TN 4 (06-04)
RS 02635.020 Claims and Post-Adjudicative Processing in Removal Cases
A. Procedure -– Number Holder (NH) Applying for Retirement or Disability Benefits
Proceed as follows if there is an alert, allegation or other indication the NH applying for benefits has been removed from the United States.
Query DRAMS online (see MSOM QUERIES 005.003) and compare the identifying information to identifying information on the NHs Numident. See RS 02635.015E. if removal is alleged but DRAMS shows no record of removal. See RS 02635.015C. if there are discrepancies between DRAMS and Numident. Go to step 2 if it is established that the DRAMS record belongs to the NH.
Acess I-Main Web Based SAVE (see MSOM INTRANET 001.002, MSOM INTRANET 002.001 - MSOM INTRANET 002.018, GN 00303.640 to verify alien status.
If the Initial Verification Results from SAVE, shows “Lawful Permanent Resident” and the “Date of Entry” line shows a date that is later than the date of removal shown on DRAMS, then the removal provisions do not apply and have the DRAMS removal record deleted (see RS 02635.005C.2.).
If the Initial Verification Results from SAVE shows on the “Date of Entry” line a date that is equal to or earlier than the removal date on DRAMS, see RS 02635.025B.1. and GN 00303.640.
If the Initial Verification Results from SAVE shows a remark other than “Lawful Permanent Resident” proceed to step 3.
NOTE: If the Initial Verification Results from SAVE shows “Institute Additional Verification” then request additional verification (See GN 00303.640 and GN 00303.630H..)
Review the “Final Charge Code” shown on DRAMS in conjunction with the instruction under RS 02635.001D.1. “EXCEPTIONS” to ensure that the NH was removed on grounds that warrant suspension of benefits. If suspension does not apply, skip the remaining steps and apply the lawful presence provisions (RS 00204.000) or the alien nonpayment provisions (RS 02610.000) as appropriate. Otherwise, proceed to step 4.
Discuss the removal record with the NH and advise that benefits are not payable under the law unless he/she was granted lawful permanent residence (LAPR) status after the removal. Follow RS 02635.015D. if the NH disagrees with the removal record. Follow RS 02635.030 if the NH responds by submitting valid evidence of LAPR or U.S. citizenship status granted after removal.
NOTE: Status as a “lawfully present” alien under one of the categories other than LAPR (listed in RS 00204.025) is not sufficient to warrant payment under the removal provisions.
If suspension is applicable, process an award with benefits suspended under the removal provisions (LAF “SK”). Include in the award notice a paragraph explaining why benefits are being withheld and the circumstances under which they can be resumed. See RS 02635.020E. for location of processing instructions and removal paragraphs.
B. Procedure – NH Receiving Retirement or Disability Benefits
Proceed as follows if there is an allegation, alert or other indication that a NH currently receiving retirement or disability benefits has been removed from the United States:
Follow steps 1 through 3 under RS 02635.020A. Go to step 2 below if it is determined that suspension of RSDI benefits under the removal provisions is warranted.
CAUTION: If the I-Main Web-Based SAVE response indicates LAPR status, be sure the “Date of Entry” is after the DRAMS removal date. A “Date of Entry” before the removal date may indicate that SAVE has not yet updated to post the removal information. (See RS 02635.025B.1. and GN 00303.640)
Send a 30-day due process notice to the NH's address of record (usually in the United States) advising him or her of the DHS removal notice and that benefits will be suspended unless evidence is submitted to establish LAPR status subsequent to removal. (See RS 02635.020E. for location of removal paragraphs.)
Diary for 45 days. If the NH fails within that time to submit acceptable evidence that the removal provisions do not apply, suspend benefits (LAF SK) effective withthe month after the month SSA received the removal notice from the Attorney General or the Security of Homeland Security (DHS). Example: If the date of the removal notice from DHS is in July then the effective month of suspension is August. (See MSOM T2PE 002.003 and MSOM COMMON 005.019.)
Do not transfer PSC jurisdiction to the Office of International Operations unless notice is received of the NH's address outside the United States.
Send a formal notice (with appeals information) to the NHs address of record. Explain the reason for suspension with the effective month and the circumstances under which benefits can be reinstated. (See RS 02635.020E. for location of removal paragraphs.)
