Identification Number:
GN 02406 TN 51
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:DCBFM OFPO
Title:Failure to Receive a Check/Payment - Title II, Title XVI
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:Title II (RSI); Title XVI (SSI)
Link To Reference:
 
2
PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part 02 – General
Chapter 024 – Checks
Subchapter 06 - Failure to Receive a Check/Payment - Title II, Title XVI
Transmittal No. 51, 06/2018


Audience

FO/TSC: CS, CS TII, CS TXVI, DRT, FR, OA, OS, RR, CSR, TA, CTE, TSC-CSR
OCO-OEO: CST, LCST
PSC: BA, PETE, IEBA, CCRE, TST, TSA, SPIKE
OCO-ODO: BET, BTE, CCE, CR, CST, CTE, CTE TE, DSE, PAS, PETE, PETL, COVTA, RECOVR
OCO-OEIO: BET, BIES, BTE, CCRE, CR, EIE, FCR, PETL, RECOVR

Originating Component

OFPO

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

This transmittal does not contain substantive changes to policies or procedures. We made updates and editorial revisions for clarity that comply with the plain language standards used by the Agency.

Summary of Changes

GN 02406.001 Glossary of Nonreceipt Terms

We updated this section using plain language guides and made the following changes:

    • Added altered check definition.
    • Added the definition for cancellation
    • Removed input language from the definitions of the A-Stop, B-Stop, C-Stop and Courtesy Disbursement, F-Stop and G-Stop
    • Updated the definition of the Check Forgery Insurance Fund
    • Added the definition for Check Reclamation
    • Updated the definition of the Daily Advice of Status
    • Added the definition for Deceased Payee Intercepts
    • Updated the definition of the Department of the Treasury
    • Updated the definition of the Federal Reserve Bank
    • Updated the definition of the Financial Institution
    • Added definition for Limited Payability Cancellation Credit
    • Added the definition for Lost-In-Transit
    • Added the definition for Mutilated Check
    • Updated the definition of Photocopy Request.
    • Added definition for Stale-Dated Check
    • Updated the definition of Status
    • Added the definition for Treasury Check Operations Re-engineering Effort (T-CORE)
    • Added the definition for Unavailable Check
    • Updated the definition for the Unavailable Check Cancellation Credit

GN 02406.002 The Robinson/Reyf Class Action Suit

We updated and reformatted this section for clarity.

Subsection A: We reformatted this section and made grammatical changes.

Subsections A1 – A5: We removed these sections because they no longer apply

Subsection B: We changed formatting for clarity

Subsections C - K: Changed formatting from numerical to alphabetical



GN 02406.001 Glossary of Nonreceipt Terms

Citations: Social Security Act §205(i), §708(a) 31 USC §3702(c), §3712(a) 20 CFR 416.502

This glossary lists, explains, or defines nonreceipt terms, phrases, and unusual words used throughout GN 02406.001 – GN 02406.810.

Available Check Cancellation (ACC)

An ACC is a cancelled unendorsed check the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has in its possession. Treasury credits these funds to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Due to the functionality of the Treasury Check Information System (TCIS),

  • Treasury also posts an ACC when SSA inputs an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) nonreceipt.

  • Treasury creates a “false” replacement check in TCIS and cancels the check immediately.

  • Treasury never issues a replacement or courtesy disbursement check for a direct deposit nonreceipt input.

Automated Clearing House (ACH)

The ACH network, a funds delivery system, distributes and settles credits and debits electronically. The government uses the ACH network to make benefit and salary payments electronically via direct deposit.

Agency Location Code (ALC)

The ALC is an 8-digit number Treasury assigns to identify agency disbursing and collecting points. When SSA inputs any stop code, Treasury uses the ALC code to direct forms, accounting documentation, debits and credits to the corresponding SSA office (i.e., processing center (PC) or Division of Benefit Certification and Systems Analysis [DBCSA]).

Altered Check

An altered check is an original Treasury check with changes made to the original information with the intent to defraud the government.

A-Stop

SSA uses the A-Stop in allegations of nonreceipt in mass loss situations and when processing nonreceipt of Title XVI non-recurring checks.

