BASIC (11-96)

SI 00832.316 *Relief to Eligible Couples Under Anderson v. Sullivan

A. Background — anderson relief cases

In its January 28, 1992 order, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana invalidated the method used by VA and SSA to determine the class member's portion of an augmented VA protected pension. Instead, SSA must ask VA to determine in each case the portion of the VA benefit that is attributable to the class member and provide that information to SSA. This means that cases SSA previously reviewed using earlier Anderson instructions must be reviewed again. SI 00832.003 provides instructions for reviewing prior Anderson underpayment determinations under the terms of the court order.

The January 1992 court order also held that SSA must treat veterans who are members of SSI eligible couples on the same basis as other Anderson class members. Due to an earlier decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Paxton v. Secretary (described in SI 00830.316), members of eligible couples residing in the States of the Ninth Circuit only may be entitled to relief. These regional instructions implement the decision of the court regarding SSI eligible couples.

The District Court decision only changes the SSI policy and procedure for cases that involve VA protected pensions (the subject of the Anderson suit). For the SSI policy and procedure in the Ninth Circuit for cases involving other kinds of augmented VA benefits, see SI 00830.316.

B. Policy — anderson relief cases

For purposes of determining retroactive and prospective benefits payable under Anderson to residents of the States comprising the Ninth Circuit, only the veteran's portion of the augmented protected pension counts as income to an SSI eligible couple; the eligible spouse's portion does not count. The Ninth Circuit includes:

  • Alaska

  • Arizona

  • California

  • Hawaii

  • Idaho

  • Montana

  • Nevada

  • Northern Mariana Islands

  • Oregon

  • Washington

C. Process — anderson relief cases

The RO will notify FO's of eligible couple cases requiring an initial or a second review in accordance with the January 28, 1992 court order by sending SSIRD's for cases in the FO's service area. In each case, the FO will write to the VARO to request the amount of the veteran's portion of the augmented protected pension payment. VA will compute the VA benefit amount attributable to the veteran based on VA procedures developed as the result of the January 28, 1992 court order and respond to the FO.

The FO will input the newly verified veteran's portion to the SSR and delete the dependent's portion (if any) that is posted to the SSR for the eligible spouse/VA dependent.

D. Procedure — case reviews

1. No Prior Relief Provided

Use this list to review eligible couple cases on listings provided by the RO when no prior relief was provided under the Anderson decision.

  1. Does the SSIRD indicate that this is an SSI eligible couple case?

  2. Does the SSIRD indicate that this class member previously received an Anderson relief payment?

    NOTE: An indication of a prior relief payment is a CG code of “ANDE RSON MMYY” along with the issuance of an underpayment around the date shown in the CG entry.

    • If yes, go to D.2. below.

    • If no, go to 3.

  3. Use an SSA-L1103 to request information about the portion of the VA protected pension payment attributable to the veteran per SI 00832.002 C.1.

  4. Compare the monthly amount that VA shows as the veteran's portion of the protected pension with the total monthly amount shown on the SSR for the veteran and the eligible spouse.

    NOTE: In most cases, the total augmented benefit amount was posted on the SSR as income to the veteran prior to 11/88.

  5. Is the verified monthly amount of the veteran's VA income in the relief period more than the total monthly VA income posted for the couple in the entire period?

    • If yes, go to E. below.

    • If no, follow instructions in SI 00832.002 C. but count only the veteran's portion as VA income to the couple.

2. Relief Previously Provided

Use this list to review eligible couple cases on listings provided by the RO when relief was previously provided under prior Anderson instructions.

  1. Does the SSIRD indicate that this is an SSI eligible couple case?

  2. Does the SSIRD indicate that this class member previously received an Anderson relief payment?

    NOTE: An indication of a prior relief payment is a CG code of “ANDE RSON MMYY” along with the issuance of an underpayment around the date shown in the CG entry.

    • If yes, go to 3.

    • If no, go back to D.1. above.

  3. Use an SSA-L1103 to request information about the portion of the VA protected pension payment attributable to the veteran per SI 00832.002 C.1.

