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M21-1, Part X, Chapter 08 – Social Security Number (SSN) Verification

Overview


 In This Chapter

This chapter contains the following topics:

1.  Overview of the Verification Process


Change Date

April 20, 2017

X.8.1.a. Overview of the Verification Process

Each month, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) runs a computerized records-matching program that compares the Social Security numbers (SSNs) associated with 25 percent of all VA file numbers with the SSNs in Social Security Administration (SSA) records.  By doing so, VA is able to check the accuracy of the SSNs associated with all file numbers three times each year.

  • When verification of an SSN is successful,
    • computer programming automatically initiates the entry of Y in the SSN – VERIFIED field in the Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS), and
    • no regional office (RO) action is required.
  • When verification of an SSN is unsuccessful,
    • the Hines Information Technology Center (ITC) notifies the station of origination (SOO) of this fact by printing and sending to the SOO a report titled Unverified Social Security Numbers, and
    • the SOO must take the actions described in M21-1, Part X, 8.2.
Reference:  For more information on SSN verification codes in the corporate record, see M21-1, Part X, 8.4.

2.  Processing Unverified SSNs


Introduction

This topic contains information on processing unverified SSNs, including

Change Date

September 7, 2018

X.8.2.a.  Content of an Unverified SSN Report

The Unverified Social Security Numbers report referenced in M21-1, Part X, 8.1.aprovides the following information about an individual whose SSN (in VA records) does not match an SSN in SSA records:
  • VA file number
  • payee number
  • person entitled stub name
  • SSN input by VA
  • date of birth (DOB) in VA records, and
  • verification code provided by SSA.

X.8.2.b. Verification Codes on an Unverified SSN Report

The table below contains a description of the two verification codes that appear on an Unverified Social Security Numbers report.
Verification Code
Legend
Description
1
SSN NOT IN FILE
SSA did not issue the SSN in the VA record.
2
SSN DOES NOT MATCH
Identifying information in VA records does not match SSA records.
Note:  This does not necessarily mean the SSN is incorrect.

X.8.2.c.  Review of the Prior Unverified SSN Report

Review the prior Unverified Social Security Numbers report for the same terminal digit range before taking action on the current report.

Annotate the current report with the abbreviation NAN-OPR (naction necessary –oprior report) if
  • VA has already completed any necessary actions on a listed case, or
  • VA previously determined that no corrective action was necessary.

X.8.2.d. Handling Cases That Have a Verification Code of 1

Except for those cases listed on an Unverified Social Security Numbers report that require no action (as indicated in M21-1, Part X, 8.2.c), follow the instructions in the table below for each case on the report that has a verification code of 1.
Step
Action
1
Establish end product (EP) 692.
2
Access SSA’s Federal On Line Query (FOLQ) System by selecting theSSA Inquiry command on the READY screen in Share.
3
Enter the beneficiary’s VA file number.
4
Enter the following information about the individual whose SSN is unverified, using data from VA’s corporate record:
  • SSN
  • first and last name, and
  • DOB.
5
If the SSN entered in Step 4 belongs to the Veteran, select the VET SSN radio button.  Otherwise, select the NON VET SSN radio button.
6
Select a reason for submitting the inquiry.
7
Follow the instructions in the table below.
If …
Then …
FOLQ returns an SSN and DOB that match the SSN and DOB in VA’s corporate record
  • clear the pending EP 692, and
  • annotate the corresponding entry on the Unverified Social Security Numbers report with the abbreviation NAN-SSAA (SSAagrees).
  • the unverified SSN belongs to a Veteran, and
  • FOLQ returns an SSN that does not match the SSN in VA’s corporate record
  • request correction of the SSN by sending an e-mail to theEnterprise Service Desk
  • clear the pending EP 692, and
  • annotate the corresponding entry on the Unverified Social Security Numbers report to reflect the
    • action taken, and
    • current date.
  • the unverified SSN belongs to a Veteran, and
  • FOLQ is unable to match the DOB entered in Step 4
  • attempt to determine the correct DOB by
    • reviewing the claims folder, and/or
    • contacting the beneficiary by telephone
  • use the BIRLS Update command in Share to correct the DOB (if the DOB in VA’s corporate record is incorrect)
  • clear the pending EP 692, and
  • annotate the corresponding entry on the Unverified Social Security Numbers report to reflect the
    • action taken, and
    • current date.
Example BUPD (BIRLS update) of DOB on 03/16/17.
  • the unverified SSN belongs to a Veteran’s dependent, and
  • FOLQ returns an SSN that does not match the SSN in VA’s corporate record
  • update the corporate record by entering the SSN obtained through FOLQ in the SSN field on the
    • DEPENDENTS screen in Share, or
    • DEPENDENCY screen in the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS)
  • clear the pending EP 692, and
  • annotate the corresponding entry on the Unverified Social Security Numbers report to reflect the
    • action taken, and
    • current date.
  • the unverified SSN belongs to a Veteran’s spouse, and
  • FOLQ is unable to match the DOB entered in Step 4
  • attempt to determine the correct DOB by
    • reviewing the claims folder, and/or
    • contacting the beneficiary by telephone
  • enter the correct DOB (if the DOB in VA’s corporate record is incorrect) on the
    • DEPENDENTS screen in Share, or
    • DEPENDENCY screen in VBMS
  • clear the pending EP 692, and
  • annotate the corresponding entry on the Unverified Social Security Numbers report to reflect the
    • action taken, and
    • current date.
  • the unverified SSN belongs to a Veteran’s child, and
  • FOLQ is unable to match the DOB entered in Step 4
follow the instructions in M21-1, Part X, 8.2.e.
Exception:  Follow the instructions in thepreceding row for updating the corporate record if VA
  • has determined the child is permanently incapable of self-support, and
  • did not pay additional benefits for the child as a school child prior to determining the child was permanently incapable of self-support.
FOLQ is unable to locate an SSA record based on the information entered into Share in Step 4
  • attempt to obtain identifying information that differs from the information entered into Share in Step 4, by
    • reviewing the claims folder
    • contacting the beneficiary by telephone, and/or
    • using available, web-based, address locator services, to include those for which VA pays a fee for access
  • use the new identifying information (if obtained) to submit additional queries to FOLQ through Share, and
  • follow the instructions in M21-1, Part X, 8.3.a if
    • attempts to obtain new identifying information are unsuccessful, or
    • FOLQ is unable to locate an SSA record despite the entry of new identifying information into Share.
Note:  Follow the instructions in M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 1.B.1.e when requesting information from a beneficiary by telephone.
 
