TN 21 (05-19)

RS 01403.061 When Evidence of Wages Cannot Be Obtained

A. Policy

1. 1 Year Missing

When an individual (or his/her survivor) alleges earnings from an employer and evidence of the employment is unavailable, SSA will accept the individual's allegations and credit the E/R with the alleged earnings if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The year in question is 1978 or later; and

  • There are postings from the same employer in the year immediately before and/or after the year in question; and

  • The amount of earnings alleged is consistent with the earnings posted both prior to and after the year in question; and

  • All attempts to obtain primary and secondary evidence per RS 01403.010 through RS 01403.060 have been exhausted; and

  • No contradictory evidence exists.

  • In claims cases, the missing wage amount affects insured status or the benefit amount.

2. Lag Year

3. More than 1 Year Missing

The policy in RS 01403.061A.1. does not apply if more than one year's earnings are missing (regardless whether the alleged earnings are from the same employer).

If more than one year is missing, then each case must be evaluated on its own merits to determine if any earnings may be established.

4. Migrant Farm Worker

Procedures in this section do not apply to migrant farm workers. See RS 01403.077.

B. Procedure

1. 1 Year Missing

If one year is missing:

  1. a. 

    Obtain DEQY for the year in question and adjacent years.

  2. b. 

    Accept the N/H's allegation as to the amount of earnings if all the conditions in RS 01403.061A.l. exist.

  3. c. 

    Establish the wages per RM 03870.001, and RS 01505.044.

2. More Than 1 Year Missing

If more than one year is missing:

  1. a. 

    Follow normal gap development guidelines in RS 01404.120.

  2. b. 

    If fact of employment can be established but not amount of wages (tips) then:

    • Recontact the employer if possible and attempt to obtain a “best estimate” of earnings; or

    • Obtain information on minimum wage and general rates of pay for similar employment and relate to allegations; or

    • As a last resort, establish wages using minimum wage amounts. See RS 01404.305.

  3. c. 

    If it appears the employer has the alleged wage/tip evidence and no other evidence exists to establish the earnings, forward the case to OISP per RS 01403.035B. for consideration of whether SSA should subpoena the employer's records.

3. Determination

In all cases prepare a formal determination per GN 01010.365 to either establish or deny establishment of wages.

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RS 01403.061 - When Evidence of Wages Cannot Be Obtained - 07/26/2002
Batch run: 05/20/2019