TN 9 (09-90)

RS 02605.025 Processing Reports of Change in Work Status in Mexico

A. Background

Studies of beneficiary work activity in Mexico indicated a number of working beneficiaries failed to properly advise SSA of their foreign work. The most common problem involved failure of the beneficiary to stop work on the date alleged. Based on the information gathered in these studies, an ongoing enforcement program was implemented to detect working beneficiaries.

B. Procedure - Recontact with the Working Beneficiary

1. When to Diary - Future Personal Contact

Diary for a future personal contact with the beneficiary in Mexico when:

  1. work deductions were imposed for at least 1 month; and

  2. the beneficiary alleges his work ended or changed to 45 hours or less per month.

2. Diary - Recontact After 3 Months

Diary for recontact with the beneficiary 3 months after the last month work deductions apply.

  1. Prepare the diary for DOFA claims.

  2. Prepare the diary for return to a BA for non-DOFA claims and for postadjudicative reports of work.

3. BA Action When Diary Matures

When diary matures, the BA must:

  1. Request the FSP to make a personal contact with the beneficiary to determine whether the beneficiary's work actually ended or changed to 45 hours or less as of the month alleged.

  2. Include the beneficiary's complete address and telephone number, if available, on the SSA-1320-U4, as well as the employer's name and address, if available.

C. Procedure - FSP Development

As part of FSP development:

1. Personal Contact

For personal contact, make an unannounced visit to the beneficiary's residence during normal working hours.

  1. If the beneficiary is not at home, ask neighbors about the beneficiary's whereabouts, with specific reference to where he works.

  2. If it appears the beneficiary is working, go to the place of work to interview the beneficiary.

  3. If the employer prohibits such visits, or the attempt at personal contact is unsuccessful, contact the beneficiary by telephone or mail to schedule an appointment at his home or at the FSP.

NOTE: If the beneficiary has difficulty scheduling an appointment, it may indicate that he is working.

2. When Personal Contact Cannot Be Made

If personal contact cannot be made:

  1. Try to contact the beneficiary by telephone when his residence is inaccessible because of distance or some other reason.

  2. Document the file with the reason personal contact could not be made.

  3. Conduct the full investigation by mail if telephone contact is not possible, and document the file with the reason phone or personal contact could not be made.

3. Conducting the Field Investigation

When conducting the field investigation:

  1. Include the beneficiary's allegations regarding his work on Form SSA-7163.

  2. Verify the beneficiary's allegations with his employer if he says he has quit work, or reduced his hours of work to 45 or less per month.

  3. Verify allegations of self-employment also.

  4. Get evidence of transfer or liquidation of business when a trade or business is involved.

  5. Accept, absent evidence to the contrary, the beneficiary's statement that he has neither rendered services nor held himself out as available to render services for more than 45 hours a month, if only personal services are involved.

  6. Resolve any questionable situations before returning the case to OIO.

D. Procedure - Action when Development Returned

When development is returned, route to the BA since a work determination may be required. Process as follows:

  • Suspend benefits and initiate overpayment development when the beneficiary continues to work more than 45 hours per month.

  • Route the folder to the BA for imposition of work deductions for the additional months of work, if the beneficiary stopped work, or reduced his hours to 45 or less, but after the alleged date.

  • Take no action if the beneficiary stopped work, or reduced his hours of work to 45 or less in the month alleged.