TN 15 (09-17)
HI 03050.025 Subsidy-Changing Event (SCE) and Other Event
A. Reporting events that may affect the Extra Help determination and subsidy amount
Reporting events or changes that may affect a beneficiary’s Medicare Part D Extra Help determination or subsidy amount differs from Title II and Title XVI event and change reporting in three ways:
Medicare Extra Help beneficiaries are not required to report changes.
There is no distinction between how first- and third-party reports are processed.
There are two types of events that can affect the Extra Help determination or subsidy amount:
Subsidy Changing Events (SCEs), as defined in HI 03050.025B, and
Other Events, which are events that may change the Extra Help determination or amount, such as a change in income, resources, or household composition.
The type of event determines how Medicare Application Processing System (MAPS) processes the report and the effective date of any subsidy adjustment.
NOTE: Policy for Medicare Part D Extra Help does not supersede existing Title II and Title XVI policy. Process a report of change that may also affect Title II and Title XVI benefits according to the established policy for those programs. For posteligibility factors, policies, and procedures see GN 02600.000 (Title II) and SI 02300.000 (Title XVI).
B. Description of an SCE
There are six SCEs:
Death of living-with spouse,
Divorce from living-with spouse,
Annulment from living-with spouse,
Separation from living-with spouse, and
Resumption of living together with previously separated spouse.
SCEs result in a redetermination of the Extra Help amount and may affect the beneficiary’s eligibility.
When the technician enters the report of the SCE in the MAPS via the Changing Event screen, the system sends an Extra Help redetermination form (SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE) to the beneficiary for completion.
After entering the SCE report on the screen and mailing the SSA-1026-SCE, the action stays pending in Management Information (MI) Central for the office that entered the report (Teleservice Center (TSC) or FO) until the SCE form is returned or the Extra Help terminates.
Alternately, the claims representative (CR) in the FO can complete the redetermination immediately in MAPS. For additional information and an example regarding FO completion of an SCE report see HI 03050.025C.3.
If the report results in a change to the subsidy amount, the system will issue the appropriate notice. The Notice of Change, Notice of Planned Action, and Notice of Termination give appeal rights.
1. Effective date of an SCE
With the exception of some living-with spouse death reports, a change in Extra Help because of an SCE will be effective the month after the month the report is received and entered into MAPS provided the beneficiary returns the completed redetermination form within 90 days (the date of the form is specified in the form’s bar code). If the beneficiary returns the form within 90 days, we will take one of three actions based on the responses on the SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE (Statement for Continuing Eligibility for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs):
Increase or decrease the Extra Help amount;
Terminate the Extra Help; or
Determine no change in the Extra Help is necessary.
We will discuss how we decide which action to take later in this section.
2. SCE form is not returned within 90 days
If the beneficiary who has an SCE does not return the Extra Help redetermination form within 90 days, the Extra Help termination is effective the first month following the end of the 90-day period. The beneficiary may contact the FO within the 90-day period and request a 30-day extension. Technicians may grant only one extension and that extension must not exceed 30 days. Select the “Redetermination Extension Issue” on the Development Worksheet Main screen (DWMP) in MAPS and add 30 days. For detailed instructions for adding a 30-day extension, see MS INTRANETMAPS 006.002 and MS INTRANETMAPS 006.0018.
If the beneficiary returns the SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE after 90 days, but before the termination of the Extra Help has been processed, process the SCE. If we receive the SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE after 90 days and due process notification was sent to the beneficiary, treat the form as an appeal. For appeals processing, see HI 03040.000.
NOTE: If the beneficiary calls or visits the FO and is ready to complete the Extra Help redetermination the day of the report, refer to instructions on MAPS processing in HI 03050.025E and HI 03050.025G.
C. Procedure when a beneficiary reports an SCE
When the beneficiary contacts SSA and reports an SCE, use the Changing Event screen in MAPS to record the SCE. For instructions on completing an SCE redetermination or report go to HI 03050.025C.3. in this section. Completing the Changing Event screen in MAPS will update the Medicare database and prompt the system to mail an Extra Help redetermination form to the beneficiary for completion.
1. SCE reports received by the National 800 Number Network (N8NN) staff
If a beneficiary reports an SCE to the N8NN staff, follow the instructions in TC 24020.080E.
REMINDER: If the caller is reporting a marriage and the new spouse is Extra Help eligible, be sure to ask the caller if the report is also for the spouse.