  1. Mass loss occurs when a large number of recurring checks in a geographic area are lost, stolen or otherwise unavailable for delivery. Although the technician inputs an A stop and that code is shown on SSA systems, when SSA sends the nonreceipt file to Treasury, the A-stop converts to a B-stop and Treasury issues a courtesy disbursement check before determining the status of the original check. This is a “permanent stop” and essential authority to process the case and reclaim funds if the Questioned Documents Branch determines the author of the writing samples does not appear to be the author of the endorsement on the questioned check (i.e., indications may not have written) and

  2. Nonreceipt of nonrecurring Title XVI checks

    • One Time Payment (OTP) - type 4;

    • underpayment - type 2;

    • replacement - type 9

A-stops for nonrecurring checks only generate status of the missing check; NOT a courtesy disbursement check. Technicians must take additional steps to provide an immediate payment. For more information on the immediate payment process, see RS 02803.130.

For Title XVI processing of non-receipt of underpayment check-type 2 and one-time payment-type 4 payments, field office and Teleservice center technicians follow GN 02406.205.

For Title XVI processing of nonreceipt of courtesy disbursement or replacement check-type 9 payments, technicians follow GN 02406.207.

B-Stop (Paper Checks)

We use the B-Stop code on paper checks to instruct Treasury to issue a courtesy disbursement check before determining the status of the original payment.

This is a “permanent stop” and essential authority to process the case and reclaim funds if the Questioned Document Branch determines the author of the writing samples does not appear to be the author of the endorsement on the questioned check (i.e., indications may not have written). For additional information

  • transmitting reports of non-receipt, loss, theft, or destruction of Title II and Title XVI recurring checks and PMA checks in normal and dire need situations, see GN 02406.125.

  • processing reports of non-receipt, loss, theft, or destruction of payments for checks due and not due, see GN 02406.135

B-Stop (Direct Deposit)

We use a B-Stop for direct deposit payments to generate a trace request on the original payment for the Treasury TeleTrace unit to investigate. For additional information on allegation of non-receipt of direct deposit, see GN 02406.007.

The B-stop for direct deposit does NOT generate another payment or a courtesy disbursement check to the claimant's account.

C-Stop

We use the C-Stop code to instruct Treasury to issue a replacement or settlement check only after Treasury determines the status of the original check (i.e., a cashed check) when the claimant is unsure if a payment was received, or is known to misuse the nonreceipt reporting process (i.e., Double Check Negotiation (DCN) abuser).

This is a “permanent stop” and essential authority to process the case and reclaim funds if the Questioned Document Branch determines the author of the writing samples does not appear to be the author of the endorsement on the questioned check (i.e., indications may not have written).

For additional information

  • requesting a C-Stop (payment after status) in normal and dire need situations, see GN 02406.150

  • processing reports of non-receipt, loss, theft, or destruction of payment when checks are due and not due, see GN 02406.135.

NOTE: Do not use a C-stop in direct deposit cases.

Cancellation

The process of rendering a check cancelled and repaying the amount of the check to the agency that authorized the issuance.

Treasury uses this process to cancel a check and return the amount to SSA.

Cancelled

Treasury uses the term cancelled to mean:

  1. claimant, post office, or SSA field office returned an unendorsed check; or

  2. financial institution returned a direct deposit payment; or

  3. Treasury credited a payment back to SSA when SSA placed the non-entitlement or stop payment action on a check still outstanding at the time of input.

Check Claims Branch (CCB)

A Treasury component located in Philadelphia, PA. The CCB

  • adjudicates and settles check claims for and against the U.S.;

  • receives and responds to all claims inquiries requesting financial information about government checks;

  • processes requests and maintains the status of checks;

  • provides check photocopies; and

  • makes forgery or handwriting determinations based on the date of the check, see GN 02401.910.

Check Forgery Insurance Fund (CFIF)

Treasury operates the CFIF, initially funded by Congress. Congress formed the fund to prevent the hardship of not replacing a missing payment until the presenting bank reclaimed the funds and to settle payee claims of nonreceipt where fraud was involved in the cashing of the check.

