RS 02805.040 Receipt in the Processing Center
The PC receives advance notice via a Critical Case Request that a Request For Expedited Payment (SSA-1877) is being forwarded from the FO. As soon as the Critical Case Request is received in the PC, the Inquiries Staff should search for the folder.
Upon receipt of the Critical Case Request in the Inquiries Staff, enter the SSN into the case control system to determine the location of the folder.
If the case control system indicates that the folder is in the merged files, immediately go to the merged files and pick up the folder and record it into the Inquiries Staff case control location. If the folder is in operations, place a “B” hold on it. If the folder is in a modular operation (including computer holding files), initiate an immediate search. If the folder is in a unit outside the module, call the supervisor and request that an immediate search be initiated.
If the case control system indicates the folder is in the active FARC file, prepare a temporary folder. Do not recall the original folder.
After the case control system has been queried, punch or manually prepare a control card for each Critical Case Request. The card should reflect the social security number, surname, date of the Critical Case Request, date of receipt in the processing center, and originating district office. This card serves as an active control which must contain up-to-date information about the processing and corrective action being taken on the case, so that final action can be taken within the required time frames. Folder movement while under control and recordation of final action will also be included. A control or tickle file should be established for the cards in which final action has not been taken. Upon completion of all actions, file the control card in the Central Locator Card File.
To facilitate association with the folder, the SSA-1877 is mailed under the cover of a SSA-1671-U2 to the special PC address listed in RS 02805.025. The SSA-1671-U2 is annotated with the date of the Critical Case Request and lists any enclosures. Material sent to the PC special address bypasses the PC mailroom and is opened in the Inquiries Staff.
When the SSA-1877 is received, the name, SSN, date the SSA-1877 was received in the FO, date of receipt in the PC, and originating FO code will be entered on a separate log, maintained indefinitely. The log should also reflect the PC action on each case. This log will provide ready statistical information on the number of requests for expedited payment.
When applicable, payment must began promptly upon receipt of the SSA-1877. If the folder has not been located, the payment will be accomplished without the folder.
A. Initial Claims and Reinstatements
Within 15 calendar days after the request for expedited payment is effective the claimant must either:
be issued a check,
notified that the claim has been disallowed,
notified that the situation is not covered by the expedited payment provisions and the reason it is excluded or
notified that additional evidence is being sought from another source.
A request for expedited payment is effective 90 calendar days following the first month for which payment was allegedly due, or after the requester submitted all evidence required, whichever date is later. In instances where the request for expedited payment is filed after the 90-day period has elasped, the date the request is made becomes the effective date and SSA must dispose of the case within 15 days of this date. See RS 02805.040G. for processing requests involving RR Certification Cases.
B. Folder in Merged Files
If the folder is in the merged files, it should be reviewed to see if the payment in question has been made and notice sent, or a disallowance notice sent if applicable. If so, send a notice advising of the action taken and that this notice is in response to his request for expedited payment. Send a copy of the notice to the district office.
If final action has not been taken, determine the reason and expedite processing until final action is completed. Any expedited payment should be processed via the Critical Payment System (CPS). The appropriate Type of Payment (TPT) code is E01. If the CPS cannot be used, process a manual one-check-only A- payment. Any award or disallowance notice should reflect that the action taken is in response to the request for expedited payment. Maintain the folder in the Inquiries Staff until all actions are completed, then clear the control and notify the FO of final action taken via a Critical Case Reply (see RS 02803.305).
NOTE: A special paragraph indicating that the payment is in response to the request for expedited payment is automatically added to the notice by the CPS when the TPT code on the initial payment transaction is E01.
C. Folder in Operations
If the folder is in operations, and has not been located by the time the SSA-1877 and related materials are received, take action immediately to process on the basis of a temporary folder. All necessary sources to verify that payment without the folder is necessary should be considered, i.e., FO record, MBR and PHUS data, completed SSA-2795-U2, etc.
If payment should be made, use CPS if applicable, or manual one-check-only A- payment where CPS cannot be used. The notification to the claimant should include a statement that the payment is in response to the request for expedited payment.
