Identification Number:
EM-21008 REV 4
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/PSCs/OCO/CSTs
Originating Office:DCBFM OFPO
Title:Processing Programmatic Remittances through the Lockbox
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title II (RSI); Title XVI (SSI)
Link To Reference:See Reference at the end of this EM.
Retention Date: November 1, 2024


Section B: Added statement, that the second phase of lockbox mail redirection is paused.

A. Purpose:
    This emergency message (EM) provides instructions on handling remittances processed through the Department of the Treasury’s lockbox services managed by U.S. Bank.
      B. Background:
        As of December 28, 2022, the redirection of SSI remittances to Lockbox is effective.

        On January 29, 2021, SSA implemented the use of a lockbox to add efficiencies in the agency’s processing of paper programmatic remittances. Lockbox banking is a service provided by the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), Bureau of the Fiscal Service, and their financial agent, U.S. Bank, for the receipt of programmatic remittances from customers.

        In the initial phase, we changed the return address on the Recovery and Collection of Overpayment Process (RECOOP) notices to redirect remittances to the U.S. Bank lockbox, instead of the Mid-Atlantic Program Service Center (MATPSC) Remittance Accounting Unit. The U.S. Bank lockbox address is:

        Social Security Administration
        P. O. Box 5480
        Portland, OR 97228-9816

        Beginning December 28, 2022, we redirected all SSI remittance notices intended for MATPSC’s P.O. Box 3430 to the above-referenced U.S. Bank address. U.S. Bank received the SSI remittances as the result of the SSI system generated notices with a payment coupon.

        The lockbox will continue to receive paper checks submitted via Online Bill Pay (OLBP) services that could not be submitted electronically.

        The redirection of these remittances is performed by the agency, and there is a change to the address information on the notice or payment coupon.

        C. Lockbox Remittance Processing

        The lockbox service will process single checks with a single coupon or single checks with multiple coupons. These coupons are part of the overpayment billing notices sent to debtors. Any cash received will be processed using a cashier’s check as a substitute item for the cash payment.

        Remittance data is captured, using high-speed scanning equipment, and transmitted to the agency daily. U.S. Bank will image the front and back of the remittances, image the front and back of any associated remittance documents and transmit the images to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (FRB Cleveland) for viewing and individual check download via Electronic Check Processing (ECP).

        ECP is a web-based, client facing application that acts as a data and image repository. Federal government agencies and their financial agents use ECP to view and research transactions.

        D. Returns from the Lockbox

        Any item that U.S. Bank cannot process will be forwarded daily, via United Parcel Service (UPS) overnight mail, to MATPSC. This includes the following items:

          · Payments without a coupon;

          · Unbalanced single check/multi-coupon payments;

          · Payments with multiple checks/single coupon;

          · Credit card payments (including SSA-4588);

          · Medicare premium installment payments;

          · AURORA notices and payments;

          · Medicare Premium Installment Payments;

          · OLBP checks;

          · Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG) checks;

          · Other

            · Foreign coin, checks with foreign banks or in foreign currency;

            · Unreadable or damaged items.

        E. Post Transaction Record Updates

        U.S. Bank will include an Individual Reference Number (IRN) in the daily detail file for all remittances processed by the Lockbox. An IRN is a unique number generated by U.S. Bank sent to Treasury’s central information repository. This will assist in processing check returns and check adjustments.

        As a result, the IRN ‘LCK########’ will appear in the ‘Receipt Number’ field on the daily detail file and in the Receipt Number field of the REQD screen in DMS. The number will be the last 8 digits of the IRN. The IRN will identify the transaction as originating from the lockbox, rather than MATPSC. Technicians should still use the SSN to search for remittance records.

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


            GN 02403.000 Procedures for Handling Remittances and Premium Payments in the Field Office

            GN 02403.163 Processing Programmatic Remittances through the Lockbox

            EM-20032 SEN REV 6 for information regarding Mailing Instructions for Remittances from Field Offices and Program Service Centers.

        EM-21008 REV 4 - Processing Programmatic Remittances through the Lockbox - 04/12/2023