TN 94 (11-23)

GN 02607.410 SSA’s Prisoner Systems and Matching Operation

A. SSA's prisoner systems

SSA built several unique systems to receive, process, control, and monitor inmate information and to suspend benefits through an automated matching operation. These unique systems are:

1. Incarceration Reports Control System (IRCS)

The IRCS is a series of automated screens and queries that record and display information about all federal, State, and local correctional and mental institutions. These institutions include both participating and non-participating inmate reporting institutions.

IRCS maintains information about:

  • Correctional institutions -- Including the institution’s name and contact information;

  • Reporting entities -- Including the reporter's name, contact information, type of media used to send data to SSA, and data about each report;

  • Reporting agreements -- Including the reporter’s name, type of agreement, expiration date of agreement, reporting frequency, and reporting media used;

  • Incentive payment agreements -- Including incentive facility’s payee name, bank data, contact information, and employer identification number; and

  • Incentive payments -- Including total incentive payment amount, total number of inmates involved, and incentive payment date.

For more information on the IRCS system and the information it maintains, see GN 02607.420 and MSOM PRISON 002.001.

2. Prisoner Update Processing System (PUPS)

The PUPS system:

  • maintains reported inmate information two years for non-beneficiaries and non-recipients and indefinitely for beneficiaries and recipients;

  • generates and controls prisoner alerts;

  • suspends Title II benefits and Title XVI payments when possible. For more information on when PUPS can process a suspension, see GN 02607.700 and GN 02607.705;

  • calculates the incentive payment for certain beneficiaries and recipients suspended because of inmate reports, calculates the total incentive payment due a reporter, pays the reporter, and creates the notice of incentive payment to the reporter; and

  • records benefit and recipient reinstatements.

For a further description of the PUPS system, see MSOM PRISON 003.001.

3. Prisoner Tracking Management Information System (PTMI)

SSA manages and monitors the PUPS pending workloads through the PTMI. The PTMI system maintains all PUPS pending records and lists them by the servicing field office (FO) at the time PUPS creates the records. Every Monday, PTMI generates a listing to each FO that has pending PUPS records. SSA management personnel, service representatives, claims representatives, and PSC personnel may access the PTMI site through the Enterprise MI Portal.

4. Unverified Prisoner System (UPS)

UPS facilitates Social Security Number (SSN) verification of reported inmates who fail to verify through the automated Enumeration Verification System (EVS). When EVS cannot match an inmate’s identity, it sends the unverified SSN to the Office of Central Operations (OCO) for manual verification. When locating a correct SSN, the OCO technician adds the SSN to UPS, which reenters the SSN into the matching operation. UPS also stores the SSN for possible future use. If the inmate later submits the same name and incorrect SSN to the authorities, UPS will automatically notify EVS of the correct name and SSN. For additional information on UPS, see MSOM PRISON 004.001.

B. Automated inmate matching operation

Federal, State and local correctional institutions and mental health facilities send inmate reports either to SSA’s Central Office (CO) via electronic transmissions or to local FOs on paper listings. FOs either convert the paper inmate reports to electronic data and transmit that data to CO or manually enter inmate information into PUPS. For more information on FO processing of inmate reports, see GN 02607.460.

The automated matching operation processes all inmate reports in the following steps:

1. Verify inmate identity

If a reported inmate’s SSN meets verification criteria, we match the inmate’s identity through the EVS or, if needed, UPS. When the incoming report does not include an inmate’s SSN or a reported SSN does not meet the verification criteria, we electronically screen the records against the ALPHIDENT file for possible SSN matches. We continue the matching operation for only those SSNs verified through the EVS, UPS, or ALPHIDENT processes.

2. Identify incarcerated beneficiaries and recipients

We match verified inmate SSNs with SSNs on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) and the Supplemental Security Record (SSR) to identify inmates with current Title II entitlement or Title XVI eligibility. When the MBR or SSR match finds a period of entitlement or eligibility, PUPS processes the match as follows:

  1. a. 