C. Procedure — Benefits to NH Suspended or Deferred
In some cases, the NH's retirement or disability benefits have already been suspended under the lawful presence provisions (LAF S9—NOTLAW) or the prisoner provisions (LAF S7--PRISON) when notice of removal is received. In other cases, benefits are being withheld for unknown whereabouts (LAF S9) or for some other reason. Proceed as follows in situations where a notice of removal (including a removal alert) is received for a NH whose benefits have been suspended, withheld or deferred for any reason:
Follow steps 1 through 3 under RS 02635.020A. If it is determined that suspension of benefits under the removal provisions is warranted, go to step 2 below.
CAUTION: If the I-Main Web Based SAVE response shows LAPR status, be sure the “Date of Entry” is after the DRAMS removal date. A “Date of Entry” before the removal date may indicate that SAVE has not yet updated the worker's record to show the removal. (See RS 02635.025B.1. and GN 00303.640)
If the worker's benefits are already suspended because of unknown whereabouts (LAF S9) or there is some other indication that he/she will not get the due process notice (e.g., he/she is a fleeing felon, other notices to him/her have been returned, etc.), annotate the MBR Special Message field as follows and skip the remaining steps:
DRAMS HAS REMOVAL RECORD FOR NH. SEE RS 02635.000 IF PAYMENT PAYMENT REINSTATEMENT REQUESTED
If benefits are suspended for a reason other than “whereabouts unknown” (LAF S9) and there is no reason to believe that a due process notice will not reach the worker (who, presumably, is now abroad), follow steps 2-4 under RS 02635.020B.
D. Procedure - Dependents or Survivors of Number Holders Subject to Removal Provisions
Alien dependents or survivors filing for or receiving payments on the record of a NH who has been removed may also be affected by the removal provisions. (See RS 02635.001D.4.)
Follow steps 1-4 in RS 02635.020A. in processing survivor claims if an alert or other information indicates the NH was removed prior to death and a determination has never been made as to whether nonpayment under the removal provisions would have applied if he/she were still alive. (In step 4, discuss the NH's removal record with his/her survivor(s) and determine if the NH was ever granted LAPR status after the removal.)
If the NH is subject to nonpayment under the removal provisions (or would be if still alive), determine the citizenship of each dependent/survivor. See GN 00303.300 for evidentiary requirements if U.S. citizenship is alleged.
1. Dependent or Survivor is U.S. citizen
Initiate or continue benefits without further action.
2. Dependent or Survivor is Alien in the United States
Obtain a statement from the dependent or survivor (or his/her payee) describing any absence(s) from the United States (no matter how short) during the retroactive period that would prohibit payment under the removal provisions. (See RS 02635.001D.4.) Absent information to the contrary, accept allegations of no absence or continued absence throughout the entire retroactive period without further evidence.
If absences are alleged for some but not all retroactive months, request proof of continued presence in the United States for any calendar month where no absence is alleged and benefits are otherwise payable. (See RS 02610.023D.)
If necessary, apply suspension (LAF SK) and initiate overpayment action for any months of absence determined under Steps 1 and 2.
Initiate or continue payment of current benefits if no current or future absence is anticipated and the lawful presence requirements (if applicable) are met. (See RS 00204.000)
Have the beneficiary (or payee) sign a statement agreeing to report any future departure from the United States.
Annotate the Special Message field of the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) to suspend payments if the beneficiary leaves the United States.
3. Dependent or Survivor is Alien outside the United States
Determine the months for which benefits are to be suspended (see RS 02635.001D.4.). Follow Step 2 under RS 02635.020D.2. for evidence required if uninterrupted presence in the United States for a full calendar month during the retroactive period is alleged and benefits are otherwise payable.
In initial claims, the Foreign Service Post (FSP) should advise the claimant (or payee) of the need to suspend current and future benefits under the removal provisions. If the dependent or survivor is already receiving benefits, send a 30-day advance notice of suspension and diary for 45 days. (See RS 02635.020E. for location of removal paragraphs.)
Suspend benefits (LAF SK) for any month the beneficiary was not in the United States for a full calendar month and initiate overpayment action if necessary. (See RS 02635.020E.)
Notify the beneficiary of the suspension. (See RS 02635.020E.)
Annotate the Special Message field of the MBR that the dependent or survivor cannot receive benefits under the removal provisions as long as he/she is outside the U.S. for any part of a month.
Evidence of LAPR, GN 00303.440, RS 02635.030
Deportation/Removal Paragraphs, NL 00703.124 (due process), NL 00703.554 and NL 00725.005
Award Data Input, Processing Guide for A101s , MSOM MCS 009.016, MSOM MCSEC 001.005
POS Procedures, MSOM T2PE 002.003
Title II Redesign, SM 03020.140, MSOM COMMON 005.019
MBR Special Messages, SM 00510.093, MSOM QUERIES 006.026