Identification Number:
EM-21035 REV 2
Intended Audience:RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/WSUs/PSCs
Originating Office:DCO OPSOS
Title:Vulnerable Populations Application Coding Instructions
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM.
 
Retention Date: 3/30/2023

Summary of Changes

This EM replaces the publication date of July 30, 2021. This update:

Revises Section B
    · Adds clarification for the PFB Initiatives to confirm this EM supports the Third Party Assistance workgroup only.
    · Adds information that the Third Party Assistance workgroup identifies prospective Partners that PASs/AWICs train and set up secure email to share information safely via email.
    · Updates attached Third Party VPAP Fax Coversheet
    · Adds information about the new Vulnerable Populations Expert position.

Revises Section C
    · Adds instructions that VPAP coding is intended for the Third Party Assistance workload only and does not apply to other PFB initiatives.
    · Adds policy references for SSI claim development
    · Adds instructions for WSUs to alert FO VPAP coding if claim is referred
    · Adds instructions to code VPAP field for all application types (e.g., full, deferred, or abbreviated) and reminds technicians to code prior to adjudication
    · Adds instructions for technicians to record contacts or attempts to contact Partners/claimants on a DROC (for MSSICS claims) or a 5002 (for non-MSSICS claims).
    · Updates policy links.

Revises Section F
    · Adds references and updates policy links.

A. Purpose
The purpose of this EM is to provide temporary instructions for tracking claims submitted by select Third Party SSI Claims Taking Partners (Partners). These instructions are applicable while the EM is in effect.

B. Background

The Social Security Administration is working diligently to ensure that we continue to provide the same level of service to all our customers, including People Facing Barriers (PFBs, formerly referred to as Vulnerable Populations). The PFB Initiatives encompass many workgroups including Outreach to SSI Kids (see Outreach Materials for People Facing Barriers), the SSI Outreach Mailer (follows AM-20051 REV 4 and OB 21-001 REV 2) and Third Party Assistance. This EM supports the Third Party Assistance workgroup goal of increasing SSI Applications among certain populations that face barriers to apply.

For the purpose of this EM, PFBs are limited to the aged; children with disabilities; individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP); individuals experiencing homelessness; individuals diagnosed with mental illness; individuals recently released from incarceration; and veterans.

SSA sent Third Party organizations a Dear Colleague letter titled “Social Security Liaisons Assist Partner Organizations to Help Vulnerable Populations”. The letter advised organizations that the Vulnerable Population Liaison (VPL) will work directly with organizations that commit to assist with SSI claims or contact us to establish a lead.

The Third Party Assistance workgroup identified prospective Partners as those who work with PFBs and agree to complete applications, help with leads/protective filings, or refer applicants to SSA. Public Affair Specialists (PASs) and Area Work Incentive Coordinators (AWICs) train select Partners and set up secure email partnerships and verify the Partners’ preferred SSA Field Offices (FOs). Secure email allows the Partner and SSA to share information safely via email including questions on pending SSI applications.

Beginning May 2021, PASs and AWICs began training Partners committed to assisting PFBs with their applications for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability and Aged benefits encouraging them to use iClaim, where possible, or submit applications and supporting documents via eFax. SSA has instructed these Partners to refer to the PFB initiative when contacting SSA to establish a lead for PFBs AND to annotate the code VPAP (Vulnerable Populations Application) on the iClaim and selected paper forms, indicated below:
    · iClaim – in the Remarks section
    · i3368 - in the Remarks section
    · i3820 - in the Additional Remarks section
    · Paper SSA-8001 – page 9, Part 7 – in the Remarks section
    · Paper SSA-8000 – page 21, Part 7 – in the Remarks section
    · Paper SSA-3368 - page 15, Section 11 - in the Remarks section; and
    · Paper SSA-3820 - page 11, Section 10 – in the Date and Remarks section

The Partner will submit the SSI application via iClaim or a signed and completed paper SSI application with a cover sheet via eFax or mail with VPAP annotated in the Remarks section.