The fund

  • provides immediate replacement of missing payments to recipients of government checks.

  • settles payee claims of nonreceipt where someone fraudulently negotiated the check.

  • provides replacement of payments up front and the reclaimed money reimburses the fund.

Check Payee

The check payee is the person or organization to whom the check is made payable.

Check Range

The range of check numbers Treasury issues from a payment run for a particular Agency Location Code (ALC). The range starts with the number of the first check and ends with the last check number of the run.

Check Reclamation

A demand to a financial institution for refund of the amount of an improperly negotiated Treasury check

Check Serial Number

The check serial number, an 8-digit number found on Treasury checks in the upper right hand corner, uniquely identifies a particular check issued from a Regional Financial Center. The 8-digit Check Serial Number is located after the 4-digit Check Symbol Number.

Check Symbol Number

The check symbol number is a 4-digit number found in the upper right hand corner on Treasury checks that uniquely identifies which Regional Financial Center issued the check.

Claims Disposition Notice (CDN)

The CDN is a computerized form the Treasury Check Information System (TCIS) prints and sends to the beneficiary, recipient or representative payee. Treasury also transmits this information to the FOs and processing centers.

The CDN advises SSA of Treasury's recommendation or action taken (e.g., forgery determination, issued settlement check) on the check payee's eligibility to a settlement check based on information provided on the FMS-1133 (Claim Against the United States for the proceeds of a Government Check) and the investigation.

Claims Package

Treasury

  • generates the claims package because of a permanent stop (e.g., A-Stop, B-Stop, C-Stop, etc.) input on a particular check. It consists of the FMS-3858 (Claims Document), FMS-1133 (Claim Against the United States For the Proceeds of a Government Check), and check image.

  • sends claims packages generated by A, B, F and G-stops to the PC for Title II and to the FOs through DBCSA for Title XVI.

  • mails claims packages generated by C-stop directly to the claimant.

The claims package is available for printing on TCIS. The FO can print the package one time. After one print, the FO may contact the Regional Office through normal communication (vHelp) or Treasury at 855-866-0151 to get a claims package. The claims package is available for print until Treasury receives the completed FMS-1133.

Courtesy Disbursement

A courtesy disbursement occurs when SSA processes a mass loss or a B-stop. After the claimant reports nonreceipt of a paper check and before determining the status of the original check, the Regional Financial Center (RFC) issues a check to the claimant.

These checks are annotated, “REPLACES CK 1234 56789012 DATED MM/DD/YY” and considered courtesy disbursement checks. Courtesy disbursement check serial numbers always begin with 99.

NOTE: Treasury uses “99” every 3 or 4 years on original checks.

Credit

A credit represents the returned funds Treasury sent to SSA for:

  • uncashed checks;

  • returned checks or EFT payments;

  • 1184 stop payment actions; or

  • Reclamations.

Credit Reversal

A credit reversal occurs when

  • a reclamation credit is reversed (i.e., Treasury initially gave SSA a credit but later charged us for an item).

  • a credit previously issued because of a non-entitlement claim is reversed (i.e., Treasury gave SSA an unavailable cancellation credit on an F-Stop because these payments were outstanding at the time Treasury received the stops).

Sometimes Treasury processes a true “credit reversal” or a Payment Over Cancellation (POC) if a claimant cashed a check after SSA received credit and Treasury charges SSA for the payment. (For additional information, see GN 02406.245.)

Critical Payment System (CPS)

FO and PC staffs use the CPS to issue Title II payments when normal processing is not available. A status line on the MBR indicates if CPS is involved. If so, the CPS data appends to the bottom of the MBR. After approval, the CPS sends payment information for display on Payment History Update System (PHUS).

For additional information, see SM 00635.050.

Daily Advice of Status (DAS)

The DAS electronic transmission from Treasury provides

  • status of the stop codes SSA inputs on checks and payments.

  • a check description along with information the check was or was not paid.

