Identification Number:
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/PSCs/OCO/
Originating Office:ORDP ORDES
Title:Wage Reporting Proof of Concept - One-Time-Only Instructions
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title II (RSI); Title XVI (SSI)
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM.
Retention Date: March 16, 2021

A. Background
    The Social Security Administration (SSA) is committed to strengthening the integrity of its Ticket to Work (TTW) Program by minimizing improper payments to Ticket Users due to earnings. To facilitate this goal, the Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support developed a Wage Reporting Proof of Concept (POC) to reduce the risk of overpayments for Ticket users. The POC will expand the use of eWork to report beneficiary wages. The Ticket Program Manager (TPM) staff will provide the necessary documentation for Field Office (FO) staff to complete Work Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR) as needed.

    Currently, through a contract supporting TTW, the TPM staff:

    · receives proof of earnings from Employment Networks (EN) to process EN
    payments, and
    · enters beneficiary wages into the alleged earnings screen in SSA’s Internet Ticket
    Operations Provider Support System (iTOPSS).

      Once the TPM payment staff enters wages into iTOPSS, FO staff must investigate the beneficiary’s work, verify earnings, and initiate or update a work report in eWork. When TPM staff members make entries through iTOPSS, FO staff members do not receive an alert, thus creating the potential for overpayments.
    B. Policy for Proof of Concept
        The POC will allow TPM payment staff to initiate or update a work report in eWork that will record all paystub or earnings data. Current policy provides that these paystubs or employer prepared wage summaries constitute documentation of verified earnings. To reduce duplicate actions and potential overpayments, the POC will allow TPM staff access to eWork to initiate or update a work report using the verified earnings, and import the verified earnings into the Non-disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRED) for adjudicative action.

        ORDP will test this POC with TPM staff for 180 days.

      C. Instructions for Wage Reporting Proof of Concept

        1. ENs Participating in the POC

          All ENs will continue to scan the earnings data into the Document Management Architecture (DMA) as required for EN payment requests. ENs participating in the POC will fax the earnings data not associated with payment requests to TPM. SSA will launch the POC with 2 organizations, and gradually expand the launch to include participation from the attached list of participating ENs.

          WR Participant List.xlsxWR Participant List.xlsx

        2. TPM

          TPM staff will initiate or update a work report in eWork using the verified earnings sent by the participating EN.

          TPM staff will scan or import all earnings data and wage amounts from the Internet Ticket Operations Provider Support System (iTOPSS) calculator into NDRED, or the Claims File Records Management System (CFRMS). If a Work Continuing Disability Review (CDR) is needed based on the verified earnings, FO staff will use this information to complete the CDR. In addition, TPM staff will enter the following statement in the eWork remarks section:

              “This work report is from the Ticket Program Manager, and earnings (using paystubs/employer prepared wage report) are accepted as verified per DI 10505.005C.1.c. Verified wages have been scanned into NDRED or CFRMS.”
          If the TPM staff cannot use the iTOPSS calculator or cannot import wage data into NDRED or CFRMS, they will place a note in the remarks section stating this information.

        TPM staff members will print and mail the work report receipt to the beneficiary.

        3. FO

          Once FO personnel receive the work report, staff will begin the work review, which may include:

            a. initiating a work review;

            b. earnings development;

            c. earnings input, or

            d. development alerts (unless FO staff determines that policy supports clearing the work report without a work review).

          FO staff will obtain wage data and the iTOPSS calculation from NDRED to complete the work reviews. The iTOPSS calculator is an SSA-created and approved tool that converts wage information into monthly earnings for wage reporting purposes. ORDES has conducted a series of tests and confirms that both the iTOPSS and pay distribution calculators utilize the same computational process and arrive at the same monthly earnings outcomes. OPSOS approved the iTOPSS calculations for use in SSA FOs and Program Service Centers (PSCs) for the purposes of this POC. FO and PSC staff can use the imported iTOPSS calculations to conduct work reviews.
      Direct all program–related and technical questions to your regional office (RO) support staff or PSC Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions or problems to their Central Office contacts.

      DI 10505.005 Determining and Verifying Gross Earnings from Employment
      DI 13010.020 Work Reports and Receipts
      DI 55030.001 Overview of Earnings Verification in Ticket Cases
      DI 10505.003 Evaluating and Developing Earnings that Clearly are or are not Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)
      EM-16037 - Wage Reporting Proof of Concept - One-Time-Only Instructions - 10/25/2016