As of June 26, 2021, SSA selected Claims Technical Experts or Claims Representatives for the VPL position in FOs across the country. The VPL will ensure that SSA provides quality and compassionate service to the most vulnerable communities who experience challenges in contacting SSA due to physical or language barriers, medical conditions, or inadequate access to the internet. They will also communicate with Partners on a regular basis to provide support and guidance on SSI claims for PFBs and ensure that these claims are properly coded with VPAP in SSA systems.

As of October 1, 2021, SSA selected Claims Technical Experts for the Vulnerable Populations Expert (VPE) position in Field Offices (FOs) across the country. VPEs support the Third Party SSI Claims Taking campaign by reviewing management information system reports, conducting quality reviews, recommending and implementing solutions for areas of concern, and conducting initial and refresher training for internal staff and external Partners. VPEs will conduct VPAP Coding Quality Reviews (VPAP Reviews) from products received from Partners to determine the following:
    · Claims/Leads/Referrals received from Partners are accurate and identified with VPAP;
    · Quality of claims submitted online or on paper are sufficient to complete the application with minimal claimant recontact;
    · Compliance with VPAP coding of claims and leads following the instructions; and
    · Results of quality reviews are discussed with management to determine an appropriate course of action to resolve issues.

C. Instructions for FOs and Workload Support Units (WSUs)

FO or WSU technicians who receive claims, leads, and referrals from Partners should code SSI claims with VPAP using the instructions below for various methods of receipt. (NOTE: VPAP coding is intended for the Third Party Assistance workload only and does not apply to other PFB initiatives.)
    1. For iClaims: After the FO or WSU imports an iClaim to MCS/MSSICS, the technician will:
      a. Locate special code (VPAP) that was annotated in the “Remarks” section of iClaim on the MCS Worksheet Remarks (DW03) screen (MS 03508.006). NOTE: iClaims may be routed to a WSU based on terminal digit assignments as outlined in AM-15017 REV 34.
      b. If the iClaim is a 3rd party unauthenticated application not flagged as potentially anomalous, follow instructions in EM-18043 SEN REV 4 to determine if the Partner is listed in the Registration, Appointment and Services for Representatives (RASR) system. Follow EM-20038 SEN REV 2 or GN 04108.100, if the iClaim is flagged as anomalous.
      c. Review the MCS alert generated per EM-20043, Section F (if any).
      d. Take appropriate action to process the iSSI or develop the SSI claim per GN 00204.055, SI 00601.027 and EM-20043 (NOTE: WSUs that do not handle SSI claims or identify exclusions should continue to follow their internal FO referral process. However, please alert the receiving FO at the time of transfer that the case should be coded with VPAP).
        i. If an iSSI application is filed, the VPAP special code will appear on the Person Statement screen.
        ii. If an SSI application is not received, add the VPAP issue on the MCS DW01 for tracking.
      e. Complete the SSI Claims path and enter VPAP in the CG field for all application types (e.g., full, deferred, or abbreviated).
        i. For MSSICS cases, the CG field can be found on the Clearance Menu of the Build SSR page in the Consolidated Claims Experience (CCE). From an open event, click on the new Claim Determination path in update mode. Select the Clearance Menu checkbox and click Next. Choose last option on the Clearance Menu page "SSR Special Messages". The CG fields are located on that screen. REMINDER: Technician should input VPAP coding prior to processing a technical denial or transferring the case to DDS. Per SM 01301.790, the CG data cannot be transmitted to an initially denied record with a RIC of T. Only if the RIC is G, can the SSR accept new CG data if VPAP was not added at time of adjudication.
        ii. To assist VPEs reviewing VPAP coded claims, technicians should record contacts or attempts to contact Partners/claimants on a DROC (for MSSICS claims) or a 5002 (for non-MSSICS claims).
        iii. Refer to SM 01005.525 for Non-MSSICS cases
      f. Import the i3368 into EDCS and locate the VPAP special code in the Remarks section.

