TN 6 (09-12)

SI 00515.001 Requirement for Permission to Contact Financial Institutions for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Eligibility

Citations:

20 CFR 416.207,

20 CFR 416.1321

Social Security Act as amended Section 1631(e)(1)(B)

A. Background on financial permission

In 1999, Congress amended the Social Security Act to grant the Commissioner authority to verify financial accounts. In 2003, the Commissioner exercised this authority by promulgating regulations to make giving permission to contact financial institutions an eligibility requirement for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

B. Policy for permission to contact financial institutions

A claimant, recipient, or deemor must give us permission to request his or her financial records from any financial institution (i.e., financial permission). If a deemor does not give permission and good cause does not apply, the claimant or recipient cannot be eligible for SSI benefits.

IMPORTANT: Individuals who previously met the definition of an ineligible spouse or ineligible parent are not required to give financial permission for a prior period if the deeming relationship has terminated (e.g., change in household composition) and giving permission is not material to determining eligibility for that period.

See details:

  • SI 00515.002 Good Cause – Harassment or Abuse

  • SI 00515.003 Good Cause – Failure to Cooperate

1. Financial permission is valid until a terminating event occurs

If a claimant, recipient, or deemor gives us financial permission, the permission is valid until a terminating event occurs. The following terminating events only apply prospectively and do not invalidate the permission for past periods:

  • the claimant or deemor cancels his or her financial permission in writing to us,

  • a deemor’s income and resources are no longer available to the claimant (e.g., when spouses separate or divorce or a child turns age 18),

  • a claimant is denied benefits and the determination or decision becomes final and non-appealable, or

  • a recipient’s eligibility for benefits terminates.

2. Failure to provide financial permission

a. Initial claims

If a claimant does not give us financial permission, he or she cannot be eligible for SSI benefits. If a deemor does not give us financial permission, the claimant cannot be eligible for SSI benefits unless there is good cause for the deemor’s failure to give permission.

Payment status code of N18 represents denial of a claimant’s benefits for failure to give us financial permission. For information on failure to give financial permission in an initial claim, see SI 00515.001F.1. in this section.

b. Posteligibility

If a recipient does not give, or cancels, his or her financial permission, we will suspend benefits effective with the month following the month that the recipient receives the suspension notice.

If a deemor does not give or cancels financial permission, and good cause does not apply, we will suspend the recipient’s benefits effective with the month following the month that the recipient receives the suspension notice. Payment status code N05 represents suspending benefits for failure to give us financial permission. For information on failure to give financial permission in a posteligibility situation, see SI 00515.001F.2. in this section.

Suspension of a recipient’s benefits due to a deemor not providing financial permission or cancelling financial permission continues as long as deeming applies. In such cases, the recipient may be eligible for benefits the month following the month, that deeming ends (e.g., child turns age 18 or ineligible spouse or parent leaves the household), if the recipient meets all other factors of eligibility. For more information on suspension of benefits and re-establishing eligibility, see SI 02301.205.

3. Financial permission given after a previous refusal

If a claimant, recipient or deemor, who refused to give or cancelled financial permission, later agrees to give us financial permission, the claimant or recipient, if otherwise eligible, can receive benefits beginning the month after the month we receive financial permission. The claimant or recipient cannot receive benefits for any of the months where the claimant, recipient or deemor did not give financial permission and we did not find good cause.

NOTE: No retroactive effect permits payment for non-permission months.

4. Financial permission for minor children and legally incompetent adults

Minor children and legally incompetent adults cannot give us financial permission. If the claimant or recipient is a minor child, then a parent or legal guardian must give us financial permission on his or her behalf. If the claimant or recipient is a legally incompetent adult, the legal guardian must give us financial permission on behalf of the claimant or recipient.

5. Financial permission from representative payees

Competent adults must give us financial permission, even if they have a representative payee. A representative payee can only give us financial permission on behalf of a claimant or recipient where the claimant or recipient is:

  • a minor child and the payee is a parent of the child,

  • a minor child and the payee is the legal guardian of the child, or

  • an incompetent adult and the payee is the legal guardian of the incompetent adult.

6. Financial permission from individuals who are physically unable to give permission

To obtain financial permission during an initial claim, Pre-effectuation Review Contact (PERC), or redetermination from a claimant, recipient, or deemor who is physically unable to give financial permission (e.g., is paralyzed and unable to communicate clearly or is comatose), and who does not have an existing legal guardian, follow the procedures in SI 00601.012B.3.