If the FO record indicates that the FO disallowed the claim and the reason is clearly indicated, disallowance may be made on the basis of a temporary folder if the original folder is not located.
Retain the temporary folder in the Inquiries Staff until the original folder is obtained.
NOTE: If upon examination of the folder, the effective date of the request (date last evidence submitted by the requester) is found to be different form the one the FO entered on Form SSA-1877, notify the FO immediately by telephone.
D. Folder Located Through Answerback or Folder Search
1. No Additional Development Needed
If the original folder is located either by answerback or as the result of a search, examine it to determine its processing stage and analyze the reason for the delay. Take the necessary steps to ensure that final action is taken. If payment should be made, use CPS, if applicable. If CPS cannot be used, process a manual one-check-only A- payment.
When an individual requests reinstatement on the basis of an expedited payment request and a review of the folder indicated that no payment is possible (e.g., because of a dubious retirement situation or because benefits have been suspended to recoup an overpayment, etc.), notify the beneficiary that no payment can presently be made and the reasons why it cannot be made. Send the notice to the beneficiary within the required time frame, and send a copy to the FO.
2. Additional Development Needed
If the request for expedited payment is associated with the original folder and it is discovered that development is in process or is needed, the 90-day time period has not run, and the FO or beneficiary is unaware of the development action (development not being made through the FO or with the beneficiary), notify the FO of the pending action by telephone so they in turn may notify the claimant or beneficiary. If development must be made through the FO, the development memorandum prepared by the appropriate operating component should remind the FO of the request for expedited payment so they may notify the claimant or beneficiary of the delay. The Inquiries Staff should make certain this reminder is in the memorandum. If not, contact the FO by telephone.
If additional evidence is needed and the 90-day period has run, review all available evidence immediately. If there is any indication that benefits are payable even though additional evidence is being sought from a source other than the claimant or beneficiary, take action to see that payment is made. If the evidence does not permit a decision that payment is due, advise the claimant that additional development is being made (RS 02805.020).
E. Interrupted Payments
“Interrupted payments” refer to situations in which a beneficiary has been regularly receiving checks, but for some reason does not receive a check for a certain month or months. This includes interruptions caused by delays in converting one type of benefit to another, e.g., retirement to survivor, disability to retirement or survivor, etc.
A request for expedited payment in an interrupted payment case is effective 30 calendar days after the 15th of the month in which the check was allegedly due (42 days after the normal check delivery date). Payment or notification that the check was negotiated must be made to the beneficiary within 15 days of the effective date.
If the request for expedited payment is filed after the 30-day period has elapsed, the date the request is received by the Social Security Administration becomes the effective date, and payment or notification that the check was negotiated must be made to the beneficiary within 15 days of this date.
1. Requests Received Before the Last Day of the Month
The FO should not send the PC a request for expedited payment in interrupted payment cases prior to the 30th of the month in which the check was due. If such a request is received prior to the last day of the month, return the request and any SSA-735 forwarded with the request to the FO. Advise them to process the nonreceipt allegation through Payment Replacement, if they have not already done so, and to contact the beneficiary on the last day of the month or 7 days after the return of the request, whichever is later, to determine if the beneficiary has received a substitute check or notice from the Treasury Department.
2. All Other Cases
In all other cases, the following steps are to be taken:
Examine the appropriate check cancellation listings immediately. If the listing for the date of issue of the check in question reflects cancellation, determine if the case is delayed rather than an interrupted payment case and whether the 90-day effective date rule applies. If so, the beneficiary and the FO should be so advised. Process according to RS 02805.040A. If the check is not on the listing, continue to b. below.
Stamp the SSA-735 “EXPEDITED PAYMENT.”
Staple the SSA-735 to Form SSA-1892 which will serve as a transmittal to the Regional Financial Center (RFC) and also be used to provide feedback to the Inquiries Staff. Send a separate SSA-1892 for each check in question although only one SSA-735 may accompany the SSA-1892.
