Identification Number:
GN 02602 TN 67
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Continuing Eligibility
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part GN – General
Chapter 026 – Posteligibility
Subchapter 02 – Continuing Eligibility
Transmittal No. 67, 03/04/2020

Audience

PSC: BA, CA, CCRE, CS, DS, ICDS, IES, ILPDS, IPDS, ISRA, PETE, RECONR, SCPS, TSA, TST;
OCO-OEIO: BIES, BTE, CR, CTE, FCR, FDE, PETL, RECONR;
OCO-ODO: BTE, CCE, CR, CST, CTE, CTE TE, DSE, PETE, PETL, RCOVTA, RECOVR;
FO/TSC: CS, CS TII, CSR, CTE, FR, OA, OS, RR, TA, TSC-CSR;

Originating Component

OISP

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

This is a Quick Action Transmittal. These revisions do not change or introduce new policy or procedure.

Summary of Changes

GN 02602.500 The Centenarian Project

Removed T16, specified T2 as living in a foreign country, and added reference to MNUP in Section A and B.

Replaced e8551 with Allegation Referral Intake System (ARIS) and ARIS in B2

 

GN 02602.510 Scheduling a Centenarian Interview

Removed T16 and specified T2 as living in a foreign country throughout the section

Replaced e8551 with Allegation Referral Intake System (ARIS) and ARIS in B4b

GN 02602.500 The Centenarian Project

 

A. Introduction for the Centenarian Project

The Centenarian Project ensures that we pay benefits to eligible, living Title II beneficiaries living in foreign countries. The Medicare Non-Utilization Project (MNUP) addresses living Title II beneficiaries living in the U.S. For more information on MNUP, see GN 02602.600. A centenarian is an individual who is at or near 100 years of age. We should schedule telephone interviews, when possible, with centenarians who we select for the project to verify whether they are living. If the centenarian needs assistance during the interview, a third-party helper (with the centenarian’s consent) or a representative payee may speak on behalf of the centenarian.

B. Background for the Centenarian Project

There are several reasons for interviewing centenarian Title II beneficiaries living in foreign countries.

1. Determining if centenarian is alive

Past studies show that we issued a small percentage of benefits to deceased centenarians. By interviewing the centenarian and the representative payee, if applicable, we can verify that he or she is living.

2. Ensuring program integrity

We need to verify the identity of the centenarian who is receiving benefits. To ensure program integrity, an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) referral is mandatory.

Immediately refer the case to OIG using the Allegation Referral Intake System (ARIS) if you:

  • suspect fraud at any time, or

  • suspend benefits for any reason.

Provide as much information as possible in ARIS .

3. Determining centenarian capability

We prefer to pay the centenarian directly, if possible. If the centenarian appears capable, we do not require a representative payee. However, if during the interview, it becomes apparent that the centenarian is not handling his or her affairs or is not capable of continuing to do so, develop for a representative payee. For instructions on Determining Capability for Adult Beneficiaries, see GN 00502.020.

4. Ensuring payment accuracy

Verify that SSA is paying benefits correctly. Review entitlement or eligibility factors and adjust payments, if necessary.

GN 02602.510 Scheduling a Centenarian Interview

A. Introduction for scheduling a centenarian interview

The preferred method to conduct a centenarian interview is by telephone. A manager or designee should conduct the telephone interview.

Possible designees include:

  • Service Representatives,

  • Teleservice Representatives,

  • Claims Representatives,

  • Technical Experts,

  • Public Affairs Specialists, or

  • Other position, as designated by management.

A management official decides whether a face-to-face interview is necessary, but it should only happen in rare situations. The management official’s decision to use a face-to-face interview depends on the facts of each individual case.

These examples indicate when a face-to-face interview may be appropriate:

  • centenarian requests a face-to-face interview,

  • centenarian may have conditions that impair effective telephone communication, or

  • integrity issues (e.g., unable to identify the centenarian) are apparent during telephone interview.

B. Procedure for scheduling a centenarian interview

1. Sending the centenarian appointment letter

Before sending the centenarian appointment letter, complete the following actions:

  • review the centenarian’s Social Security records (e.g., Supplemental Security Record (SSR), Master Beneficiary Record (MBR), Number Holder Identification (NUMI) record) prior to the interview; and

  • identify any discrepancies between the records and resolve them during the interview (e.g., date of birth or address).

