or testimony when necessary.

4. Initial Determinations

  1. a. 

    The resolution of an earnings problem, e.g., a revision to an individual's E/R, as a result of a request for correction by the individual or their survivor is an initial determination and carries Appeals rights.

    NOTE: This applies to both claims and non-claims situations.

  2. b. 

    Revisions made as a result of third-party actions (e.g., employer correction, IRS audit, etc.) and SSA-initiated changes are not initial determinations for SSA purposes.

B. Procedure - Notice

1. Notice Guidelines

Provide written notices containing full appeal rights for all initial determinations. The office that makes the final determination is responsible for all required notices.

EXCEPTION: If SSA has already made an initial determination (e.g., awarding a claim that included wage determinations):

  1. a. 

    a notice need not be issued if a subsequent action (e.g., a subsequent correction via ICOR) must be taken to follow through on the initial determination previously made; unless

  2. b. 

    the beneficiary's status changes and they need to be informed of the subsequent action (no reconsideration/appeals paragraph is needed in this case).

2. Notices for third party or SSA initiated earnings corrections

  1. a. 

    Written notices as a result of third-party or SSA-initiated actions are required only if the individual or their survivor had been previously notified of the amount of wages posted for the period being revised and the revision is a reduction or deletion. See RS 02201.032.

  2. b. 

    For notices as a result of third-party or SSA-initiated actions:

    • do not include a reconsideration/appeals paragraph;

    • include information on the right to request a revision, if the employee's records are different from SSA's; and

    • include information on the effects of the Statute of Limitations.

C. References

GN 01010.001 - Adjudicative Policy and Standards

RS 02201.001 through RS 02201.034 Statute of Limitations

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RS 01405.003 - Earnings Record Correction Policy - 01/09/2024
Batch run: 01/09/2024