Document on a Report of Contact (DROC) the reason the claimant, recipient, or deemor cannot provide financial permission. If the third party acting on behalf of the claimant, recipient, or deemor denies permission, proceed to deny or suspend benefits according to instructions in SI 00515.001F.

7. Good cause exception for certain deemor, parent, and legal guardian situations

Deemors, parents, and legal guardians are required to give us financial permission. In some situations, claimants or recipients may be unable to obtain financial permission from a deemor, parent, or legal guardian.

For example, if we cannot obtain financial permission from a deemor because the deemor is harassing, abusing, or endangering the life of the claimant or recipient, we may find that a good cause exception from the requirement exists. For more information, see SI 00515.002.

In addition, in certain situations, we may find a good cause exception if the claimant or recipient acted in good faith to obtain financial permission and cooperated with us in our efforts to obtain permission from the deemor. For more information on good cause, see SI 00515.003.

C. Procedure for requesting financial permission

1. Initial claims

a. Obtain financial permission

Take the following actions to obtain financial permission during initial claim events:

  • When processing a deferred or full application, request financial permission from all claimants and deemors during initial claims.

  • When processing a PERC where the claimant turns age 18 after the date of filing but before you adjudicate the case, collect permission from the claimant after he or she turns age 18 and indicate the date you collected the permission on the Financial Institutions Permission (AFIP) screen.

  • When adjudicating a claim taken prior to November 18, 2006, do not assume financial permission is present in the case. Proceed to obtain permission from the claimant and deemor, if any.

    NOTE: The AFIP screen became available in the Modernized Supplemental Security Income Claims System (MSSICS) path for events opened November 18, 2006 and later.

  • To document financial permission when the claimant is deceased and there is an underpayment pending, follow instructions in SI 00603.033B.4.

b. Do not obtain financial permission

Do not request financial permission when processing abbreviated applications. This issue will not appear in the abbreviated application path in the MSSICS.

2. Redeterminations

You must request permission to contact financial institutions for all redeterminations that require contact with the recipient and where documentation of previously given financial permission does not exist. Obtain permission from recipients and deemors on high, middle, low-error profile and unscheduled redeterminations, including those received in the field office (FO) after transfer from the Wilkes-Barre Direct Operations Center (WBDOC).

a. Procedure for redeterminations

Assume that we received financial permission where:

  • the initial claim was filed November 18, 2006 or later, or

  • the FO completed a redetermination on November 18, 2006 or later. For a description of the redetermination disposition codes found in the Case Redetermination Data (CRZD) segment of the Supplemental Security Record (SSR), see SM 01501.002C.8. The only exception to this assumption is if the FO opened the completed redetermination in MSSICS prior to November 18, 2006. In this case, we cannot assume that we asked the financial permission question, because the AFIP screen only appears in the MSSICS path for events opened November 18, 2006 and later.

NOTE: The financial permission question is not asked in redeterminations that the WBDOC complete.

b. Age 18 related diaries and redeterminations

Request financial permission when processing redeterminations where a recipient turned age 18, or there is a KB diary present. During these redeterminations, collect permission from the recipient or legal guardian after the date the recipient turned age 18 and record the date you collect the permission.

3. Limited issues

When processing resource-related limited issues, ensure financial permission is present in the AFIP screen. If the recipient turned age 18 since the last time we collected permission from a parent or legal guardian, collect permission from the recipient or legal guardian and record the date you collect the permission on the AFIP screen.

NOTE: If the AFIP screen does not appear in the limited issue MSSICS path, and financial permission was not previously documented, obtain and document financial permission. To collect permission, access the AFIP screen from the PERS screen.

D. Processing MSSICS cases involving financial permission

Explain the requirement of providing financial permission from all individuals and record the financial permission on the AFIP screen. When you do not obtain financial permission, determine whether good cause applies:

  • If a deemor does not give permission, but we establish good cause, record good cause on the AFIP screen.

  • If a claimant, recipient, or deemor does not give us financial permission, and good cause does not apply, deny or suspend benefits as described in SI 00515.001F.

See details:

  • SI 00515.002 Good Cause – Harassment or Abuse

  • SI 00515.003 Good Cause – Failure to Cooperate

  • MS INTRANETSSI 008.020 Financial Institutions Permission

1. Obtaining financial permission when claimant, recipient, or deemor is available

Explain the requirement of providing financial permission and take the following actions to obtain financial permission from the claimant or recipient:

  • If the claimant or recipient gives us financial permission, record the AFIP screen with a Y.

  • If the claimant or recipient turned age 18 since we last collected permission, you must collect permission again and indicate in the AFIP screen whether you collected permission from the claimant, recipient, or legal guardian, and record the date.