Deceased Payee Intercepts

These are Treasury checks that the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB)

  • identifies and returns to the presenting bank because the payee died before Treasury issued the check.

  • returns to the agency stamped: “Payee Deceased—Questions, Contact Authorizing Agency.”

Disposition Codes

Also known as process message. See definition under Process Message.

Division of Benefit Certification & Systems Analysis (DBCSA)

DBCSA is:

  • a section within SSA that handles any Title XVI exceptions received from the data transmitted between SSA and Treasury.

  • the central point for the receipt and distribution of Title XVI claims packages.

  • responsible for the daily and monthly certification of payments released to Title II, Title XVI, and Title VIII claimants.

Double check negotiation (DCN)

Occurs when a beneficiary or recipient cashes the original and any check issued for the same month.

Department of the Treasury (Treasury)

An executive department and Treasury of the United States Federal Government. Congress established the Department of the Treasury to manage government revenue.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT Payment)

An electronic payment transmitted to a beneficiary's or recipient’s debit card (Direct Express) or bank account (direct deposit). It is NOT a paper check mailed to the bank.

F-Stop

We use an F-stop to report nonreceipt for nonentitlement situations other than death of the beneficiary or recipient.

  1. Nonreceipt of check(s) issued to non-beneficiaries.

  2. Nonreceipt of check(s) issued for Title XVI attorney fees.

For additional F-stop uses, see GN 02408.003

Federal Reserve Bank (FRB)

The depository bank acts as Treasury’s banker and clearinghouse in the payment of Treasury checks forwarded from the financial institution. This is the central bank of the U.S.

Financial Institution (FI)

Financial Institution. For information on acceptable FIs, see GN 02402.030.

First Party Report

A first party report is an event reported by the

  • beneficiary or claimant;

  • representative payee or agent (i.e., lawyer, accountant);

  • competent adult entitled on the same SSN; or

  • relative, friend or neighbor who is acting at the request of the beneficiary or recipient.

For additional information on first party reports, see GN 03001.020.

Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service)

Fiscal Service is a bureau within Treasury that

  • is responsible for overseeing the disbursement of Federal payments, reconciliation and claims processing of all Treasury checks.

  • oversees the Government’s cash flow, collects Federal revenues, and

  • provides centralized debt collections services and Government-wide accounting and reporting.

The CCB and the Questioned Document Branch (QDB) are part of Fiscal Service.

Forgery Determination

A determination made by Treasury after investigating a timely allegation of nonreceipt of a check that is one year old or less (from the date of issuance).

G-Stop

G-Stop is a code input when an endorsed check is lost, stolen or destroyed.

For additional information on missing

  • recurring or supplemental check(s) (UPMR), see MSOM BUSSR 003.012.

  • check (UPMC), see MSOM BUSSR 003.013.

Handwriting Analysis

A handwriting analysis is a process where SSA requests the Fiscal Service QDB technician to review the handwriting on checks where the beneficiary, recipient or representative payee(s) did not file the nonreceipt claim timely, the check is older than 12 months and the check in question is part of an existing overpayment on the record.

Held and Cancelled

Treasury uses this process when the agency requests the cancellation of a payment prior to its release. This usually happens when the beneficiary, recipient or representative payee cashes the original check prior to the RFC releasing another check.

Holder In Due Course

This is a situation where a business, financial institution, or individual cashed a validly endorsed check and subsequently reported the check lost, stolen, or destroyed before the Federal Reserve Bank received it. (For additional information on holder in due course (theft, loss or destruction of check after negotiation by the original payee), see GN 02406.235.)

Incorrect Payment

Incorrect payment is any payment issued after death to which the beneficiary or recipient was not entitled. An incorrect payment is different from an overpayment. (For additional information on incorrect payments, see GN 02201.001E.)

Limited Payability

A limited payability check is a check that is older than 12 months (from the issue date of the check).

Limited Payability Cancellation

The automatic cancellation of a check by Treasury in the 15th month after the issue date of the check, if the check is older than 12 months and is still outstanding. Treasury returns the funds to the agency that authorized the payment.