The Inquiries Staff should complete the top section of the form. In completing the Form SSA-1892, be sure to provide information about any prior nonreceipt action processed under Payment Replacement to assist the Treasury Department in screening its records.
Send the Form SSA-1892 and SSA-735 directly to the RFC with the SSA-1892 on top to assure special processing.
Key the social security number into the case control system. If the indication is NCIP, obtain the folder from the merged files. If the folder is in operations, a “B” hold should be placed and an immediate search for the folder should be initiated. Steps a., b., c., and d. should not be delayed while awaiting the arrival of the folder.
Hold the folder until the Form SSA-1892 has been returned from the Treasury Department.
3. Receipt of Form SSA-1892 from Treasury
Upon receipt of the Form SSA-1892 from the Treasury Department, appropriate action should be taken by the Inquiries Staff to complete action on the case and notify the beneficiary of the action taken on his request.
a. Disbursing Center Advises Check Cancelled
Assure that prompt action to correct the address on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) is taken if this was the reason for the returned check and if the FO has not already done so. A contact with the FO may help to ascertain this fact. See that the check is reissued if REACT has not already done so. Notify the beneficiary of action taken and send a copy of the notice to the FO. File all material returned from the RFC in the folder.
b. RFC Advises Check Not Issued
If the check was not issued, determine whether the 90-day statutory limit becomes involved or if the 30-day period is still effective for another reason relating to interrupted payments (e.g., life to death conversions, termination or suspension of one claimant erroneously stopped another's check, computer exceptions, other suspensions because of incorrect address, etc). If 90-day limit is involved process according to procedures in RS 02805.040A.
If the 30-day limit still applies, expeditious processing should be undertaken to meet the deadline. Follow the same rationale in instructions for 90-day cases. Form SSA-1892 should be retained in the claims folder.
c. Division of Check Claims Authorizes Substitute Check
When notice is received that a substitute check has been authorized, notify the beneficiary of the date of authorization. Send a copy of the notice to the FO. Form SSA-1892 should be retained in the claims folder.
d. Division of Check Claims Advised That Check has been Paid (Negotiated)
When notice is received that the check has been paid (negotiated), advise the beneficiary that it has been paid (negotiated) and that the Treasury Department will get in touch with him/her if they have not already done so. Advise the beneficiary that when a check has been negotiated, expeditious payment is excluded from the provisions of section 205(q) of the Social Security Act. Send a copy of the notice to the FO. Form SSA-1892 should be retained in the claims folder.
F. PC Identified Requests for Expedited Payment
On occasion, the PC may receive a written request for expedited payment directly. When such a request is identified in operations, it should immediately be brought to the Inquiries Staff.
If the folder is available, determine the effective date of the request and take action accordingly. Acknowledge the request and notify the FO. If the folder is not available and information about the effective date is not available, contact the FO to determine the effective date. If the case is an initial claim, request a copy of the FO record. Payment action should be taken as outlined in previous instructions for handling requests forwarded by FO's.
G. Expedited Payments for RRB Certification Cases
The same basic procedures for critical cases (RS 02809.015A.) apply to expedited payment cases regarding the payment information to be furnished and the confirmation Form SSA-3103. Advise the RRB, Customer Service Representative, that a Form SSA-1877 has been received, the date of the request for expedited payment and the payment data. Send the confirming SSA-3103 to the RRB, CSR Section.
The CSR Section will make arrangements with the Treasury Department to make payment no later than 15 days from the date the Form SSA-1877 was filed or notify the claimant why payment is not due. The CSR will make a return phone call to the Inquiries Staff advising the amount of the payment and the date it was certified to Treasury, or the reason payment is not due.
H. PC Controls
Maintain an active control card until final action has been taken on the request for expedited payment. The Inquiries Staff should keep a log of these cases showing the name, social security number, date and time received and date and time released. When final action has been taken, complete the PC entries in Part II. File parts I and II of the SSA-1877 in the claims folder. Notify the FO via a Critical Case Reply upon completion of payment, disallowance, or exclusion action, advising them of the action taken. Where payment is involved, provide details as to period, amounts etc.