  • If the claimant, recipient or deemor does not give us financial permission, deny or suspend benefits as described in SI 00515.001F.

Obtaining financial permission when claimant, recipient, or deemor is unavailable

Complete the “permission to contact financial institutions” question in the AFIP screen with a “?” for a claimant, recipient, or deemor who is unavailable to answer the financial permission question until you can obtain an answer to the question.

Obtain permission either by phone or a financial permission request letter.

2. Obtaining financial permission by phone

If a claimant, recipient, or deemor is unavailable at the time of the interview, try to obtain financial permission by phone by taking the following actions:

  1. Contact the individual by phone and explain the requirement of providing financial permission. Fully explain what the permission means and how long it lasts;

  2. Record the individual’s response on the AFIP screen;

  3. Follow the attestation procedures for telephone interviews described in GN 00201.015F;

  4. If the claimant, recipient, or deemor gives permission, print and mail a copy of the financial permission summary letter available as a print option in the DPRN screen.

  5. If the claimant, recipient, or deemor does not give permission, deny or suspend benefits as described in SI 00515.001F in this section.

3. Obtaining permission with a financial permission request letter

When we cannot obtain financial permission because the claimant, recipient, or deemor is not available in-person or by phone, use one of these financial permission request letters:

  • For claimants or recipients, use the letter entitled “Financial Permission Request – Claimant (T16).”

  • For deemors, use the letter entitled “Financial Permission Request – Deemor (T16).”

Both letters are located in the General section of the Document Processing System (DPS). The two versions contain different language, so verify that you are using the appropriate letter.

Take the following actions to obtain permission with a financial permission request letter:

  • Print the appropriate financial permission request letter from DPS and mail the letter directly to the absent individual to complete and sign.

  • Control for receipt of the financial permission request letter on the Development Worksheet (DW01) screen.

  • Record the response on the AFIP screen when the individual returns the financial permission request letter.

  • If the individual gives permission, return the original copy of the financial permission request letter to the individual.

  • If the individual returns the financial permission request letter with a “no” response, deny or suspend benefits as described in this section at SI 00515.001F.

  • If the letter has not been returned within 15 days, follow up with the individual (and claimant or recipient if the absent individual is a deemor) by phone or mail.

  • If the individual fails to return the letter within the 30-day close out period, deny or suspend benefits as described in SI 00515.001F.

4. Obtaining financial permission from an ineligible spouse

Because the ineligible spouse is not required to provide information or attest to claim facts, we do not print his or her financial permission on the application. For information regarding signing applications, see SI 00604.111A.2.

We must obtain the ineligible spouse’s financial permission separately by taking the following actions:

  • If the ineligible spouse is available in person, explain the requirement of providing financial permission and print a “Financial Permission Request – Deemor (T16)” letter from the General section of DPS.

  • Ask the ineligible spouse to complete and sign the financial permission request letter. If the ineligible spouse gives financial permission, record the “yes” response in MSSICS on the AFIP screen and return the original copy to the ineligible spouse.

  • If the ineligible spouse does not give us financial permission, record the “no” response in MSSICS on the AFIP screen and deny or suspend benefits as described in this section SI 00515.001F.

  • If the ineligible spouse is not available in person, follow the procedures in this section SI 00515.001D.2.

E. Processing Non-MSSICS cases involving financial permission

For a MSSICS exclusion case, this procedure applies until the revised paper forms are available.

1. Obtaining financial permission from a claimant or recipient

Explain the requirement of providing financial permission and take the following actions to obtain financial permission from the claimant or recipient:

  • During initial claims and redeterminations, collect the claimant or recipient’s permission in the form SSA-8000 (Application for Supplemental Security Income), SSA-8202 (Statement For Determining Continuing Eligibility For Supplemental Security Income Payment), and SSA-8203 (Statement for Determining Continuing Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income Payments), respectively.

  • During a resource related limited issue, print a copy of the “Financial Permission Request - Claimant (T16)” letter from the General section of DPS. Have the individual read and sign the document.

  • If the claimant or recipient gives us financial permission, record in Shared Processes (EVID) that we obtained permission, including the date. For resource related limited issues, return the signed permission request letter to the claimant or recipient.

  • If the recipient turned age 18 since the last time we collected financial permission from a parent or legal guardian, obtain a signed SSA-795, Statement of Claimant or Other Person, indicating whether the claimant, recipient or legal guardian gave permission as of the date the claimant or recipient turned age 18, and the date that permission was collected. Fax the SSA-795 into Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Document (NDRED).