Note:  If a DOB from the 1800s requires correction, e-mail the following information to the VA/VBAWAS/CO/212A mailbox:
  • file number
  • payee number
  • stub name
  • field to change (such as Veteran’s DOB, spouse’s DOB, or payee’s DOB)
  • the current DOB, and
  • the new DOB.
Upon receipt of the e-mail, Compensation Service staff will ask the Hines ITC to correct the DOB.
References:  For more information about using

X.8.2.e.  Action to Take When FOLQ Is Unable to Match a Child’s DOB 

Except for those cases listed on an Unverified Social Security Numbers report that require no action (as indicated in M21-1, Part X, 8.2.c), follow the instructions in the table below when
  • the case on the report that is under review has a verification code of 1
  • the unverified SSN belongs to a Veteran’s child
  • the child is not permanently incapable of self-support by VA rating (or, if VA determined the child is permanently incapable of self-support, VA paid additional benefits for the child as a school child prior to making that determination), and
  • FOLQ is unable to match the DOB entered in Step 4 of the procedure described in M21-1, Part X, 8.2.d.
Step
Action
1
Clear the pending EP 692.
2
Establish EP 130, using the current date as the date of claim.
3
Does a review of the claims folder reveal a DOB for the child that differs from the DOB in the corporate record?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 8.
4
Using the DOB identified in the preceding step, follow the instructions in Steps 2 through 6 of the procedure described in M21-1, Part X, 8.2.d.  Afterward, proceed to the next step.
5
Did FOLQ return a DOB that matches the DOB identified in the claims folder?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 8.
6
Is the DOB identified in the claims folder earlier than the DOB shown in the corporate record?
  • If yes, proceed to Step 17.
  • If no, proceed to the next step.
7
  • Generate and authorize an award that corrects the DOB.
  • Proceed to Step 27.
8
Attempt to contact the beneficiary by telephone.
9
Were attempts to contact the beneficiary by telephone successful?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 14.
Note:  Follow the instructions in M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 1.B.1.e and f when obtaining or attempting to obtain information from a beneficiary by telephone.
10
Ask the beneficiary to confirm the child’s DOB.
11
Did the beneficiary provide a DOB that differs from the DOB in the corporate record?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 14.
12
Using the DOB identified in the preceding step, follow the instructions in Steps 2 through 6 of the procedure described in M21-1, Part X, 8.2.d.  Afterward, proceed to the next step.
13
Did FOLQ return a DOB that matches the DOB the beneficiary provided in Step 11?
  • If yes,
    • generate and authorize an award that corrects the DOB, and
    • proceed to Step 27.
  • If no, proceed to the next step.
14
  • Clear the pending EP 130.
  • Establish EP 600.
15
Prepare a notice of proposed adverse action that
  • asks the beneficiary to provide VA with a copy of the child’s birth certificate, and
  • informs the beneficiary that
    • VA will remove the child from the beneficiary’s award if the beneficiary does not return the form within 60 days, and
    • the effective date of the award adjustment, if made, will be the first of the month following the end of the 60-day response period, per 38 CFR 3.500(w).
16
Did the beneficiary provide the child’s birth certificate within 65 days?
  • If yes, proceed to Step 22.
  • If no,
    • remove the child from the beneficiary’s award as proposed in Step 15, and
    • proceed to Step 27.
Note:  Follow the instructions in M21-1, Part I, 2.C.3 if the beneficiary requests a hearing in response to the notice of proposed adverse action.
17
Clear the pending EP 130 and establish EP 600.
18
Prepare a notice of proposed adverse action.  In the notice,
  • propose to correct the child’s DOB based on the DOB identified in the claims folder, and
  • ask the beneficiary to provide VA with a copy of the child’s birth certificate if the DOB identified in the claims folder is incorrect.
Rationale:  If a child is scheduled to drop off a beneficiary’s award when the child turns 18 or 23 (depending on whether or not the child is attending school), changing the child’s DOB to an earlier date will cause the child to drop off the award from an earlier date.  This constitutes an adverse action for which VA must give the beneficiary advance notice.
 
