TN 16 (11-92)
RS 01702.219 Waiver Considerations
The waiver applies only to cases in which the wage credits were precluded because OPM had determined a survivor annuity payable and the pre-1957 MS was included in the computation.
1. Advising the Claimant
Request an SSA-655-U2 from OPM to determine whether the annuity is based in part on the pre-1957 MS in question. If the SSA-655-U2 indicates that OPM is using pre-1957 MS, determine the amount that would be payable both with and without credit for the pre-1957 MS. Discuss the matter with the surviving spouse and inform him or her of the waiver provisions. Advise the claimant to consider:
difference in amounts between civil service annuity as compared with a refund of civil service contributions plus Social Security benefits;
difference in length of period over which civil service annuity and SS benefits will be paid. SS benefits will terminate for E or E4 when the youngest child attains age 16, whereas OPM benefits will terminate only with remarriage before age 60. (Annuities to surviving spouse of a member of Congress will terminate upon remarriage at any age.);
applicability of work deductions on SS benefits. No work deductions are imposed on OPM survivor annuities;
possibility of VA payments under 38 U.S.C. 412 (see RS 01702.540). In this case he or she would not want to waive the OPM annuity because he or she will receive payment from the VA in an amount equal to the benefit that would have been payable under SSA had the veteran been insured.
2. Documenting the Claim
After informing the surviving spouse of all pertinent considerations, if he or she decides not to waive his or her annuity, do not document the file. If he or she decides to waive, follow RS 01702.221. If he or she is still undecided about waiver or has not obtained from OPM the information needed to make a decision, proceed with the award provided there is an insured status exclusive of the MS in question. Inform him or her that the award action is being taken and that if he or she later decides to waive the annuities he or she can secure the waiver from OPM.
If there is no insured status without MS, tell the surviving spouse by letter (see sample below) in all cases that action will be delayed for 15 days. (If the information is available when the surviving spouse is interviewed, the letter may be given to him or her then.) Include a copy of the letter in the claims file.
“We have been informed by the Office of Personnel Management that the military service performed after September 15, 1940 by (NAME) was used in computing your civil service annuities. Therefore, unless the annuities are waived, credit cannot be given for that service for Social Security benefits. Without credit for MS, no Social Security benefits are payable.
If you waive the annuities, Social Security benefits can be paid as follows:
If we do not hear from you within 15 days, we will assume that you do not wish to waive the civil service annuities.”
If at the end of the 15-day period no further information has been received from the surviving spouse, proceed with the disallowance action on the claim.