If the caller reported a marriage and is reporting for both members of the couple, be sure to enter the SCE on both records in MAPS to mail an SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE to each member of the couple. Each member of the couple must return his or her form.
EXAMPLE 1: Beneficiary reports a divorce
Bill Jones calls the N8NN in February 2014 to report that he is now divorced from the spouse with whom he lived. The technician should document this SCE on the Changing Event screen in MAPS. Mr. Jones is not ready to complete the form immediately. The agent inputs the SCE in MAPS via the Changing Event screen to issue a SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE redetermination form to Mr. Jones. MAPS will recalculate the Extra Help amount. If Mr. Jones returns the form within the 90-day period, any changes to Medicare Part D Extra Help will be effective March 2014.
EXAMPLE 2: Beneficiary reports a marriage
Mary Smith, a beneficiary, contacts SSA in May 2014. She reports that she married in March 2014. This is an SCE. Mrs. Smith says that she does not have time to provide the necessary information immediately. The N8NN will take the following actions:
Input the event on the Changing Event screen in MAPS, which generates a redetermination form.
Ask Mrs. Smith if her spouse is also eligible for Extra Help.
If the spouse is eligible for Extra Help, ask if Mrs. Smith is reporting the change for the spouse as well.
If she is reporting the change for her spouse, enter an SCE for the spouse. The spouse also will receive a redetermination form.
Each member of the couple must return his or her form even though the information collected on each should be identical. If we receive the forms within the 90-day period with the updated income and resource information, we will process them in MAPS and the system will then determine the new Extra Help levels. The effective date of change will be June 2014 for Ms. Smith and her new spouse.
2. SCE reports made to N8NN staff during the appeals period
Some beneficiaries may call during the appeals period to report an SCE. Follow these guidelines when beneficiaries call during the appeals period:
If the caller contacts the N8NN during the appeals period and…
The N8NN Staff will:
Has been denied Part D Extra Help...
Establish an appeal.
Has been awarded a partial subsidy and reports an SCE…
Process the SCE per the instructions for processing an SCE in HI 03050.025C.1. in this section.
Disagrees with the Extra Help amount and reports an SCE…
Establish the appeal. Annotate the case to show the beneficiary reported an SCE and note that the Subsidy Determination Reviewer (SDR) needs to process the SCE after the appeal determination.
The SDR will be responsible for both the appeal and processing the SCE. The SDR should process the SCE upon completion of the appeal.
3. SCE reports received in the FO
If a beneficiary visits or contacts a FO and reports an SCE, take the following steps:
Input the event via the Changing Event screen. (For instructions on completing the event, see MS INTRANETMAPS 006.014.)
Select “Take New MAPS Application For” to complete the MAPS screens for the SCE.
Submit the SCE redetermination to the Subsidy Determination Process.
Be sure to complete any forms and inputs needed to update the Title II and Title XVI systems when appropriate.
Advise the beneficiary that the change will be effective the month after the month of report or at least one year from the month following the month of the report if the event involves the death of a beneficiary’s living-with spouse and the surviving spouse Meets the requirements described in HI 03050.025C.5.
NOTE: If one member of the couple does not report an SCE, or if no SCE report is received from the Medicare Miscellaneous Update Data Exchange (MUDEX) or the Railroad Board data exchange, the other member of the couple will continue their current subsidy award until the next redetermination cycle.
4. Beneficiary reports a marriage to the FO
If the beneficiary contacts the FO to report a marriage, take the following steps:
Ask if the new spouse is also an Extra Help beneficiary.
Ask the beneficiary if the report also is for his or her spouse, if the spouse has Extra Help.
Enter the updated information into each of the MAPS records showing each beneficiary as married and living together.
REMINDER: Take any appropriate Title II and Title XVI actions associated with the marriage report.
5. Beneficiary reports the death of a living-with spouse
We will not immediately change the subsidy in situations where:
a beneficiary’s living-with spouse dies;
we have not received a report of another event that would affect the beneficiary’s Extra Help determination or amount; and
the death of the beneficiary’s living-with spouse would cause a decrease in or elimination of the beneficiary’s Extra Help.
If the surviving spouse meets all these conditions, we will defer the redetermination for one year from the month following the month we are notified of the death of the spouse.
NOTE: Only defer the redetermination of the Extra Help amount and eligibility in the event that the “beneficiary’s living-with spouse dies.” After we defer a redetermination for this reason, if we receive a report about another SCE or if we need to make a manual correction, we will not defer any resulting changes not due to the spouse’s death. For information regarding the manual correction process, see HI 03050.045.