2. Determining which centenarian interview notice to send

There are several notices available to use when scheduling a centenarian interview. These notices and their Spanish translations are available in the Document Processing System (DPS).

You must send an interview notice to the centenarian. If the centenarian has a representative payee, you must send the same notice to the representative payee.

Send one of the following interview notices of the scheduled appointment, based upon how you will conduct the interview (e.g., telephone):

a. Centenarian home visit

Use the SSA-L501 (Centenarian Project - Home Visit Letter) to schedule an interview at the centenarian's residence with the centenarian and the representative payee, if any. For a sample SSA-L501, see NL 00701.135. Document the interview using the SSA- L501 on the Centenarian Project Website.

b. Centenarian residence address request

Use the SSA L-505 (Centenarian Project - Residence Address Request Letter) to schedule an interview at the centenarian’s residence with the centenarian and the representative payee, if any. Send the SSA L-505 to request the centenarian's residence address when only the mailing address is available in SSA's records. For a sample SSA L-505, see NL 00701.139.

Document the Centenarian Project Website with the appointment information. For more information about the Centenarian Project Website, see GN 02602.550.

3. Rescheduling the centenarian interview

If it is necessary to reschedule the interview:

  1. a. 

    Call the centenarian or the representative payee, if applicable, to reschedule the interview.

  2. b. 

    Mail a new interview appointment letter to the centenarian and the representative payee. The letter must provide the new time and date of the upcoming interview. If the new appointment is less than a week from the original appointment, an appointment letter is optional, but confirm that all parties will be available at the appointment time.

  3. c. 

    Add a remark to the Centenarian Project Website to document the reason for rescheduling, the date and time of the phone call, the date the new appointment letter was mailed, and that the centenarian and representative payee will be available.

NOTE: If the centenarian or representative payee asks to reschedule the interview, schedule a new appointment. When rescheduling the appointment, use the time and date the centenarian requested.

4. Centenarian fails to keep the appointment

We will attempt to reschedule the appointment twice. After two attempts, include the following language in the appointment letter when scheduling the final (third) appointment:

“We have tried to schedule an appointment with you twice. Each time we rescheduled, you were not available. It is very important that you keep this appointment. If you do not keep this appointment, we may suspend your benefits until we speak with you.”

If the centenarian resides in a nursing home, call the nursing home before suspending benefits to verify the centenarian is alive. If the nursing home alleges the centenarian is alive, begin representative payee development, if necessary. If the nursing home alleges the centenarian is deceased, see GN 02602.540 to process the report of death. If the centenarian or representative payee fails to keep the third appointment, see the following instructions:

a. Sending an advance notice and suspending benefits

Take the following actions:

  1. 1. 

    Send an advance notice to the centenarian and the representative payee, if any, informing the centenarian of our planned action to suspend benefits. The advance notice must state the following:

    • pending adverse action,

    • reason why we plan to suspend benefits,

    • evidence we used to make the determination, and

    • give the centenarian 10 calendar days (plus 5 days for mailing) to respond before we suspend the benefits.

    Establish a diary for 15 calendar days. For more information about the required content of advance notices in Title II cases, see GN 03001.015 and NL 00601.030.

  2. 2. 

    Suspend the centenarian’s benefits after 15 calendar days (10 days plus 5 days for mailing) from the date you mailed the advance notice and if you have not received a response. Place the record into LAF S9 with a reason for suspension code of WHEREU.

  3. 3. 

    After the MBR shows the LAF code as S9, update the LAF code in the “Centenarian Information” section on the Centenarian Project Website to show the centenarian’s benefits were suspended.

  4. 4. 

    Send the centenarian a final notice that complies with the requirements applicable to notices of initial determination regarding the suspension. For information about the required contents of the final notice, see GN 03001.015 and 20 CFR 404.904.

b. Adding a message to the MBR and OIG Referral

If you suspend benefits pursuant to GN 02602.510B in this section, add the following message to the MBR:

“Centenarian interview needed. Payments suspended for failure to keep centenarian interview appointments. Immediately remove suspense once centenarian interview is conducted.”