Important:  Changing a child’s DOB rarely results in the creation of an overpayment because the date the child will drop off the beneficiary’s award is typically months or years in the future.  In those instances when changing a DOB would cause a child to drop off a beneficiary’s award within a time period for which VA had already paid additional benefits for the child, add Potential Under/Overpayment as a special issue under the EP 600 referenced in Step 17.
19
Did the beneficiary respond to the notice of proposed adverse action within 65 days?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 26.
Note:  Follow the instructions in M21-1, Part I, 2.C.3 if the beneficiary requests a hearing in response to the notice of proposed adverse action.
20
Did the beneficiary confirm the accuracy of the DOB identified in the claims folder?
  • If yes, proceed to Step 26.
  • If no, proceed to the next step.
21
Did the beneficiary provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate in response to the notice of proposed adverse action?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 26.
22
Does the DOB on the birth certificate match the DOB in the corporate record?
  • If yes, proceed to Step 24.
  • If no, proceed to the next step.
23
  • Generate and authorize an award that updates the corporate record to reflect the DOB on the birth certificate.
  • Proceed to Step 27.
24
Clear the pending EP 600.
25
Proceed to Step 28 after
  • notifying the beneficiary that VA has used the birth certificate to confirm the accuracy of the child’s DOB in VA’s records, and
  • encouraging the beneficiary to notify SSA that its records contain an incorrect DOB for the child.
26
Generate and authorize an award that updates the corporate record to reflect the DOB identified in the claims folder.
27
Notify the beneficiary of the action taken.
Note:  If the correct DOB is later than the DOB previously entered in the corporate record, also notify the beneficiary of any additional benefits to which he/she may be entitled by virtue of the action taken.
Example:  A school child dropped off a beneficiary’s award at age 23 based on a DOB in the corporate record of August 2, 1993.  The correct DOB, however, is August 2, 1994.  The beneficiary may be entitled to additional benefits for the child if he/she submits VA Form 21-674, Request for Approval of School Attendance, showing the child remained in school beyond August 2, 2016.
28
Annotate the corresponding entry on the Unverified Social Security Numbers report to reflect the
  • action taken, and
  • current date.
 
