Identification Number:
EM-21011
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/OCO/PSCs
Originating Office:DCO OPSOS
Title:Handling Returned Pay.gov ACH Debit Remittances from the Federal Reserve Bank– One-Time Only Instructions
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title II (RSI); Title XVI (SSI)
Link To Reference:See References at the end of the EM
 
Retention Date : August 22, 2021

A. Purpose

This emergency message (EM) provides guidance to Processing Center (PC) technicians handling Pay.gov returned or bounced Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit remittances from the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB). Note that returned or bounced ACH debit is referred to as “retired” in Pay.gov.

B. Background on returned or retired ACH debit items resulting from Pay.gov transactions

On January 11, 2021, SSA went live with Pay.gov, a public facing application, implemented for repayment of programmatic overpayments. On January 8, 2021, we resumed RECOOP billing with notices updated to include the Pay.gov URL and a Remittance ID account number.

When Pay.gov processes an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction, Pay.gov collects the payment information to be reconciled at the end of each business day. An ACH Transaction is generated when an individual enters the information from their personal check into Pay.gov. We receive a daily file with the payment information to update the overpayment balance on the beneficiary’s Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) or Supplemental Security Record (SSR). However, if there are insufficient funds or the account is closed, FRB returns or retires these payments taking the funds back from SSA; this is what we refer to as a bounced check. When this occurs, it requires SSA to take manual corrective action to remove the remittance from the record.

Treasury creates a debit to SSA’s account, which is sent to the Office of Financial Policy and Operations’ Office of Benefit Accounting and Systems Analysis (OBASA). OBASA then submits an electronic SSA-559 to the Processing Center (PC) of jurisdiction’s Paperless queue to provide instructions to remove the remittance from the record, accordingly.

C. PC instructions for handling bounced transactions

    1. Remittances returned (bounced) ACH debits:

      Paperless Actionable Controlling Record (ACR) TOELs are OPMT/RETT2/PAYGOV/RETT2 and OPMT/RETT16/PAYGOV/RETT16.

      a. If the remittance is a Title II returned ACH Debit:

    Note: PCs 1-7 will handle Title II cases.

      b. If the remittance is a Title XVI returned ACH Debit:


        · Use the SSA-3969 SSI Remittance Register to post the bounced check indicator to the SSR record. The remittance remains on the record, but the overpayment balance is increased by the amount of the bounced check (see OS 00515.020).

        · Input DMS remarks to show which remittance(s) was/were returned (see MS 02209.003).

    Note: PSCs 1-6 will handle Title XVI cases.

        Example 1: Jane Doe used Pay.gov to make a $100.00 ACH payment to repay her Title II debt. Pay.gov processed the remittance and SSA credited the funds and posted the remittance on the ROAR record. However, when the check went to the bank, the account was closed. The $100.00 ACH payment bounces, which requires a record update (SSA-559 created by OBASA) to annotate the remittance posted to the record as a returned check and reestablish the debt. The technician should increase the overpayment or add a new debt via DMS or MACADE, and input DMS remarks stating the Treasury returned the remittance due to the account being closed.

        Example 2: Jackie Doe used Pay.gov to make a $200.00 ACH payment to repay her Title XVI debt. Pay.gov processed the remittance and SSA credited the funds and posted the remittance on the SSR. However, when the check went to Ms. Doe’s bank, the account did not have sufficient funds. The $200.00 ACH payment bounces, which requires a record update (SSA-559 created by OBASA) to annotate the remittance posted to the record as a returned, bounced check and reestablish the debt. The DMS technician should use the SSA-3969 SSI Remittance Register to post the bounced check indicator to the SSR, and input DMS remarks stating Treasury returned the remittance due to insufficient funds.

    D. System Updates

        1. Updates to the MBR/ROAR DTN and SSR ADN fields

        To help differentiate between the Social Security Electronic Remittance System (SERS), Pay.gov and MATPSC remittance transactions, the DTN field on the ROAR and the ADN field on the SSR will show new coding, PAYGOV. PAYGOV will be present for remittances originated through Pay.gov. SERS will be present for remittances originated through SERS. MATPSC remittances will continue to show as a six-digit number.

        2. Updates to the Debt Management System (DMS) remittance file

        The remittance control file in DMS will also contain Pay.gov remittances. These remittances will be differentiated from SERS transactions and direct DMS input remittances through the receipt number on the REQD screen. For Pay.gov transactions, the receipt number will be the alphanumeric Pay.gov tracking ID (e.g., 3FPF3GEQ).


    Direct all program–related and technical questions to your PSC Operations Analysis (OA) staff. PSC OA staff may refer questions, concerns, or problems to their Central Office contacts.

    References:
    MS 01102.005 Modify Debt Statistics (SMMD)
    MS 01102.011 Transaction Correction (SMTC)
    MS 01109.003 Remarks (RMKS)
    MS 01103.025 Remittance File Query Display
    SM 00865.040 Coding the Bene Over/Underpayment Data (DP) Screen
    SM 006410.775 Checks Returned for Lack of Funds
    OS 03501.260 Bounced Checks
    GN 02220.000 Internet Remittance Applications

    EM-21011 - Handling Returned Pay.gov ACH Debit Remittances from the Federal Reserve Bank– One-Time Only Instructions - 02/22/2021