Identification Number:
RM 03803 TN 9
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:DCO OCO OEIO DTPS
Title:General Instructions
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:Records Maintenance (Earnings & Enumeration)
Link To Reference:

Part RM – Records Maintenance
Chapter 038 – Earnings Discrepancies
Subchapter 03 – General Instructions
Transmittal No. 9, 08/21/2020


Originating Component


Effective Date

Upon Receipt


This POMS is be revised for readability and tone. This is a Quick Action Transmittal.


Summary of Changes

RM 03803.020 Time Limits for Resolving Possible Errors in Employee Earnings Records

Removed list formatting and made wording changes for sentence flow and clarity.

RM 03803.020 Time Limits for Resolving Possible Errors in Employee Earnings Records

The Rivera court decision requires the Social Security Administration to provide an initial determination for all disagreement, discrepancy, scrambled wage or IRS cases to the number holder (NH) within 3 years of filing Form SSA-7008 (Request for Correction of Earnings Record) or similar signed statement. The time frame for the 3-year period does not begin until SSA receives notice from an individual of possible error in his/her earnings record or SSA notifies an individual that it is reviewing on its own motion his/her earnings record for accuracy.


Use the following processing guidelines when applying time limits for initial determinations:

  1. 1. 

    In all cases where the NH notified SSA of a problem with his/her earnings, whether by an SSA-7008 or similar signed statement, an initial determination must be made within 3 years of the receipt date by SSA.

  2. 2. 

    In cases where SSA was notified by a third party, becomes aware of the problem internally, or discovers the earnings problem by any means other than the NH, the 3-year period begins with the date SSA first contacts the individual(s) involved to advise that we are reviewing the pertinent earnings record for accuracy.

  3. 3. 

    The 3-year period may be extended to 3 years, 3 months and 15 days only if, at the end of the 3-year mark, SSA is awaiting a response to a specific request for additional evidence. However, an initial determination must be made within 3 years, 3 months, 15 days of receipt or notification as addressed in 1. and 2. above.

    NOTE: SSA's policy goal is to complete earnings discrepancy development and make an initial determination in all cases within 6 months.

RM 03803 TN 9 - General Instructions - 8/21/2020