TN 43 (06-08)

SI 02310.056 Master Earnings File (MEF) Match (J3 and J5 Diaries)

A. Description of MEF match

1. Comparison or comparing the amount shown on the W-2 to the reported earnings

The match compares the annual earnings amount as reported on Form W-2 or Schedule SE to the amount on the SSR for the tax year. The MEF data may constitute wages, net earnings from self-employment, or sheltered workshop payments. When the MEF data indicate significant overreported wages and if the wage amount on the SSR is more than what is reflected on the MEF, a J3 diary is set and controlled by PE ODS. A J5 diary is set if the wage amount on the SSR for a deemor or essential person is more than what is reflected on the MEF. The discrepancy can be determined by reviewing a Detailed Earnings Query (DEQY) printout and comparing it to the information posted to the SSR. The FOs must resolve the discrepancy, update the SSR, determine past and continuing SSI eligibility, and release any underpayments that may be due.

2. Frequency of MEF match

The initial release of MEF cases coincides with the first redetermination release of the fiscal year. A supplemental release is usually scheduled for March and September.

B. Generation of MEF diaries

1. J3 diaries

If the date of eligibility is January 1 or later of the tax year involved, the interface sets a J3 diary if the recipient or deemor's earnings on the SSR are more than what is reflected on the MEF. The diary is set for over tolerance discrepancies of more than $1,000 annually.

2. J5 diaries

If the date of eligibility is later than January of the tax year involved, the interface sets a J5 diary if the deemor or essential person's earnings on the SSR are more than what is reflected on the MEF. The diary is set for over tolerance discrepancies of more than $2,000 annually. In addition, the deemor must have either:

  • No wages on the SSR, or

  • The MEF data indicates an amended return

3. The diaries are suppressed if:

  • The SSR already has a J3 or J5 diary; or

  • The SSR has a payment status other than CO1, N01, or MO1; or

  • When the earnings are for a deemor, the SSR shows that the deemor is receiving income based on need (IBON).

C. Procedures for no development/limited development/full development

Since the MEF interface involves only SSA computer records, it is not covered by the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act.

1. When development Is not required for a MEF earnings diary

You are not required to do any development for a MEF earnings diary if the earned income could not affect SSI eligibility or payment. You may delete the diary without making any contact to verify the amount of income or when it was received. In this case, do not transmit the earned income to the SSR.

An example of this is when the earned income is for an ineligible parent, but the deeming allocations for ineligible children in the household would mean there could not be “deemed income” for the eligible child even if all the earned income were received in one month in the year.

2. When you can do limited development for a MEF earnings diary

See SI 02310.007A. for rules for Limited Development.

3. When you must do full development for a MEF earnings diary

If the criteria for “NO DEVELOPMENT” and “LIMITED DEVELOPMENT” do not apply, you must follow the instructions in SI 02310.007B. for FULL DEVELOPMENT.

D. Procedure for coordination with other work

1. Redeterminations and other posteligibility activities involving MEF match

Coordinate MEF match development with scheduled FO redeterminations or other pending posteligibility activity (e.g., other interface alerts, continuing disability review, representative payee accounting).

2. Title II issues involving MEF match

  1. a. 

    If the earnings are for an individual who also receives a title II disability benefit, determine if there is a need for a review of the work activity.

  2. b. 

    If the earnings belong to a recipient who does not receive a title II benefit, determine whether the recipient is eligible for title II benefits.

3. Work incentives involving MEF match

Use this opportunity to inform recipients about work incentives. Emphasize future reporting responsibilities and advise blind/disabled individuals of the SSI work incentive provisions. (See SSI Work Incentives – General, SI 02302.006; Earned Income Exclusions – General, SI 00820.500; and Plans to Achieve Self-Support — Overview, SI 00870.001.)

E. Procedure for clearance of MEF diaries

1. Identify MEF diary records

Identify records with MEF diaries (J3 or J5) by accessing the PEODS system. Obtain an SSID to determine to whom the MEF data pertain. (See MEF/SSR Earned Income Enforcement Interface, SM 02001.600.)

2. Obtain DEQY for MEF data

Obtain a DEQY for the individual to obtain specific MEF data — i.e., amount of the wages and name and address of the employer.

3. Disclosure of MEF data

The MEF data contain tax data. Therefore, follow the instructions in SI 02310.040 - SI 02310.042.

4. Contact recipient to discuss MEF data

If development is required per SI 02310.007B., contact the recipient according to SI 02310.042 to discuss the MEF data.

5. MEF data income development

Do not develop further if the earnings were for a period prior to eligibility and the taxpayer alleges that the income stopped prior to the first month of eligibility.

If the individual agrees with the MEF data, request evidence from the individual to establish his/her countable income. If he/she has insufficient evidence, or disagrees with the MEF data, use an SSA-L4201-BK, or obtain a signed authorization (e.g., SSA-8510) to contact the employer for verification.

If he/she has insufficient evidence of SEI or alleges no SEI, following the instructions in RS 01804.400.

The MEF income data represent the amount received in a year. Obtain a monthly amount for SSI purposes if the income constitutes countable income.

  • See SI 00820.100 - SI 00820.160 for wage development.

  • See SI 00820.200 for self employment income development.

  • See SI 00820.300 for sheltered workshop payment development.

  • See SI 00820.005 for sick pay development.

  • See SI 02310.005C.5. regarding administrative finality. The SSR transaction date (SE transaction code) is the date of the “affirmative action in writing”.

  • See SI 02310.040 to destroy the DEQY printout.

6. Clearing the MEF diary

  1. a. 

    Documentation — MSSICS — Individual Has Earned Income

    • Document wage development on the IWAG screen (MSOM MSSICS 016.003);

    • Document self-employment income development on the ISEI screen (MSOM MSSICS 016.004);

    • Document sheltered workshop payment development on the IWAG screen (MSOM MSSICS 016.003);

    • Document sick pay development on the ISPE screen (MSOM MSSICS 016.002).

  2. b. 

    Documentation — non-MSSICS — Individual Has Earned Income

    See references in SI 02310.055D.5.

  3. c. 

    Diary Clearance Input

    • MSSICS - Complete the DDOC screen (MSOM MSSICS 022.012) and build transaction SSR.

    • Non-MSSICS - Transmit earned income to the SSR (See SM 01305.101.) Transmit diary deletion to the SSR via SSA-1719B input. (See SM 01301.220.)

7. Scrambled earnings involving MEF match

If the earnings do not belong to the recipient or deemor, scrambled earnings may be involved. Follow RM 03870.004B.1., NOTE, for resolution.

8. MEF correction

If correction of the MEF is necessary, see RS 01405.001. See RS 01505.031 for cases involving State and local government employers.

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SI 02310.056 - Master Earnings File (MEF) Match (J3 and J5 Diaries) - 03/06/2009
Batch run: 03/06/2009