PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEMPart GN – GeneralChapter 024 – ChecksSubchapter 05 – Processing Unendorsed Returned Benefit Checks - Title II and Title XVITransmittal No. 12, 06/23/2021
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.
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.
Process returned unendorsed Title II Treasury checks in accordance with the table below:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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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.
GN 02403.130 for instructions on how to prepare an SSA-1395-BK
MSOM DMS 003.001 for DMS input coding
MSOM DMS 003.006 and MSOM DMS 003.007 for instructions on generating an automated receipt
Give, or mail the remitter the remittance receipt produced by DMS.
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).
Turn over the coded check and DMS print out to the remittance clerk for the next step.
The remittance clerk must follow the procedures when processing unendorsed returned Treasury checks:
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
Gather the returned check(s) and the other miscellaneous refunds, and ensure that they match the remittance information on the FODRL.
Sign the FODRL on the remittance clerk line, and hand carry all documents to the remittance supervisor.
The remittance supervisor must follow the procedures when processing unendorsed returned Treasury checks:
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”.
Resolve any differences between the checks listed on the FODRL, reception area logs, and actual checks received.
Sign the FODRL on the remittance supervisor line.
Mail returned Title II checks at the end of each work day as follows:
Title II Checks (except Title II IP Checks):
Title II IP Checks:
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.
Change of Address
Change of Payee
Death of Representative Payee
Death of Beneficiary
Marriage, Divorce or Annulment
Miscellaneous, e.g., no child in care, refusal to accept benefit payments, etc.
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