NOTE: This only applies to checks. It does not affect direct deposit payments. (For additional information on limited payability cases for Title II and Title XVI, see GN 02401.901 thru GN 02401.920.)

Limited Payability Cancellation Credit

Credit sent to SSA by Treasury via the Intra-governmental Payment and Collection (IPAC) system when Treasury cancels a check because of Limited Payability.

Lost In Transit

This term defines checks lost or stolen in transit between

  • financial institutions,

  • a financial institution and the FRB,

  • the FRB District Office and the FRB processing center, or

  • overseas depositaries and the FRB.

Mass Loss

Mass loss refers to a large number of checks in a geographic area that are lost, stolen, or otherwise unavailable for delivery. (For additional information on mass loss of checks and the payment delivery alert system (PDAS), see GN 02406.700.)

Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW)

The Modernized Development Worksheet, see MS MDW 001.003, is a communication tool used between FOs, PCs, and Teleservice Centers.

MT-TAC (formerly L-TAC)

MT-TAC is a type of action the technician uses to indicate a referral of an overpayment case due to a DCN to Treasury for a handwriting analysis, see GN 02406.310.

For additional information on DIAR, see SM 01311.010. For additional information on overpayment decisions, see MSOM BUSSR 004.008.

Mutilated Check

A Treasury check that is torn, folded, or has information missing such that financial institutions will not process it through normal banking channels.

N-TAC

An N-TAC is an uncollectible overpayment decision, which records the fact that an overpayment is uncollectible when there is an early delivery of an SSI check in the month of the recipient’s death or the recipient is deceased and all efforts used to collect the overpayment have failed. For more information on uncollectible and erroneous overpayment decisions, see SM 01311.280.

NT-TAC

NT-TAC is a type of action code used for an SSI overpayment. The NT-TAC is an erroneous overpayment decision used to resolve erroneous systems computed overpayments. For additional information on overpayment decision data (OPDD), see SM 01311.040.

Payment Claim Enhancement & Reconciliation (PACER) System

PACER is a Treasury information system that contains payment and claim details for both paper checks and direct deposit payments that occurred from 10/97 and later.

Payment Cycling

Payment cycling began in June 1997. SSA delivers recurring RSDI benefits on four days throughout the month: on the 3rd of the month and on the second, third, and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Beneficiaries who received their benefits on the 3rd of the month prior to May 1997 continue to receive their benefits on that day. RSDI beneficiaries who filed claims May 1, 1997 and later received one of the three new payment dates based on the primary wage earner’s date of birth on the record where benefits are paid. (For information about exceptions to payment cycling, see GN 02407.005B.4.)

Payment Over Cancellation (POC)

A POC is the reversal of a previous credit given to SSA by Treasury. This situation occurs when the original check is outstanding at the time Treasury initially processes the nonreceipt allegation, and someone cashes the check before Treasury can cancel it. (For additional information on payment over cancellation credit reversal, see GN 02406.245.)

Permanent Stop

Permanent stop includes codes such as A, B, C, F, or G, that Treasury recognizes in order to return an uncashed check credit or to create a check claims package. If Treasury determines the check was forged, they will process a reclamation action. Only use a permanent stop for timely allegations of nonreceipt. See glossary definition of timely filing.

NOTE: K-Stop or L-Stops (photocopy request) are NOT permanent stops and do not produce a claims package.

Photocopy Request (K or L-Stop)

A K-Stop is no longer required to obtain a check photocopy. The technician can now obtain a non-certified photocopy of a check from the Treasury Check Information System (TCIS). For additional photocopy information, see GN 02406.140.

The L-Stop is a request for a certified photocopy. These check photocopies are not available through TCIS. The technician should only use L-Stop in the specific situations described in GN 02406.140 to request a certified photocopy of a check.

NOTE: Technicians should never input a photocopy request to obtain a check claims package or follow up on a previous request for a claims package. (For additional information on photocopy, see MSOM BUSSR 003.015.)

If the technician needs the claims package, they should use the TCIS to obtain it or contact Treasury if the information is not available on TCIS.