      NOTE: If there is no pending SSI claim and the claimant requests an appointment to complete the SSI application, the technician should schedule the appointment in eLAS and annotate eLAS per TC 10010.070 on the “Create a New Lead” screen (refer to MS 00601.005). Add the VPAP code to the “Remarks” text box.
      2. For i3820s: The technician will:
        a. Follow processing instructions found in DI 81007.045 and
        b. Complete the SSI Claims path and enter VPAP in the CG field.
          i. For MSSICS cases, the CG field can be found on the Clearance Menu of the Build SSR page in Consolidated Claims Experience (CCE). From an open event, click on the new Claim Determination path in update mode. Select the Clearance Menu checkbox and click Next. Choose the last option on the Clearance Menu page "SSR Special Messages". The CG fields are located on that screen. REMINDER: Technician should input VPAP coding prior to processing a technical denial or transferring the case to DDS. Per SM 01301.790, the CG data cannot be transmitted to an initially denied record with a RIC of T. Only if the RIC is G, can the SSR accept new CG data if VPAP was not added at time of adjudication.
          ii. To assist VPEs reviewing VPAP coded claims, technicians should record contacts or attempts to contact Partners/claimants on a DROC (for MSSICS claims) or a 5002 (for non-MSSICS claims).
          iii. Refer to SM 01005.525 for Non-MSSICS cases
        c. Once the claim is loaded in MSSICS and the SSR is built, propagate the i3820 into EDCS.

        NOTE: If there is no pending SSI claim and the claimant requests an appointment to complete the SSI application, the technician should schedule the appointment in eLAS and annotate eLAS per TC 10010.070 on the “Create a New Lead” screen (refer to MS 00601.005). Add the VPAP code to the “Remarks” text box.
        3. For Paper Applications via eFax: If the FO receives a paper application via eFax:
          a. WorkTrack profiler routes inbound eFax applications to WorkTrack and profiles the application package as “Other.” Enter VPAP in the “Alias” description box. The documents will appear on WorkTrack listings as “Other-VPAP”;
          b. Assign to a technician.
          c. A technician reviews the disability or aged application and identifies the code VPAP in the following locations and the cover sheet: d. Establish the appropriate claims in MCS/MSSICS;
            i. If an SSI application is not received, add the VPAP issue to the MCS DW01 for tracking.
            ii. Receipt in the issue once the SSI claim is taken.
          e. Complete the SSI Claims path and enter VPAP in the CG field for all application types (e.g., full, deferred, or abbreviated).
            i. For MSSICS cases, the CG field can be found on the Clearance Menu of the Build SSR page in the Consolidated Claims Experience (CCE). From an open event, click on the new Claim Determination path in update mode. Select the Clearance Menu checkbox and click Next. Choose last option on the Clearance Menu page "SSR Special Messages". The CG fields are located on that screen. REMINDER: Technician input VPAP coding prior to processing a technical denial or transferring the case to DDS. Per SM 01301.790, the CG data cannot be transmitted to an initially denied record with a RIC of T. Only if the RIC is G, can the SSR accept new CG data if VPAP was not added at time of adjudication.
            ii. To assist VPEs reviewing VPAP coded claims, technicians should record contacts or attempts to contact Partners/claimants on a DROC (for MSSICS claims) or a 5002 (for non-MSSICS claims).
            iii. Refer to SM 01005.525 for Non-MSSICS cases
          f. Create the appropriate EDCS segment to transcribe the SSA-3368 or SSA-3820 information.

          NOTE: Effective April 14, 2021, faxes of applications will be temporarily acceptable, per EM-21030 SEN.
        4. For Paper Applications via another delivery channel: If the FO receives a paper application via another delivery channel:
          a. WorkTrack profiler scans the paper application into WorkTrack and profiles the application package as “Other.” Enter VPAP in the “Alias” description box;
          b. Assign to a technician; and
          c. Follow 3.c – 3.f above.
        5. For Paper SSA-8000 or SSA-8001 only: If the FO receives a paper SSA-8000 or SSA-8001 only, and a separate Title 2 application is required per SI 00601.035, the technician should:
          a. Contact the Partner or claimant to obtain the appropriate T2 application;
          b. Establish the appropriate claim(s) in MCS; and
          c. Continue to follow regular signature requirements per GN 00201.010 and GN 00201.015.

