TN 22 (09-03)
SI 02301.240 Whereabouts Unknown (S06)
A. Policy — Eligibility Suspension
Undeliverable checks, mail, reports of change or a change of address (COA) indicate changes in a recipient's circumstances which may affect SSI eligibility or payment amount. A suspension of SSI eligibility for “whereabouts unknown” (payment status code S06) is proper when we cannot locate a recipient and determine his or her current SSI eligibility and correct benefit amount.
IMPORTANT: Follow the instructions in this section as far as you can to locate a recipient before suspending benefits S06. An FO input of S06 in the PS field (or the CPAY screen in MSSICS) or an FO returned check input using the Direct SSR Update in MSSICS will suspend SSI. (Note that the system will automatically process a record to S06 when the U.S. Treasury Department returns a check for an address reason.)
NOTE: Do not use S06 for a representative payee address problem. Consider the need for a new payee as soon as it appears that a payee is missing or no longer acting on behalf of the recipient. Use direct payment when possible, GN 00504.105. Stop payments temporarily (S08) until you can find a new payee if direct payment is not permitted. (GN 00504.110).”
B. Policy — Effective Dates
After trying to locate a recipient, the effective date of the suspension is the first month that the FO can suspend benefits based on the systems recurring payment tape cutoff for the current computation month (CCM).”
NOTE: An S06 suspension is an exception to systems GK due process procedures. This means that you may input S06 or a returned check through the day of the recurring payment tape cutoff to suspend the next month's benefit. The system automatically generates the Notice of Planned Action (SSA-L8155) with appeal rights and the right to payment continuation to the recipient's mailing address on the SSR.
Reinstatement is effective the first month of suspension or a later month (or earliest day in a month) that there is a correct address and/or living arrangement and the recipient meets all eligibility requirements.
EXAMPLE 1: A recipient's COA leads to an S06 suspension. The recipient complains that his SSI stopped. There is no period of ineligibility and the FO reinstates SSI effective with the effective date of the suspension.
EXAMPLE 2: The FO cannot locate a recipient and suspends the SSI benefits effective May 1 for whereabouts unknown. The recipient asks for SSI again after an absence from the U.S. He was outside the U.S. the entire months of May, June, July and August. He returned to the U.S. on September 15. He cannot get SSI again until he meets the 30-day presence requirement. The FO corrects the S06 suspension status on the record with N03 for outside the country and reinstates SSI effective October 15.
C. Procedure — Efforts to Locate
1. Required Efforts
To locate a recipient:
Try to contact the person by telephone. Check the SSR/MBR and FO records for telephone and address information. Telephone at different times, leave messages when possible and give the person time to return calls.
IMPORTANT: FOs must not hold returned checks over 48 hours. You may have to input a returned check without the recipient's correct address information to comply with returned check procedures in SM 01315.010 ff. Continue efforts to locate.
Try to contact any interested persons or sources that you believe may have contact with the recipient. Check FO records (and DDS records if there is a medical issue) for leads such as employers, benefit sources, medical treatment sources, service agencies, community organizations, shelter, soup kitchens and others who may be able to help. Pursue any available leads.
Send Form SSA-L2001 (Address Information Request) to the PO for a current address. Do not delay an S06 suspension to wait for a PO response or to pursue optional efforts below.
EXCEPTION: It is not necessary to contact the PO if the PO returns mail as “Undeliverable” or “Moved/Left No Forwarding Address.”
2. Optional Efforts
You may choose to pursue these optional efforts:
Check a city directory and/or contact the telephone company for a new telephone number and address for the recipient and, if needed, for any other person on the recipient's record.
Visit the recipient's last known address and pursue any leads.
Try to obtain a current address from a financial institution when direct deposit is involved. Select a locate letter to the person's bank under the “General” menu in DOCS.
Check through the SSA's access to state records online (SASRO). For example, a person changes address with the food stamp agency. The online food stamp screens show a different address that is on the SSR providing the need for further development.
D. Procedure — FO Actions After Efforts to Locate
1. Unable to Locate
If you cannot locate the recipient, check the SSR and MBR, if applicable, for a COA and the current payment status before suspending benefits. If an S06 suspension is proper:
Include the outcome of your development with the United States Postal Service and the recipient’s financial institution;
Document the results of all efforts to locate the recipient on an SSA-5002 (or equivalent). This documentation includes your contacts with any social service agency, homeless shelter, benefit source, or medical treatment source;and
Input S06 effective the first month that the system can actually stop benefits based on the recurring payment tape cutoff. (See SM 01305.001.)
2. Able to Locate
If you locate the recipient, see:
SI 02305.022 on COA to determine if other changes occurred that may affect SSI and require additional development,
GN 02605.060 to reissue returned mail (all SSI notices/ letters),
SI 02301.235 when returned mail is a request for information (N20), and
SI 02301.210 on reinstatement.