Process Message

The process message, also known as a disposition code, represents a reply from Treasury indicating the action taken in response to SSA input. It posts to the PHUS database for Title II cases and the Treasury Status Query (UPTQ) for Title XVI cases. (For additional information on Treasury RFC and CSD disposition codes, see SM 00609.610. For information on the UPTQ, see MSOM BUSSR 003.020.)

Questioned Documents Branch (QDB)

The QDB are handwriting experts in a division at Fiscal Service. They examine signature specimens to resolve nonreceipt claims and process Limited Payability handwriting analysis requests.

Record Activity Indicator (RAI)

The RAI identifies the status of the Critical Payment System (CPS) record. An “I” means inactive and an “A” means active. (For a description of the CPS record, see SM 00635.600D.2.)

Regional Financial Center (RFC)

The RFC is a Treasury component that

  • houses direct deposit information,

  • performs the initial Treasury processing of nonreceipt reports,

  • issues courtesy disbursements and replacement checks,

  • performs the final processing of all certified benefit payments,

  • manually processes all direct deposit reclamations, and

  • processes all returned checks.

Replacement Check

The Treasury RFC cancels the original check and issues a replacement check, in response to a C-Stop, after the investigation indicates the original check is outstanding.

Representative Payee

The representative payee is the person or organization SSA selects to receive payment on behalf of a beneficiary or recipient in situations where the beneficiary or recipient cannot manage or direct the management of his or her benefits.

Retroactive Payment

The retroactive payment represents funds due to claimants for past periods of entitlement.

Settlement Check

Fiscal Service sends the settlement check directly to the check payee after an investigation of the signature indicates that the endorsement on the check in question was not the check payee’s. (Action originated as a C-Stop.)

Settlement Date

The settlement date is the date the financial institution credits the funds to the beneficiary’s account for EFT payments.

Stale-Dated Check

An unnegotiated Treasury check that is older than 12 months (from the check issue date).

Status

This is payment information indicating if the check is outstanding, cashed, returned, credited, credit reversed, or paid over cancellation according to Treasury records.

Stop
Stop Action
Stop Reason

We use Stop, Stop action, and Stop Reason to indicate that Treasury has processed a nonreceipt or stop payment action (such as an F-Stop.)

Refer to non-receipt type codes in SM 00609.110, SM 00609.210, SM 01315.166, or SM 01315.181.

NOTE: Treasury defines any input received from SSA as a “stop action”.

Stop Payment Action (1184 Action)

Stop payment action (1184 action) indicates SSA requested Treasury to return funds that are not due the beneficiary or recipient. With the exception of death cases, users should prepare an 1184 action in check cases only.

Treasury Check Operations Re-engineering Effort (T-CORE)

T-CORE is a system located at the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank that processes transmittal status reports, and intercepts checks negotiated under forged endorsements because the payee died and SSA subsequently issued payments, or the check is stale dated. For additional information on the T-CORE process, see GN 02408.006.

TeleTrace Process

Treasury initiates the TeleTrace process when SSA inputs a nonreceipt (B-stop) on a missing EFT payment. The input initiates a trace request, which requires the TeleTrace staff to research the nonreceipt claim. (For additional information on the TeleTrace process, see GN 02406.007.)

Timely Filing (Nonreceipt of Paper Check)

Timely filing (non-receipt of paper check) is a term used in the context of filing a report of nonreceipt of a paper check. In these cases, the claimant must make or file the nonreceipt report within 12 months of the check issue date for the report to be timely.

Treasury Receivable Accounting and Collection System (TRACS)

TRACS is a debt recovery and accounting system that provides SSA with information about the entire accounting history of a nonreceipt case (e.g., credits, limited payability credits, debits, reclamations, refunds).

Treasury Check Information System (TCIS)

TCIS replaced Treasury’s Check Payment and Reconciliation system as an upgrade to their payment information process. It contains the history of check and direct deposit activity and has a record of check claims and photocopy requests (A, B, C, E, F, G, K, L, and M stops). TCIS information is available directly from Treasury by calling 1-855-868-0151.

NOTE: Currently, technicians in the RO, FO, PSC and TSC have access to TCIS.

