TN 43 (11-23)

RS 02501.100 Imposing Work Suspensions

A. Definition for a partial monthly benefit

A partial monthly benefit results when the excess earnings are charged to the last suspension or deduction month and the remaining benefit payable is less than the full monthly benefit amount.

B. Policy for imposing work suspensions

1. Charging excess earnings

Excess earnings of an individual are charged to each monthly benefit beginning with the first month the individual is entitled in the year in question and continuing until the excess is recovered or until all the benefits have been withheld for the year. However, a beneficiary may request to prorate or defer work suspensions to a later period. (For Prorating Work Suspensions, see RS 02501.120.)

2. Full-month withholding rule

  1. a. 

    When the excess earnings charged to a month are less than a full monthly benefit, impose a work suspension for the entire month. (For payment of partial benefits when imposing work deductions, see RS 02501.110.)

  2. b. 

    The full month withholding rule also applies to any action that considers work suspensions, such as Automatic Earnings Reappraisal Operation (AERO), Adjusted Reduction Factor (ARF), and Delayed Retirement Credit (DRC).

EXAMPLE: A beneficiary becomes entitled to benefits of $562.00 effective January. Their excess earnings of $2,880 will cause work suspensions for January through May and permit a partial monthly benefit for June. However, apply full-month suspensions through June.

3. Beneficiary protests full monthly withholding

  1. a. 

    If a beneficiary protests the withholding of a full month's benefit when only part of that month's benefit is not payable based on an estimate of earnings, pay the partial benefit. The beneficiary can make the protest orally or in writing.

  2. b. 

    If the number holder (NH) protests the withholding of a full month's benefit, pay the partial benefit to the NH and any auxiliaries that may be due a partial payment.

4. Deferred work suspensions

A beneficiary may request deferred work suspensions to a later period. Grant such a request only if the beneficiary:

  • Alleges that they will suffer extreme financial hardship unless they receive full payment for a limited time until their financial situation is better and can do without their benefits;

  • requests the deferral on their own initiative;

  • has no expectation of excess earnings in the following year; and

  • has no existing overpayment.

5. Prorated work suspensions

Prorate work suspensions in certain circumstances upon the beneficiary's written request. (For Prorating Work Suspensions, see RS 02501.120.)

C. Procedure for imposing work suspensions

When conducting interviews (initial or post entitlement) that involve work suspensions:

  • Explain that SSA pays only months that full benefits are due in the current year. Make adjustments, including payment of a partial payment during the enforcement process.

  • Do not solicit or encourage requests for a partial monthly payment, deferred suspension, or prorated suspension. Such payments increase the possibility of overpayments.

D. Process for imposing work suspensions

Revised estimate of earnings

When entering a revised estimate to AJS-3, the system handles the new estimate in one of two ways:

  • If the new estimate does not change the current year withholding, the system generates a notice that will tell the beneficiary that there is no change; or

  • If the revised estimate requires a change in full monthly benefits due, AJS-3 recomputes the benefits and sends a notice to advise the beneficiary.

E. References

  • MSOM T2PE 003.001, Entries on the PEWN screen

  • TC 39001.000, Title II Work Reports

  • SM 00605.020, MACADE/MADCAP

  • SM 00510.325, MBR display, ARD Field

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RS 02501.100 - Imposing Work Suspensions - 11/09/2023
Batch run: 11/09/2023