Identification Number:
GN 02405 TN 12
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:OFPO
Title:Processing Unendorsed Returned Benefit Checks - Title II and Title XVI
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part GN – General
Chapter 024 – Checks
Subchapter 05 – Processing Unendorsed Returned Benefit Checks - Title II and Title XVI
Transmittal No. 12, 06/23/2021

Audience

PSC: BTE, CCE, CST, LCC, LSC, PAS, PCS, PETL, RC, RCOVTA, RECOVR;
OCO-ODO: CRT, LCRT, Lead Mail Clerk, Mail Clerk, Mailroom Supervisor, TSA, TST;
FO/TSC: CS, CS TII, CS TXVI, CSR, CTE, FR, OA, OS, RR, TA, TSC-CSR;

Originating Component

OFPO

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

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

Unendorsed Title II benefit checks returned to the field office (FO) are not remittances; however, they should be entered into the mailroom or reception area log and then input into the Debt Management System (DMS), so they appear on the current day's Field Office Daily Receipt Listing (FODRL).

Summary of Changes

GN 02405.010 How to Process Unendorsed Title II Returned Benefit and Unendorsed Claimant Representative Attorney Fee Checks Received in the Field Office

Subsection A, We changed Title II benefit checks to Title II Treasury checks.

Subsection B, We added a reminder to specify that if the person returning the check also reports the beneficiary’s whereabouts are unknown, see GN 02602.320. We changed Title II benefit checks to Title II Treasury checks.

Subsection F, We added policies to the reference section.

GN 02405.010 How to Process Unendorsed Title II Returned Treasury Checks and Unendorsed Claimant Representative Attorney Fee Checks Received in the Field Office

A. Background for Unendorsed Title II Treasury Checks

Unendorsed Title II Treasury checks returned to the field office (FO) are not remittances; however, they should be entered into the mailroom or reception area log per GN 02403.004D and then input into the Debt Management System (DMS) per GN 02403.007, so they appear on the current day's Field Office Daily Receipt Listing (FODRL) per GN 02403.021.

NOTE: Process returned unendorsed attorney fee checks as unendorsed returned Treasury checks.

  • Follow the procedure for returned benefit checks more than one year old in GN 02405.300.

  • See information on how to process returned smudged or mutilated checks in GN 02406.230.

B. Interviewer Procedure

Process returned unendorsed Title II Treasury checks in accordance with the table below:

Step

Action

1

If the SSN or claim number is unknown, access the Treasury Check Information System (TCIS) or the Treasury Check Verification Query (TCVQ) screen in PCOM to determine the claim number of the beneficiary.

See MSOM QUERIES 003.022 for instructions on how to access the TCVQ screen.

IMPORTANT: Do not write the SSN on the check.

2

Identify and code the reason the check was returned, see Section E.

  • If you can determine the reason for returning the check, go to step 3.

  • If the check was returned in error or you cannot determine the reason for the return, contact the remitter to determine the return reason for the check.

    If the remitter does not respond, contact the beneficiary or the representative payee.

    If the reason the check was returned cannot be determined, proceed to step 3 and, at step 6, use MS as the returned check code.

    If the check was returned in error, mail to the beneficiary or their representative payee.

REMINDERS: Do not follow this policy for benefit payments mailed to the FO, for delivery to the beneficiary because the claimant does not have a permanent mailing address, as returned checks or refunds, see GN 02401.050.

If the person returning the check also reports the beneficiary’s whereabouts are unknown, see GN 02602.320.

3

Immediately stamp “NOT NEGOTIABLE” below the address on the check, if not yet stamped by mailroom personnel.

REMINDER: Do not write or stamp below the solid line, which extends the full length of the check. Doing so causes problems with Treasury's optical scanning equipment.

4

Determine if the check represents a Treasury-issued immediate payment (IP) check see, RS 02801.010.

  • If yes, go to step 5

  • If no, go to step 6

NOTE: If the returned IP is a Third-Party Draft issued from the FO, follow instructions in GN 02403.016.

5

Annotate the check (in red) “TITLE II IMMEDIATE PAYMENT,” followed by the FO code in the upper left hand corner of the check.

Go to step 7. (The Office of Finance does not need the reason for the return.)