6. Process for reports of the death of a living-with spouse
The Extra Help determination system will automatically send an SCE Form SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE (Statement for Continuing Eligibility for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs) to a surviving spouse when we receive a spousal death report. This will allow the surviving spouse to get a timely adjustment to Part D Extra Help and results in fewer exceptions to the field requiring a conversion from an SSA-1026-REDE to an SSA-1026-SCE.
In addition, SSA will mail an SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE form to a surviving spouse if we identify the death during the redetermination selection process and an SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE has not yet been mailed. In situations where one member of the couple died between redetermination selection and the processing of the returned SSA-1026-REDE, MAPS will generate a household composition exception to the FO stating: “MBR indicates applicant is deceased” or “MBR indicates spouse is deceased.” The exception language will be based on which member of a couple is deceased.
FOs should convert the redetermination to an SCE and process it using the current information of the surviving spouse. Verify current income and resources for the surviving spouse. Income or resources may have stopped or changed with the death of the spouse.
7. Reports made to Title II
A beneficiary may report a change to SSA and fail to inform us that he or she also receives Extra Help. If the reported change is an SCE, MUDEX will update the Medicare Database. This will prompt MAPS to mail an Extra Help redetermination form (SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE) to the beneficiary for completion.
Example of an SCE:
Helen Mabry goes into the FO and reports her spouse’s death. The CR does not check for Medicare Extra Help eligibility. The CR processes the death report through POS. MUDEX reads the updated MBR and updates the Medicare Database. The system will mail an Extra Help redetermination form to Mrs. Mabry.
8. Beneficiary reports more than one SCE
MAPS must process SCEs one at a time. In some instances, a beneficiary may report two SCEs within a short time frame. If the beneficiary reports two SCEs, the first report must be processed to completion before action is taken on the second report.
EXAMPLE 1: Beneficiary reports more than one SCE
Carol Jones calls the FO on March 21, 2014 to report that she and her spouse have separated. She doesn't have time to complete the update. The CR keys this on the Changing Event screen and mails an SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE to Mrs. Jones for completion. She calls again on April 17, 2014 to report that she and her spouse are now living together again.
The CR will take the following actions:
Record this information about the second report and annotate the Development Worksheet (DWMP) screen.
When the beneficiary returns the SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE for the first report, process it to completion.
When the first report is completed, process the second SCE using the same procedure, beginning with the input on the Changing Event screen.
The first report will affect the April subsidy. The second event, which was reported in April, will affect the May subsidy.
EXAMPLE 2: Beneficiary reports more than one SCE in a short timeframe
Harry Calish contacts the N8NN on March 2, 2014. He reports that he and his spouse have separated. He is unable to complete the update at that time. An SCE form is mailed out to him. He calls back on March 19, 2014 to report that he and his spouse are back together. He has not returned the SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE.
Since the self-cancelling events both occurred in the same month, the CR takes the following actions:
Cancel the SCE by removing the posted event from the “Changing Event” screen found at the top of the Development Worksheet (DWMP) screen. Removing the event cancels the update and deletes the 90-day termination diary;
Advise Mr. Calish not to return the SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE; and
Complete a Report of Contact outlining the reason for cancelling the SCE.
D. Description of Other Event redeterminations
Events other than the six SCEs may also result in the recalculation of the Extra Help amount, but not until a redetermination is completed. We select Other Event cases for redeterminations beginning in August and MAPS mails notices in early September of each year.
EXAMPLE: Beneficiary reports a change in his household
William Brown calls in June 2014. He reports that the size of his household has increased. The SSA employee will take the following actions:
Access the Changing Event screen (DWCE) in MAPS and select “OTHER Changing Event” from the drop-down menu of type of events.
Explain to Mr. Brown that he will receive an SSA-1026-OCR-SM-REDE redetermination form sometime around the end of August.
Instruct him to include the information about the changes in his household on the redetermination form.
Explain to Mr. Brown that he must return the completed form within 30 days.
1. Other Event reports received between January and August
If a beneficiary reports a change other than an SCE between January and the redetermination selection date in August, input the Changing Event screen (DWCE) and the system will send an SSA-1026-OCR-SM-REDE with the cyclical redeterminations sent in August of each year (as described in section HI 03050.030).
For reports of Other Events, the N8NN staff will follow the instructions in TC 24020.080E.10.
