TN 3 (02-07)

RS 01405.005 Earnings Record Correction Process

A. Process

The following overview provides steps taken to correct earnings on an individual’s social security E/R.

1. Identification of Problem

SSA is made aware by individuals, by the individual's survivors, by third-parties, or through its own processes that an E/R is incorrect or is allegedly incorrect. This may occur in both claims and non-claims situations.

2. Development of Wage Evidence

Wage evidence is provided to SSA by individuals, the individual's survivors, or third-parties, and/or it may also be requested from third-parties (e.g., employers) when necessary.

3. Determination of Sufficiency

An SSA employee, who has the delegated authority to make initial determinations regarding wage evidence, determines whether the wage evidence is sufficient to overcome the presumption that the earnings record is correct as posted.

4. Insufficient Evidence

If the evidence is insufficient, no correction is made. Provide the appropriate denial notice to the individual.

5. Sufficient Evidence

If the evidence is sufficient, corrective actions are authorized and implemented.

6. Listing Code

Listing Code 374 is used when an earnings adjustment has been authorized or when earnings postings are still in process (see RS 01405.090).

7. Notices

Notice is sent to the individual (or his/her survivor) whose E/R was adjusted or whose request for correction is denied. All initial determinations require appeal rights in the notice. See RS 01405.003A.5. and RS 01405.005C.3.

B. Policy

The following jurisdiction applies for all internal, reconsideration and appeal requests for corrections of individual’s E/R.

1. Jurisdiction of Initial Request

In claims and preclaims cases the office responsible for initiating, development and processing the request for correction of the E/R is not limited to the office servicing the NH’s current address. Generally, the office of initial contact (phone, written, or walk-in) may initiate and develop the earnings issue. This may be the FO, PC, OCO or TSC (in limited circumstances.) The office that makes the determination is responsible for providing the appropriate notice with appeal rights (as necessary). In scrambled earnings situations only one office has jurisdiction and control of the case.

2. Jurisdiction of Request for Reconsideration or Appeal

Whenever a determination is made to correct an individual’s E/R and the individual does not agree with the decision, he has the right to appeal the decision.

The request for reconsideration may be processed by any office that receives the request, the FO, PC or OCO. The reconsideration request must be handled by someone other than the person who provided the initial determination.

Forward requests for an appeal of the reconsideration determination or request for hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) or appeal of the ALJ’s decision to ODAR. ODAR will notify relevant operation offices of any necessary actions.

C. References

1. Wage Evidence

Follow guidelines in RS 01403.005 through RS 01403.080. This includes information on primary and secondary evidentiary requirements.

2. Wage Development

Follow guidelines in RS 01404.005 through RS 01404.225 for developing wage evidence. This includes development guidelines for lag and pre-lag wages (including development of gaps, incomplete postings, erroneous postings, and duplicate postings).

3. Special Determinations

Follow guidelines in GN 01010.360 which provide uniform procedures for special determinations, including wage determinations.

4. Scrambled ED

See RM 03870.045 through RM 03870.094.