References:  For more information about

X.8.2.f.  Handling Cases That Have a Verification Code of 2

Except for those cases listed on an Unverified Social Security Numbers report that require no action (as indicated in M21-1, Part X, 8.2.c), follow the instructions in the table below for each case on the report that has a verification code of 2.
Step
Action
1
Establish EP 692.
2
Attempt to obtain identifying information that differs from the information that appears on the Unverified Social Security Numbersreport by
  • reviewing the claims folder, and
  • contacting the beneficiary by telephone.
Note:  Follow the instructions in M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 1.B.1.ewhen requesting information from a beneficiary by telephone.
3
Were attempts to obtain new identifying information successful?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no,
    • disregard the remaining steps in this table, and
    • follow the instructions in M21-1, Part X, 8.3.a.
4
Access FOLQ by selecting the SSA Inquiry command on the READY screen in Share.
5
Enter the beneficiary’s VA file number.
6
Enter the following information about the individual whose SSN is unverified, using the information referenced in Step 2:
  • SSN
  • first and last name, and
  • DOB.
7
If the SSN entered in Step 6 belongs to the Veteran, select the VET SSN radio button.  Otherwise, select the NON VET SSN radio button.
8
Select a reason for submitting the inquiry.
9
Follow the instructions in the table below.
If …
Then …
  • the unverified SSN belongs to a Veteran, and
  • FOLQ returns an SSN that does notmatch the SSN in VA’s corporate record
  • request correction of the SSN by sending an e-mail to theEnterprise Service Desk
  • clear the pending EP 692, and
  • annotate the corresponding entry on the Unverified Social Security Numbers report to reflect the
    • action taken, and
    • current date.
  • the unverified SSN belongs to a Veteran’s dependent, and
  • FOLQ returns an SSN that does notmatch the SSN in VA’s corporate record
  • update the corporate record by entering the SSN obtained through FOLQ in the SSN field on the
    • DEPENDENTS screen in Share, or
    • DEPENDENCY screen in VBMS
  • clear the pending EP 692, and
  • annotate the corresponding entry on the Unverified Social Security Numbers report to reflect the
    • action taken, and
    • current date.
FOLQ is unable to locate an SSA record
follow the instructions in M21-1, Part X, 8.3.a.
Reference:  For more information about using

X.8.2.g.  Actions to Take Upon Discovering an Individual’s Name in VA Records Does Not Match the Same Individual’s Name in SSA Records

Follow the instructions in the table below if, during the course of verifying an individual’s SSN, it is discovered that an individual’s name in VA records does not match the same individual’s name in SSA records.
Important:  The following do not constitute a mismatch in names:
  • a minor difference in the spelling of a name
  • a different last name that can be attributed to an individual’s marriage or divorce, and
  • a different first name that can be attributed to an individual’s use of a widely recognized nickname.
Examples:
  • A first name spelled “Michelle” in VA records does not constitute a mismatch if it is spelled “Michele” in SSA records.
  • “Bob” is a widely recognized nickname for “Robert.”
  • “Bill” is a widely recognized nickname for “William.”
Step
Action
1
Establish EP 692 (if the EP is not already pending).
2
Attempt to contact the beneficiary by telephone and ask him/her to explain why the individual in question has a name in VA records that differs from the same individual’s name in SSA records.
Notes:
  • Follow the instructions in M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 1.B.1.ewhen requesting information from a beneficiary by telephone.
  • M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 8.1 describes the evidence that must be of record to warrant updating VA records with a different name for a beneficiary.  Request this evidence from the beneficiary if he/she reports a change in his/her name.
3
Were attempts to contact the beneficiary by telephone successful?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 10.
4
Was a credible explanation for the difference in names obtained from the beneficiary?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no,
    • add Potential Under/Overpayment as a special issue under the EP 692, and
    • proceed to Step 19.
5
Is adjustment of the beneficiary’s award necessary based on the explanation the beneficiary gave?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 8.
6
  • Clear the pending EP 692.
  • Establish EP 130.
  • Add Potential Under/Overpayment as a special issue.
7
Adjust the beneficiary’s award based on the facts found under the pending EP 130 and proceed to Step 29.
8
Update VA’s computer system to reflect the correct name, if necessary.
9
Clear the pending EP 692 and disregard the remaining steps in this table.
10
Add Potential Under/Overpayment as a special issue under EP 692.
11
Prepare and send a development letter to the beneficiary.
  • Ask the beneficiary to explain why the individual in question has a name in VA records that differs from the same individual’s name in SSA records.
  • If the beneficiary’s name differs from the name in SSA records, ask the beneficiary to provide the evidence referenced in M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 8.1.b, if the beneficiary has changed his/her name.
  • Inform the beneficiary that if VA does not receive a response to its request within 30 days, VA may reduce or discontinue his/her benefits.
12
Did the beneficiary respond within 30 days with a credible explanation for the difference in names?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 19.
13
Is adjustment of the beneficiary’s award necessary based on the explanation the beneficiary gave?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 16.
14
  • Clear the pending EP 692.
  • Establish EP 130.
  • Add Potential Under/Overpayment as a special issue.
15
Adjust the beneficiary’s award based on the facts found under the pending EP 130 and proceed to Step 29.
16
Update VA’s computer system to reflect the correct name, if necessary.
17
Clear the pending EP 692.
18
  • Notify the beneficiary that, based on his/her response to the development letter referenced in Step 11, VA will make no adjustments to his/her award.
  • Disregard the remaining steps in this table.
19
Clear the pending EP 692.
20
Establish EP 600, using the SS Number Verification claim label, and add Potential Under/Overpayment as a special issue.
21
Prepare and send a notice of proposed adverse action to the beneficiary.  In the notice, inform the beneficiary that
  • VA intends to reduce or discontinue his/her benefits (whichever is appropriate) based on the beneficiary’s failure to provide a credible explanation as to why the individual in question has a name in VA records that differs from the same individual’s name in SSA records, and
  • the effective date of any award adjustment that is based on the beneficiary’s failure to provide the referenced explanation will be first of the month following the month during which the 60-day period following the date VA first requested the explanation expires, per 38 CFR 3.500(w).
Reference:  For more information about issuing notice of a proposed adverse action, see M21-1, Part I, 2.B.
22
Did the beneficiary respond within 65 days with a credible explanation for the difference in names?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 28.
Note:  Follow the instructions in M21-1, Part I, 2.C.3 if the beneficiary requests a hearing in response to the notice of proposed adverse action.
23
Is adjustment of the beneficiary’s award necessary based on the explanation the beneficiary gave?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 25.
24
Adjust the beneficiary’s award based on the facts found under the pending EP 600 and proceed to Step 29.
25
Update VA’s computer system to reflect the correct name, if necessary.
26
Notify the beneficiary that, based on his/her response to the notice of proposed adverse action, no adjustment to his/her award is necessary.
27
  • Clear the pending EP 600.
  • Disregard the remaining steps in this table.
28
Reduce or discontinue (whichever is appropriate) the beneficiary’s award effective the date proposed in Step 21.
29
Notify the beneficiary of the action taken.