  4. Compare the monthly amount that VA shows as the veteran's portion of the protected pension with the total monthly amount shown on the SSR for the veteran and the eligible spouse. Are the amounts the same?

    • If yes, input a CG code of “AND2 MMYY” and issue the form letter displayed in SI 00832.317 C. Skip to 11.

    • If no, go to 5.

  5. Is the verified monthly amount of the veteran's VA income in the relief period more than the total monthly VA income posted for the couple in the entire period?

    • If yes, go to E. below.

    • If no, go to 6.

  6. Does the eligible couple have only one record and is that record active (i.e., payment status C01, E01, or suspense)?

    • If yes to both, input the verified amount of the veteran's portion as VA income to the couple effective with the first month of the relief period, delete any VA income posted to the spouse's record, and input a CG code of “AND2 MMYY.” Allow the system to process the underpayment. Issue the form letter displayed in SI 00832.317 A. at the time of input. Skip to 11.

      NOTE: VA income is subject to correction no earlier than 11/ 81.

    • If no to either, go to 7.

  7. Use only the veteran's portion of the total VA income amount to manually compute the correct Anderson underpayment amount per SI 00832.002 D. for all periods covered by terminated or denied records.

  8. Subtract the Anderson underpayment previously paid for periods covered by terminated or denied records from the result of 7 above to determine the additional underpayment now due on these records.

  9. Issue the underpayment computed in 8 above for all periods covered by terminated or denied records per SI 00832.002 C.2.b.

  10. Is there currently an active record?

    • If yes, input the verified amount of the veteran's portion of VA income effective with the first month of the active record, delete any VA income posted to the spouse's record, and input a CG code of “AND2 MMYY”. Issue the form letter displayed in SI 00832.317 B. at the time of input so the recipient receives it before the automated Notice of Change in Payment. Go to 11.

    • If no, issue the form letter displayed in SI 00832.317 B. Develop for current SSI eligibility per SI 00832.001 D.7. Go to 11.

  11. Complete a copy of the Anderson Case Report displayed in SI 00832.317 D. STOP.

3. Netting Underpayments Against Overpayments

Do not net an Anderson underpayment against the amount of a prior overpayment if the underpayment and overpayment periods overlap. If necessary, suspend collection of an overpayment until the Anderson underpayment is released.

E. Procedure — cases with overpayments

Deem the overpaid person without fault and deem recovery to be against equity and good conscience with respect to any overpayments caused by the January 28, 1992 Anderson court order. Do not issue a notice of overpayment.

Follow the procedure in the list below:

  1. Is there an active record (i.e., payment status C01, E01, or suspense)?

    • If yes, go to 2.

    • If no, issue the form letter displayed in SI 00832.317 C. Waive recovery of the overpayment by completing the overprinted report of contact in SI 00832.317 E. below. Skip to 8.

  2. Does the class member still receive an augmented protected pension?

    • If yes, input the verified amount of the veteran's portion of VA income effective with the current calendar month and a CG code of “AND2 MMYY”. Issue the form letter displayed in SI 00832.316 C. at the time of input so the recipient receives it before the automated Notice of Planned Action. Go to 3.

    • If no, input a CG code of “AND2 MMYY”. Issue the form letter displayed in SI 00832.317 C. Complete the overprinted report of contact in SI 00832.317 E. Skip to 8.

  3. Complete the overprinted report of contact in SI 00832.317 E. to document the FO case file.

  4. Will your input cause the case to go into suspense (payment status N01)?

    • If yes, go to 5.

    • If no, skip to 8.

  5. Suppress the automated overpayment notice in the same input used to post verified VA income. (Do not suppress the automated Notice of Planned Action.)

  6. Query the SSR to establish the amount of the overpayment reflected on the SSR as a result of this input after the income correction input has processed.

  7. Input a waiver determination and suppress the waiver notice. (See SI 00832.001D.3. for waiver determination inputs.)

  8. Complete a copy of the Anderson Case Report displayed in SI 00832.317 D. STOP.

F. References


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500832316
SI 00832.316 - *Relief to Eligible Couples Under Anderson v. Sullivan - 09/16/2014
Batch run: 09/16/2014
Rev:09/16/2014