TN 67 (03-20)

GN 02602.500 The Centenarian Project


A. Introduction for the Centenarian Project

The Centenarian Project ensures that we pay benefits to eligible, living Title II beneficiaries living in foreign countries. The Medicare Non-Utilization Project (MNUP) addresses living Title II beneficiaries living in the U.S. For more information on MNUP, see GN 02602.600. A centenarian is an individual who is at or near 100 years of age. We should schedule telephone interviews, when possible, with centenarians who we select for the project to verify whether they are living. If the centenarian needs assistance during the interview, a third-party helper (with the centenarian’s consent) or a representative payee may speak on behalf of the centenarian.

B. Background for the Centenarian Project

There are several reasons for interviewing centenarian Title II beneficiaries living in foreign countries.

1. Determining if centenarian is alive

Past studies show that we issued a small percentage of benefits to deceased centenarians. By interviewing the centenarian and the representative payee, if applicable, we can verify that he or she is living.

2. Ensuring program integrity

We need to verify the identity of the centenarian who is receiving benefits. To ensure program integrity, an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) referral is mandatory.

Immediately refer the case to OIG using the Allegation Referral Intake System (ARIS) if you:

  • suspect fraud at any time, or

  • suspend benefits for any reason.

Provide as much information as possible in ARIS.

3. Determining centenarian capability

We prefer to pay the centenarian directly, if possible. If the centenarian appears capable, we do not require a representative payee. However, if during the interview, it becomes apparent that the centenarian is not handling his or her affairs or is not capable of continuing to do so, develop for a representative payee. For instructions on Determining Capability for Adult Beneficiaries, see GN 00502.020.

4. Ensuring payment accuracy

Verify that SSA is paying benefits correctly. Review entitlement or eligibility factors and adjust payments, if necessary.

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GN 02602.500 - The Centenarian Project - 04/02/2013
Batch run: 03/04/2020