EXAMPLE: Beneficiary reports stop work and change in income
Carl Jones contacts SSA in February 2014. He reports that he is no longer working and has no other income besides his Title II benefits. Although this may change the amount of Extra Help he receives, this is not one of the six SCEs. The N8NN agent, Service Representative, or CR will input the event on the Medicare database. SSA mails a redetermination form, SSA-1026-OCR-SM-REDE, to Mr. Jones in August.
2. Other Event reports received August through December
If the person reports an Other Event in August through December, the report will immediately generate an SSA-1026-OCR-SM-REDE to the beneficiary. As a result:
The beneficiary must return the form to WBDOC within 30 days of the date on the form.
The beneficiary may contact the N8NN or FO within the 30-day period to request a one-time extension, not to exceed 30 days.
If the redetermination results in a change material to the subsidy level or eligibility, and the beneficiary returns the form by November 30, the effective date of the change will be January of the following year.
NOTE: A redetermination form returned after November 30 of the year we mailed the form is effective the first day of the second month following the month the form is returned. For example, a redetermination form returned in December will be effective February 1 of the upcoming year.
If the beneficiary does not return the form in the prescribed time, we terminate the Extra Help after due process notice is provided for failure to return the form.
REMINDER: Policy for Medicare Part D Extra Help does not supersede or replace existing Title II or Title XVI policy or procedures. We process any report of change that will also affect Title II or Title XVI benefits according to the established policy and procedures for those programs.
E. Processing reports of SCEs or Other Events
If a beneficiary reports one of the six SCEs listed in HI 03050.025B or Other Events reported between August and December that could affect the subsidy level or eligibility, such as a change in income, resources, or household composition, follow the procedures in the chart in HI 03050.025G.
NOTE: Reports of Other Events made in January through the redetermination selection date in August are part of the cyclical process.
F. Procedure for N8NN staff instructions for SCEs or Other Events reported in August through December
Instructions for N8NN staff to process SCE and Other Event reports reported in August through December are in TC 24020.080
G. Procedure for FO instructions for SCE or Other Event reported in August through December
When the beneficiary calls, visits, or schedules an appointment with the FO to report an SCE or Other Event, take the following actions:
The FO conducts a redetermination using MAPS.
Upon completion of the redetermination and any necessary development, the FO will:
Submit the information to Subsidy Determination in MAPS for re-evaluation of Extra Help eligibility and subsidy level;
If appropriate, use the date that the N8NN appointment screen was completed as the date of the report; and
Inform the beneficiary/personal representative to dispose of the redetermination form he or she received because the FO has completed the redetermination.
SSA sends an automated notice to the beneficiary with the result of the redetermination.
This ends the redetermination process. No other action is necessary.
If MAPS refers the redetermination to the FO to resolve an issue, the FO resolves the issue(s) and submits the resolution to Subsidy Determination in MAPS. Subsidy Determination allows the Medicare Database (MDB) to re-evaluate the Extra Help eligibility and subsidy level, and then generates an automated notice to the beneficiary with the result of the redetermination.
For a description of the verification process, see HI 03035.000.
NOTE: In some cases, the beneficiary or personal representative contacts the FO to report an event but is unable to give much information about income, resources, or household composition. Start the redetermination based on the information the beneficiary or personal representative provides. Then, obtain information needed to complete the redetermination review.
H. Procedure for Extra Help redetermination forms returned to WBDOC
When the Extra Help redetermination forms are returned to WBDOC, follow the actions in the below table.
The individual returns the form in the enclosed postage-paid envelope to the WBDOC.
WBDOC scans the SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE or the SSA-1026-OCR-SM-REDE.
WBDOC rekeys any necessary data and electronically forwards the data and image to Central Office. WBDOC completes exception processing, as needed. If an issue needs resolution, WBDOC refers the redetermination to the servicing FO. For processing exceptions, see HI 03050.040.
GN 02602.000 Continuing Eligibility
HI 03050.020 Redetermination of Eligibility for Medicare Part D Extra Help (Low-income Subsidy)
HI 03050.030 Initial and Cyclical Redeterminations Process for Extra Help
HI 03050.035 Extra Help Redetermination Forms
HI 03050.040 Exception Processing for Form SSA-1026 Questions
HI 03050.045 Manual Correction Process for the Extra Help Application
HI 03040.000 Appeal of Medicare Part D Subsidy Determination
SI 02300.000 Posteligibility Events