Identification Number:
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs
Originating Office:DCBFM OFPO
Title:Updates on the Social Security Electronic Remittance System (SERS) for Field Office Collections
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title II (RSI); Title XVI (SSI)
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM
Retention Date: July 27, 2019

A. Purpose

    The purpose of this Emergency Message (EM) is to update the instructions for Field Offices (FO) processing remittances using the SERS application.
    We will update the SERS policies and related POMS to reflect these changes.
B. Background on SERS
    SERS is an automated solution to collect standard administrative fees for non-programmatic services and certain Title II and Title XVI programmatic debts in the FOs.
    SERS uses card readers and check scanners to electronically process payments paid by check, money order, debit or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover).
C. Updates and clarifications for processing certain programmatic remittances via the SERS application
    To minimize errors and assist with increased workloads while handling and processing SERS remittances, the following changes to the SERS procedures are effective immediately:
    · Remove the Payment Authorization Form from walk-in procedures
      Removal of this form eliminates instances of erroneously using the Payment Authorization form as a receipt.
      This action was causing issues with finalizing SERS transactions.
    · Remove the customer signature line from SERS receipts
      For all payment types (credit and debit card, check, and money order transactions), remove the customer signature line from the SERS receipt.
      Many individuals who mailed-in a remittance and received their receipt in the mail were inadvertently mailing the receipt to the FO with their signature.
      Individuals wrongly assumed that they needed to sign the receipt and return it to the FO. Removal of the receipt signature line will alleviate this issue.
    · Stop scanning SERS receipts into NDRed
      FOs should no longer scan SERS receipts into NDRed at the end of the transaction.
      All receipts are available in SERS and the DMS remittance file query.
      To maintain consistency in instructions for retaining receipts for both SERS and DMS procedures, we are removing this step.
    · Stop verifying remittances
      FOs should no longer verify remittances posted to the Master Beneficiary Record and Supplemental Security Record on the next or subsequent business day.
      FO’s should continue to retain checks and money orders in a locked and secured location for up to five days (per the Treasury Financial Manual guidance), and then shred them.

Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff or Processing Center (PC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PC OA staff may refer questions or problems to their Central Office contacts.

· GN 02403.161 Social Security Electronic Remittance System (SERS) for Programmatic Debts
· GN 02403.014 Processing Non-Programmatic Fees Received in the Field Office Using the Social Security Electronic Remittance System
· GN 02403.000 Procedures for Handling Remittances and Premium Payments in the Field Office - Table of Contents
· SERS Programmatic User Guide
· SERS Intranet Site
· SERS helpdesk email
· MS 00100.000 Administrative Screens - Table of Contents

EM-19002 - Updates on the Social Security Electronic Remittance System (SERS) for Field Office Collections - 01/28/2019