TN 33 (01-24)

RS 01404.258 Processing Request for Earnings Records (E/R) Corrections After a Disallowance Based on the "Ensign Amendment"

A. Procedure – Number Holder (NH) Did Not Have Enough Quarters of Coverage (QCs) on the Existing E/R

The “Ensign Amendment” for FY 2009 precludes the crediting of QCs for the purpose of Title II benefit payment to a NH who needs additional QCs to meet insured status requirements when they have been convicted of using an incorrect SSN. This includes situations where the NH asserts they worked and had earnings under the SSN that was not assigned to them by SSA and SSA has determined that the NH was convicted of fraudulently using the other SSN.

If the NH files a new claim for benefits or requests a correction to their earnings record and either the FY 2009 or FY 2008 "Ensign Amendment" provisions were previously deemed to be applicable, then:

  1. 1. 

    Determine whether the "Ensign Amendment" provision of FY 2008 was previously found to apply. The Special Message Field on the MBR should read: “Ensign Amendment.” If the case was previously denied under the “Ensign Amendment of FY 2008” then follow the steps outlined in RS 01404.256B.

  2. 2. 

    Determine whether the "Ensign Amendment" provision beginning with FY 2009 applies. If so, then:

  • SSA records should indicate that the “Ensign Amendment/Conviction” applied; and

  • SSA is prohibited from crediting the earnings in order to obtain the QC’s to meet insured status; and

  • Based on the face of the NH's earnings record, they lack insured status and the NH presents no new evidence regarding conviction status, process the claim as a Res Judicata case. (GN 03101.160)

If the claimant subsequently calls the SSA's 800 telephone number or visits a field office (FO) solely to request a correction(s) to their earnings record, assume that the ultimate purpose for the request is to obtain the necessary QC’s for benefit purposes. Take the following action:

  • Do not take any action to correct the NH’s earnings record;

  • Explain to the claimant that as the result of the conviction, SSA is unable to take any action to correct the earnings record due to the “Ensign Amendment” provisions.

If the claimant insists upon SSA taking action to correct their earnings record, then:

  • Take the request for the correction of the earnings record; and

  • If the claimant states they have evidence of the earnings not previously submitted with the prior claim, accept the evidence; and

  • Document the Remarks screen (ERMK, EM 017.005 ) and the Report of Contact (EROC, EM 017.006) screen of the Earnings Modernization Item Correction System (ICOR) of the evidence submitted and the relationship to the “Ensign Amendment” determination for the prior Title II claim; and

  • Deny the request for correction pursuant to the “Ensign Amendment” Provision and include the Ensign Amendment denial language in the notice to the claimant. (RS 01404.260)

The claimant can appeal SSA’s decision regarding the conviction and present any evidence in support of the allegation that they were not convicted based upon working under an erroneous SSN. (GN 03101.010, Time Limit for Filing Appeal; GN 03102.175, Component Responsibility in the Reconsideration Process)

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RS 01404.258 - Processing Request for Earnings Records (E/R) Corrections After a Disallowance Based on the "Ensign Amendment" - 01/04/2024
Batch run: 01/04/2024