6

Code the date of the event that caused the beneficiary not to be entitled to the payment in (MM/YY) format, if appropriate. Annotate the Beneficiary Identification Code (BIC), and the reason (returned check code, see Exhibit 02405.010E) for the return on the lower left portion of the check, to the right of the Statue of Liberty imprint and above the solid line which extends the full length of the check.

REMINDER: The date of event for student terminations, see RS 00205.325,will always be the first month of non-entitlement of the student benefits.

EXAMPLE: Returned Benefit Check Coded for Death that occurred in February 2020.

7

Recording the check:

  • Enter the check information into DMS per MSOM DMS 003.006 and MSOM DMS 003.007, then

  • Write the automated receipt number in the blank space below the check number and above the money amount

NOTE: Do not enter the attorney Payment Identification Code (PIC) in DMS.

REMINDER: Prepare an SSA-1395-BK manual receipt when DMS is not accessible.

References:

8

Give, or mail the remitter the remittance receipt produced by DMS.

9

Is the check being returned due to death, work, change of address, or a suspension and life termination event (for example marriage)?

  • If yes, input the event directly into the Post-Entitlement Operations System (POS).

  • If no, send an MDW to the Processing Center (PC). Advise the PC of the return reason, unless the event has been recorded on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR).

10

Turn over the coded check and DMS print out to the remittance clerk for the next step.

C. Remittance Clerk Procedure

The remittance clerk must follow the procedures when processing unendorsed returned Treasury checks:

Step

Action

1

Request the FODRL at the end of the business day.

Reference : MSOM DMS 004.006 and MSOM DMS 004.009 for instructions on how to obtain an FODRL

2

Gather the returned check(s) and the other miscellaneous refunds, and ensure that they match the remittance information on the FODRL.

3

Sign the FODRL on the remittance clerk line, and hand carry all documents to the remittance supervisor.

D. Remittance Supervisor Procedure

The remittance supervisor must follow the procedures when processing unendorsed returned Treasury checks:

Step

Action

1

Review the FODRL against the mailroom and reception area logs completed that day. Ensure that all unendorsed, returned Treasury checks logged in that day are stamped:

  • “NOT NEGOTIABLE” or,

  • “ENDORSED AS REFUNDS”.

2

Resolve any differences between the checks listed on the FODRL, reception area logs, and actual checks received.

See References:

GN 02403.004

GN 02403.006

GN 02403.021

GN 02403.065

3

Sign the FODRL on the remittance supervisor line.

4

Mail returned Title II checks at the end of each work day as follows:

Title II Checks (except Title II IP Checks):

Department of the Treasury
Bureau of the Fiscal Service
National Payment Integrity & Resolution Center
PO Box 51318
Philadelphia, PA 19115-6318

Title II IP Checks:

Social Security Administration
Office of Finance
P.O. Box 47
Baltimore, Maryland 21235

REMINDER: Do not mail the FODRL with the Title II unendorsed Treasury check(s). Sign and file the listing. Retain the FODRL listings for one year, then shred.

E. Exhibit - Title II returned check codes

AD

=

Change of Address

CI

=

Check Intercept

CP

=

Change of Payee

DC

=

Duplicate Check

DR

=

Death of Representative Payee

DT

=

Death of Beneficiary

MR

=

Marriage, Divorce or Annulment

MS

=

Miscellaneous, e.g., no child in care, refusal to accept benefit payments, etc.

ST

=

Student Termination

WK

=

Work

F. References

  • GN 02403.130 Completing Form SSA-1395-BK (Manual Receipt)

  • GN 02403.007 FO Receipt Process -- Automated and Manual

  • GN 02403.008 Processing Remittances Received Outside the FO

  • GN 02403.004 Remittance Handling in the FO Mailroom and Reception Area

  • GN 02403.006 Processing Remittances Received in the Field Office

  • GN 02403.021 Field Office Daily Receipt Listing

  • GN 02403.065 Resolving Discrepancies with Remittances and Field Office Remittance Transmittal (FORT) - FO and PC Procedure

  • SM 01325.040 Systems Input When an SSI EAP/IP Third Party Draft Check Is Lost or Returned 040


GN 02405 TN 12 - Processing Unendorsed Returned Benefit Checks - Title II and Title XVI - 6/23/2021