          NOTE: If there is no pending SSI claim and the claimant requests an appointment to complete the SSI application, the technician should schedule the appointment in eLAS and annotate eLAS per TC 10010.070 on the “Create a New Lead” screen (refer to MS 00601.005). Add the VPAP code to the “Remarks” text box.
        6. For Appointments with VPAP coding in the Remarks Section of Lead: If the FO takes a DIB/SSI claim for an appointment with VPAP coding in the Remarks Section of the lead, code VPAP in the claim following 3.d – 3.f above.

      D. Instructions for the National 800 Number (N8NN)
        1. If the Partner or claimant contacts SSA to schedule an appointment, follow normal procedures for identifying the caller and the applicant.
          NOTE: Use the Customer Help and Information Program (CHIP) to screen the applicant for benefits and schedule the appointment in eLAS per TC 10010.070.
          a. Ensure that the caller’s information (e.g., name, relationship to claimant, telephone number) appear appropriately on the “Create a New Lead” screen (refer to MS 00601.005).
          b. If the Partner or claimant advises the technician that this is a Vulnerable Population case, on the “Create a New Lead” screen, add the VPAP code to the “Remarks” text box.
          2. As described above, the agency released a “Dear Colleague letter” to organizations in the agency’s database. As a result, N8NN may receive calls from Third Party organizations inquiring about SSI Claims taking and VPL assistance.

        E. Closing

        Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff using vHelp or Program Service Center (PSC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions, concerns or problems to their Central Office contacts..

        F. References

        AM-15017 REV 34 iClaim Routing Changes for the Workload Support Units
        AM-20051 REV 4 Outreach Mailers Low PIA Title II Beneficiaries Potentially Eligible for SSI (Vulnerable Population Mailer)
        DI 11005.023 Completing the Disability Report Adult Form SSA-3368
        DI 11005.030 Completing the SSA-3820
        DI 22515.025 Use of Form SSA-3368-BK (Disability Report – Adult)
        DI 81007.045 Receiving the i3820
        EM-18043 SEN REV 4 Authenticated and Unauthenticated iClaim Business Process – Instructions Will Follow Shortly
        EM-20038 SEN REV 2 Disaster Procedures – Handling Anomalous Claims during COVID-19 – One-Time Instruction
        EM-20043 Internet Benefit Application (iClaim) Enhancements - Policy and Procedures
        EM-21030 SEN Accepting Faxed Applications During the COVID-19 Pandemic – One Time Instruction
        GN 00201.010 Signature Requirements
        GN 00201.015 Alternative Signature Methods
        GN 00204.055 Internet Claim (iClaim) Application
        GN 04108.100 Pre-Adjudicative Anomalous Claims
        MS 00601.005 eLAS – Create A New Lead (CANL)
        MS 03508.006 Worksheet Remarks (DW03)
        OB 21-001 REV 2 Outreach Mailers Low PIA Title II Beneficiaries Potentially Eligible for SSI (Vulnerable Population Mailer)
        Outreach Materials for People Facing Barriers
        SI 00601.027 Title II Application as a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Oral Inquiry
        SI 00601.035 Adjudicating Title II When a Title XVI Application Is Filed
        SI 00604.002 Form SSA-8000-BK
        SI 00605.000 Use and Completion of Form SSA-8001-BK
        SM 01301.790 Housing Case Related (Case Characteristics) Data on the SSR - Process
        SM 01005.525 Case Related Data
        TC 10010.070 Making Claims Referrals or Scheduling Appointments When NH's SSN is Known

        EM-21035 REV 2 - Vulnerable Populations Application Coding Instructions - 03/30/2022