  • If the claimant or recipient does not give us financial permission, deny or suspend benefits as described in SI 00515.001F.

2. Obtaining financial permission from a deemor (including an ineligible spouse)

Explain the requirement of providing financial permission and take the following actions to obtain permission from the deemor:

  • Print a copy of the “Financial Permission Request - Deemor (T16)” letter from the General section of DPS.

  • Ask the deemor to read and sign the document.

  • If the deemor gives financial permission, record in EVID that we obtained permission and include the date the deemor gave permission. Return the signed financial permission request letter to the deemor.

  • If the deemor does not give financial permission, and good cause does not apply, deny or suspend benefits as described in SI 00515.001F.

3. Obtaining financial permission when a claimant, recipient, or deemor is unavailable (including an ineligible spouse)

When a claimant, recipient, or deemor is unavailable to answer the financial permission question at the time of the interview, take the following actions to obtain permission:

  • Print the appropriate financial permission request letter from DPS and mail the letter directly to the absent individual to complete and sign.

  • Control for receipt of the financial permission request letter by using the Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW) with a 15-day tickle. For instructions on completing the MDW and a list of nationally defined categories, see MSOM MDW 001.003.

  • When the claimant, recipient, or deemor returns the financial permission request letter and gives us permission, record in EVID that we obtained financial permission and include the date.

  • Return the signed financial permission request letter to the individual.

  • If the claimant, recipient, or deemor does not give financial permission, and good cause does not apply, deny or suspend benefits as described in SI 00515.001F.

F. Processing events when an individual fails to provide financial permission

1. Processing an initial claim when a claimant or deemor fails to give us financial permission

If a claimant does not give us financial permission, he or she cannot be eligible for SSI benefits and we must deny the claim. If a deemor does not give permission, and good cause does not apply, the claimant is not eligible for benefits and we must deny the claim.

NOTE: The good cause policy described in SI 00515.002 and SI 00515.003 does not apply to claimants. Develop “good cause” only when we cannot obtain financial permission from a deemor.

a. Denying a MSSICS claim with N18

If a claimant or deemor does not give financial permission, and good cause does not apply, deny the claim by taking the following actions:

  • Document on the AFIP screen that permission was not given and good cause does not apply.

  • Record the date we sent the financial permission denial notice. The system will derive payment status code N18 automatically.

  • Input the reason for denial in the remarks section. 18 also represents a denial for failure to cooperate, see SI 00601.110.

  • Input “FAILURE TO GIVE FINANCIAL PERMISSION – CLAIMANT - MMDDYY” or “FAILURE TO GIVE FINANCIAL PERMISSION – DEEMOR – NAME – NO GOOD CAUSE - MMDDYY” in the remarks section of the Supplemental Security Record (SSR).

  • Suppress the automated notice and issue a manual financial permission denial notice. For more information, see SI 00515.001F.1.c. in this section. For more information on notice suppression, see SM 01301.675.

  • Send the notice to the Online Retrieval System (ORS).

b. Denying a non-MSSICS claim with N18

If a claimant or deemor does not give financial permission, and good cause does not apply, deny the claim by taking the following actions:

  • Manually input payment status code N18 in the Denial Code (DS) field on form SSA-450-SI (SSI Data Input and Determination).

  • Input the reason for denial in the remarks section.

    NOTE: N18 also represents a denial for failure to cooperate. (For more information, see SI 00601.110.)

  • Input “FAILURE TO GIVE FINANCIAL PERMISSION – CLAIMANT - MMDDYY” or “FAILURE TO GIVE FINANCIAL PERMISSION – DEEMOR – NAME – NO GOOD CAUSE - MMDDYY” in the remarks section of the SSR.

  • Suppress the automated notice and issue a manual financial permission denial notice. For more information, see SI 00515.001F.1.c. For more information on notice suppression, see SM 01301.675.

  • Send the notice to the ORS.

c. Issuing a financial permission denial notice

When denying a claim due to an individual’s failure to provide financial permission, use the manual notice entitled “Refused Financial Permission – Disapproved Claim (T16).” This notice is located in the Initial Claims section of DPS.

2. Processing posteligibility events when a recipient or deemor fails to give us financial permission

If a recipient does not give or cancels financial permission, suspend benefits effective with the month after the month in which the recipient receives the suspension notice.

If a deemor does not give or cancels financial permission, and good cause does not apply, suspend the recipient’s benefits effective with the month after the month that the recipient receives the suspension notice. For instructions on undeliverable mail, see SI 02301.240.