If you suspend benefits for failure to keep the appointment, immediately refer the case to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) using the Allegation Intake Referral System (ARIS) . Provide as much information as available in ARIS . For more information on ARIS , see GN 04124.001.

5. Determining foreign mailing address

a. 

A centenarian receiving title II benefits must use a foreign mailing address if he or she will be outside the U.S. for more than 3 months, unless the address is an:

  • Army or Air Force Post Office (APO),

  • Diplomatic Post Office (DPO),

  • Fleet Post Office (FPO), or

  • address of a representative payee who is remaining within the U.S.

If the centenarian lives in a foreign country and the representative payee lives in the U.S., a change of representative payee may be appropriate.

Once you have secured the exact foreign address and phone number where the centenarian now resides, develop as follows:

  1. 1. 

    Determine the correct field office (FO). A domestic Social Security office serves beneficiaries who live in Canada, British Virgin Islands, or Samoa. Identify the new FO code and transfer the case to the new servicing FO via the TRANSFER facility on the Centenarian Project Website. This removes the case from your list and posts the case on the new FO’s list. Consider your case cleared if the transfer was successful.

    NOTE: American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the U.S. Samoa, an independent country, is officially the Independent State of Samoa, which the Manila Foreign Service Post (FSP) services.

  2. 2. 

    When the beneficiary lives outside the U.S., except for Canada, the British Virgin Islands, or Samoa, send an e-mail to the Office of Central Operations (OCO), Office of Earnings and International Operations (OEIO) at OCO.OEIO INTERNATIONAL@ssa.gov that includes the following information:

    • Centenarian Case (subject),

    • Name of beneficiary,

    • SSN,

    • New address,

    • New phone number or contact number,

    • Estimated date of the change. (This will serve as an indicator for the Form SSA-21 (Supplement to Claim of Person Outside the United States)), and

    • Type the comment, “Please verify if beneficiary is alive or deceased. If deceased, please secure acceptable proof of death in the Claims File Records Management System (CFRMS) and input date of death via Post-entitlement Online System (POS).”

    NOTE: Please be aware that development between OEIO and the FSP takes additional time.

    Take the following actions in conjunction with the Centenarian interview request:

    If

    then, OEIO will

    the beneficiary is alive,

    (OEIO necessary action)

    • confirm the beneficiary lives at the furnished address,

    • input the applicable change of address. This action ensures we code the foreign address correctly, and

    • reply to the FO by email to inform them of your findings.

    If

    then, the FO will

    the beneficiary is alive,

    (FO necessary action)

    • annotate the Centenarian Project Website after you receive OEIO’s email reply that the beneficiary is alive,

    • update the new foreign address and telephone number in the “Centenarian Information” section of the online worksheet,

    • update the LAF in the “Centenarian Information” section of the Centenarian Project Website to show that the beneficiary has returned to current pay,

    • update remarks on the worksheet(s) that the beneficiary is alive, living in a foreign country, and was contacted by OEIO, and

    • annotate the case status as “COMPLETE.”

      (This action clears the case from your list.)

    If

    then

    the beneficiary is deceased,

    • OEIO secures acceptable proof of death and input the death via the Post-entitlement Online System (POS),

    • OEIO posts Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention per GN 00301.286,

    • OEIO replies to the FO by email to inform them of your findings, and

    • FO, after receipt of OEIO’s email reply, updates the LAF in the “Centenarian Information” section of the Centenarian Project Website to show we terminated the beneficiary’s payments.

    If a representative payee is involved, or if we made incorrect payments to the representative payee, follow representative payee policy to determine if we need a new payee.

  3. 3. 

    Post this specific Special Message to the MBR, as appropriate: “Centenarian Project – foreign change of address (COA) thru (OEIO #) – FO# and unit code.”

  4. 4. 

    Document the Centenarian Project Website online worksheet in the “Remarks” field with your findings and the date you submitted the email to OEIO. For additional information about the Centenarian Project Website, see GN 02602.550.


GN 02602 TN 67 - Continuing Eligibility - 3/04/2020