Treasury Check/Trace Number (TCTN)

The TCTN is a field shown on SSA queries, which holds 8 characters. There are 7 spaces for EFT trace numbers and 8 spaces for check numbers. A narrative statement will display on the Treasury Status Query (UPTQ) for Title XVI payments, and the actual check numbers post in the TCTN field on PHUS.

Treasury Check/Trace Symbol (TCTS)

The TCTS digits help Treasury locate its payment and claims records. Three numbers indicate an EFT payment; four digits are for paper checks. The actual symbol numbers post in the TCTS field on PHUS and a narrative statement will display on the Treasury Status Query (UPTQ) for Title XVI payments.

Type of Payment Code (TOP)

The TOP code identifies on the PHUS record for Title II and the SSR for Title XVI the type of payment involved in the nonreceipt or stop payment action.

For a list of Title II codes, see SM 00545.295C.5.

For a list of Title XVI codes, see SM 01601.835C.2.

Unavailable check

An unavailable check is a check that is not in possession of the Treasury and the payee or claimant reports it as lost or not received.

Unavailable check cancellation (UCC) Credit

A UCC credit represents funds returned to SSA by Treasury for an outstanding check (i.e., not cashed or returned) that has been cancelled. This occurs when SSA inputs a nonreceipt or 1184 stop payment action and the payment is outstanding. Treasury returns the credit to SSA who posts the amount to the appropriate record.

USSS (United States Secret Service)

USSS receives referrals from Treasury for additional investigation if circumstances warrant.

VARO (Veterans Administration Regional Office)

VARO is the servicing office for SSA claims and related matters for individuals residing in the Philippines.

GN 02406.002 The Robinson/Reyf Class Action Suit

A. Reason for the class action suit

In January 1997, co-defendants SSA and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) entered into a Settlement Agreement with the plaintiffs in a class action suit filed in the State of New York. The plaintiffs filed suit to challenge the procedures and practices used by SSA and Treasury to process reports of nonreceipt and replace Title II and Title XVI checks because of the filed allegations.

B. Resulting policy changes from Robinson-Reyf case

The Robinson-Reyf settlement agreement resulted in significant changes in SSA's operating procedures. SSA and Treasury made specific changes to the nonreceipt procedures. For purposes of a nonreceipt allegation or policy on check replacement, there is no longer a distinction between current month checks and prior month checks, or for recurring and nonrecurring payments. SSA must instruct Treasury to issue checks immediately to replace missing payments except when SSA makes a decision to obtain the status of the original check before issuance of the replacement payment. Because of the Robinson-Reyf litigation, effective November 1997 SSA and Treasury agreed to the following:

C. Immediate replacement process

We must direct Treasury, by transmitting an A-stop (in mass loss situations) or a B-stop (for nonreceipt of a missing recurring check), to issue a courtesy disbursement check prior to investigating the status of the missing check if a nonreceipt report is made timely (i.e., within 12 months from the issue date of the check).

D. Double check negotiation (DCN) bar removal

We removed the DCN bar so that any allegation of nonreceipt that is transmitted as a B-stop generates an immediate replacement in the form of a courtesy disbursement check for the missing check, regardless of prior double check negotiations.

There are two situations described in section I below where SSA may choose to have Treasury determine the status of the original check before issuing a replacement or settlement check (i.e., C-stop).

E. Obtaining status of the original check

When a B-stop is input, Treasury investigates the status of the original check after the issuance of the courtesy disbursement check. If the claimant cashes the original check and the courtesy disbursement check, SSA treats this as an overpayment and starts recovery action per GN 02210.000. The overpayment is subject to the SSA appeals process. For additional information about appeals under Robinson-Reyf see GN 02406.310.

F. Payment of Automated One Time Payments (AOTPs) for Title XVI

According to the immediate payment Robinson/Reyf policy, the nonreceipt process used for nonrecurring checks is no different from the process used in missing recurring checks. Therefore, when a nonreceipt is reported for a nonrecurring Title XVI check (type 2, 4 and 9), an AOTP is issued for the full amount of the missing check, in conjunction with the input of an A-Stop, which reports the status of the missing check, see GN 02406.205 and GN 02406.207.

