Prior to 1997, SSA required beneficiaries to file an annual report of earnings for
any year they received benefits and had earnings that exceeded the amount allowed
under the annual earnings test (AET). Currently, we consider earnings posted to the
master earnings file (MEF) to be the annual report of earnings required by law.
The Earnings Enforcement Operation (EEO) compares wages and self-employment income
(SEI) posted to the MEF with earnings estimates posted to the Master Beneficiary Record
(MBR) to determine if the beneficiary has been overpaid or underpaid. The presence
of non-service months (NSM) may affect whether or not we pay the beneficiary correctly.
In 2008, we began sending out Form SSA-L9790 (Nonwork Months Form) to Title II beneficiaries
selected during the EEO to obtain information on NSMs.