We allow 5 days for the recipient to receive the suspension notice. For example, we send the financial permission suspension notice on November 28 (November 28 + 5 days = December 3), we would suspend benefits in January since January is the month following the month the recipient received the suspension notice.

NOTE: The good cause policy described in SI 00515.002 Good Cause - Harassment or Abuse and SI 00515.003 Good Cause - Failure to Cooperate, does not apply to recipients. Develop “good cause” only when we cannot obtain financial permission from a deemor.

a. Suspending benefits with N05 during a MSSICS redetermination

If a recipient or deemor does not give or cancels financial permission, and good cause does not apply, suspend benefits prospectively by taking the following actions:

  • Document on the AFIP screen that permission was not given and good cause does not apply.

  • Document on a new AFIP screen that the recipient or deemor cancelled his or her financial permission.

  • Record the date we sent the financial permission suspension notice. The system will derive payment status code N05 automatically.

  • Input the reason for suspension in the remarks section.
    N05 represents two other reasons for suspension. For more information, see SI 02301.220.

  • Input “FAILURE TO GIVE FINANCIAL PERMISSION – RECIPIENT - MMDDYY” or “FAILURE TO GIVE FINANCIAL PERMISSION – DEEMOR – NAME – NO GOOD CAUSE - MMDDYY” in the remarks section of the SSR.

  • Suppress the automated notice and issue a manual financial permission suspension notice as described in SI 00515.001F.2.c. in this section. For more information on notice suppression, see SM 01301.675.

  • Send the notice to ORS.

b. Suspending benefits with N05 during a non-MSSICS redetermination

If a recipient or deemor does not give or cancels financial permission, and good cause does not apply, suspend benefits prospectively by taking the following actions:

  • Manually input payment status code N05.

  • Input the reason for suspension in the remarks section.

    NOTE: N05 also represents two other reasons for suspension. For the use of payment status N05, see SI 02301.220.

  • Input “FAILURE TO GIVE FINANCIAL PERMISSION – RECIPIENT - MMDDYY” or “FAILURE TO GIVE FINANCIAL PERMISSION – DEEMOR – NAME – NO GOOD CAUSE - MMDDYY” in the remarks section of the SSR.

  • Suppress the automated notice and issue a manual financial permission denial notice as described in SI 00515.001F.2.c. in this section. For more information on notice suppression, see SM 01301.675.

  • Send the notice to the ORS.

c. Issuing a financial permission suspension notice

When suspending benefits due to failure to give financial permission, issue the manual notice entitled “Refused Financial Permission – Suspension (T16).” This notice is located in the Post Entitlement section of DPS.

G. Processing financial permission status changes

Process financial permission status changes the following ways:

  • If financial permission status changes (e.g., recipient or deemor who previously refused to give financial permission now gives permission), record the status change, date of change on the AFIP screen, and provide the recipient or deemor with a printed copy of the Financial Permission Statement.

  • If financial permission status changes multiple times during an initial claim or a redetermination, do not open a new iteration of AFIP for each change.

  • Once permission status is final, open a new iteration of AFIP to record a subsequent change.

  • If the FO already used the second iteration because of a previous status change, perform a manual clearance and reseed the pending file. For more information, see MS INTRANETSSI 008.020.

    NOTE: If permission was previously given and the AFIP screen still comes into the path, it will not accept a “Y” response. In this situation you must perform a manual clearance and reseed from the locked pending file.

  • If financial permission status changes after an N05 suspension, determine how to reestablish eligibility (i.e., reinstatement or new application) by following the instructions in SI 02301.205.

    NOTE: Do not reinstate benefits for any N05 month where the suspension was proper because we did not have financial permission during the entire month to contact financial institutions.

H. Related references

  • SI 00501.001 Eligibility Under the Supplemental Security Income Provisions

  • SI 00515.002 Good Cause – Harassment or Abuse

  • SI 00515.003 Good Cause – Failure to Cooperate

  • SI 00601.110 Closeout - Failure to Cooperate (N18) – Initial Claims

  • SI 01140.200 Checking and Savings Accounts

  • SI 01140.206 Instructions for Electronic Financial Institution Verification

  • SI 02301.220 Ineligible for A Past Non-pay Period (N05)

  • SM 01301.675 NP Field - Notice Suppression

  • SM 01501.002 Parts of the CRZD Field on the SSID Record

  • MS INTRANETSSI 008.020 Financial Institutions Permission

  • MSOM MSSICS 022.003 Print Options (DPRN)


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500515001
SI 00515.001 - Requirement for Permission to Contact Financial Institutions for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Eligibility - 08/16/2017
Batch run: 08/16/2017
Rev:08/16/2017