G. Overpayment appeals process

The settlement agreement instituted an additional step in the appeals process. If the individual protests the overpayment and alleges the signature is not theirs on one of the checks within 30 days of the overpayment letter, SSA will stop recovery efforts until Treasury has provided a forgery determination

The individual has 30 additional days to return the completed claim form to SSA or the overpayment recovery will resume, see GN 02406.310.

SSA sends the completed claim form to Treasury who will investigate the claim and issue a forgery determination.

If the individual disagrees with Treasury's determination, he or she may file an appeal with Treasury, see GN 02406.310F.3.

If there is no appeal of Treasury’s forgery determination within 60 days, SSA will resume collection efforts.

If there is an appeal, SSA will not resume collection efforts until Treasury renders the second appeal determination.

H. Treasury's second consideration of the signature on the check when a timely nonreceipt is filed

When the beneficiary or recipient does not agree with Treasury’s initial decision on the forgery determination, he or she sends the appeal request to Treasury. Upon receipt of the request, the Questioned Document Branch (QDB) has a second analyst review the package for a final determination.

  1. If the QDB analyst reverses their decision and provides the response “indications may not have written”, which means the author of the writing samples does not appear to be the author of the endorsement on the questioned check, there is no overpayment. Treasury sends a claims disposition notice to the agency and the technician will update the record accordingly.

  2. If the QDB analyst affirms their original determination and provides the response that indications may have written, which means the author of the writing samples appears to be the author of the endorsement on the questioned check, an overpayment exists. The technician will resume collection efforts to recover the overpayment. The check payee may still request reconsideration, or waiver, or a different rate of recovery from SSA.

NOTE: Do not waive DCN overpayments under any circumstances before Treasury makes a forgery determination; the $1,000 tolerance does not apply, see GN 02210.150A.4.k.

Upon completion of Treasury action on the claim for appeal, SSA will issue a reconsideration decision, see GN 02406.310I.

I. SSA may choose to input a C-stop directing Treasury to investigate the status of the original check before issuing a replacement check.

There are two instances where SSA requests Treasury to investigate the status of the original check before issuing a replacement or settlement check.

  1. The beneficiary or recipient is uncertain if they received the payment

  2. SSA reviewed the record and determined that the individual alleging nonreceipt misused SSA's policy of immediate replacement within the last 24 months.

    NOTE: For more information on C-stops, see GN 02406.150.

If Treasury determines that the original check was not cashed, Treasury will cancel the original check and issue a replacement check.

If Treasury determines that the original check was cashed, Treasury will send the claims package to the check payee for completion. Treasury will take no further action until the beneficiary or recipient returns the completed package.

When the payee returns the completed package, Treasury completes a forgery determination.

  • If Treasury’s response is “indications may not have written” (i.e., forgery is involved), Treasury sends a CDN to SSA and will issue a settlement check.

  • If Treasury’s response is “indications may have written” (i.e., forgery not involved), Treasury sends a CDN to SSA and will not issue a settlement check.

For additional C-stop processing instructions, refer to GN 02406.150.

J. Obtaining status requests

We will make every effort to respond quickly to inquiries about the progress of a forgery determination. For additional information about this process, refer to GN 02406.220B.

K. Electronic funds transfer (EFT) and direct deposit nonreceipt claims

If the wrong routing transit number (RTN) was on the record when SSA released the payment, SSA will promptly replace the payment via the Critical Payment System (CPS) for Title II or by issuing a one-time payment (OTP) for Title XVI. For instructions on handling EFT nonreceipt claims, refer to GN 02406.010.

If SSA's direct deposit data is correct or if the RTN is correct but the depositor's account number (DAN) is incorrect, Treasury’s TeleTrace unit will contact the financial institution to determine if the payment can be located. For a description of the “TeleTrace” procedure, refer to GN 02406.007.


GN 02406 TN 51 - Failure to Receive a Check/Payment - Title II, Title XVI - 07/10/2018