    If PUPS received the inmate report electronically, it automatically establishes a pending record and generates a PUPS alert to either the servicing FO or Processing Center (PC) for processing if the:

    • Title XVI recipient's inmate record reflects a total period of confinement that is one full calendar month or more;

    • Title II beneficiary's inmate record reflects a total period of confinement of more than 30 days; or

    • concurrent (both Title II and Title XVI) beneficiary's inmate record reflects a total period of confinement of more than 30 days and one full calendar month or more.

  2. b. 

    If an FO manually submits inmate information, PUPS establishes a pending record regardless of the length of confinement. For more information on FO manual processing of inmate reports, see GN 02607.460.

  3. c. 

    If we receive a second inmate report for the same name, SSN, and date of birth (DOB) with the same confinement date, PUPS will not establish a second record or generate a second alert. However, if PUPS receives two different confinement dates for the same name, SSN, and DOB, PUPS will create a new pending record and alert. Incoming inmate reports may not always include the date of confinement, but PUPS will generate an alert if there is a match on the other data.

For more information on how PUPS establishes or updates PUPS records, see MSOM PRISON 003.001 and MSOM PRISON 003.002.

3. PUPS skeleton records

When the MBR or SSR match does not find a period of beneficiary entitlement or recipient eligibility during the period of confinement, PUPS creates a skeleton record containing only the incoming inmate information. We periodically rematch the "skeleton" records with MBR and SSR records to identify any subsequent entitlement or eligibility. When identifying active entitlement or eligibility, PUPS overwrites the "skeleton" record with a pending PUPS record and generates an alert to the appropriate location for processing. For more information on skeleton records, see GN 02607.520 and MSOM PRISON 003.001J.

C. Distribution and jurisdiction of PUPS alerts

1. PUPS record jurisdiction and alert generation

When the matching operation creates a PUPS record, it assigns jurisdiction of the record to the PC or FO servicing the beneficiary's or recipient's address on the MBR or SSR. When receiving inmate information via electronic transmission, PUPS will generate a one-time alert to the servicing FO or PC. That FO or PC is responsible for working the alert to completion. For information on processing Title II PUPS alerts, see GN 02607.600. For information on processing Title XVI PUPS alerts, see GN 02607.705.

When receiving inmate information non-electronically, the FO manually enters inmate information into PUPS and that FO retains jurisdiction of the PUPS record until it resolves the case or transfers the PUPS record to another FO for processing. PUPS does not generate an alert for an FO created PUPS record.

For information on FO manual inmate report processing, see GN 02607.460. For information on transferring PUPS pending records from one SSA servicing office to another, see GN 02607.465.

However, there is no “ownership” of a PUPS record. Any office can access the record and enter data. If the FO that initially entered the inmate information into PUPS has the information necessary to process the alert, it may resolve the case rather than transferring it to the servicing FO.

2. PUPS alert distribution

When generating alerts, PUPS distributes them to servicing FOs and PCs as follows:




Title II and

  • EVS code = V or L;

  • date of confinement is 04/01/00 or later;

  • a date of conviction is present;

  • Inmate Status Code is “Y”;

  • Facility ID code is present; and

  • Confinement date is at least 30 days prior to the processing date on the PUPS alert.



Title II and

  • EVS code = V or L;

  • date of confinement and/or the date of conviction is blank or "0000;"

  • inmate status code is other than “Y”; and

  • the confinement or conviction date is less than 30 days prior to the processing date.



Title II and

EVS code = 2, 3, 4, A, B, E, or F.

(All of these alerts have identity mismatches.)




All alerts distributed based on SSR mailing address only.




Title XVI

All alerts distributed based on SSR mailing address.



For a description of the EVS codes, see GN 02607.975.

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GN 02607.410 - SSA’s Prisoner Systems and Matching Operation - 11/17/2023
Batch run: 11/17/2023