X.8.2.h.  Determining Which RO Is Responsible for Undertaking SSN Verification

Use the table below to determine which RO is responsible for undertaking SSN verification.
If BIRLS shows the corresponding claims file …
Then the RO responsible for SSN verification is …
is located at an RO
the RO shown in BIRLS.
Note:  If BIRLS shows the folder for a case listed on an Unverified Social Security Numbers report is located at another RO,
  • make a photocopy of the page of the report on which the case is listed
  • highlight the corresponding listing on the photocopied page
  • forward the photocopied page of the report to the RO responsible for verifying the SSN, and
  • annotate the original Unverified Social Security Numbers report with the text Sent to RO [RO number] on [date].
is located at the Records Management Center (RMC)
the RO of jurisdiction in the corporate record.
Note:  If verification of an individual’s SSN cannot be accomplished without review of the corresponding claims folder, request transfer of the claims folder from RMC.
  • is located at a Federal records center, or
  • has been destroyed
  • the RO where the notice of death (NOD) folder is located according to BIRLS, or
  • the RO of jurisdiction in the corporate record, if no NOD folder exists.
Note:  Request a rebuilt folder if necessary.

X.8.2.i. Retaining Unverified SSN Reports

The table below describes the requirements for retaining Unverified Social Security Numbers reports.
After …
Then …
  • clearing an EP in connection with the review of an individual entry on anUnverified Social Security Numbers report, and
  • annotating the report according to the instructions in this topic
  • make a copy of the report (with the annotation for the individual entry)
  • redact all other entries on the copy, and
  • upload the copy into the corresponding electronic claims folder.
  • reviewing the entire report, and
  • completing any necessary actions on individual entries
retain the original, paper version of the report (with annotations for each entry) for one year from the date shown on the top margin of the report.
retaining the original, paper version of the report for one year
dispose of it in accordance with RCS VB-1, Part I, Item 13-091.200.

3.  Actions to Take If Attempts to Verify an SSN Using Information of Record Are Unsuccessful


Change Date

September 7, 2018

X.8.3.a.  Actions to Take If Attempts to Verify an SSN Using Information of Record Are Unsuccessful

Follow the instructions in the table below if attempts to verify an individual’s SSN through the means described in M21-1, Part X, 8.2.d or f are unsuccessful.
Step
Action
1
Add Potential Under/Overpayment as a special issue under the pending EP 692.
2
Prepare a development letter that is addressed to the beneficiary whose VA record contains information that SSA cannot verify.  In the letter,
  • inform the beneficiary that SSA could not verify information contained in his/her VA record
  • explain that 38 U.S.C. 5101 requires beneficiaries to provide VA with a correct SSN for themselves and their dependent(s)
  • ask the beneficiary to provide the identifying information VA requires (first and last name, SSN, and DOB) to verify the SSN in question, and
  • advise the beneficiary that if he/she does not respond within 60 days, VA may reduce or discontinue his/her benefits.
Important:  Ask the beneficiary to provide documentary evidence (such as a copy of the individual’s Social Security card and/or birth certificate) of the identifying information VA requires to verify the SSN in question if, during the course of the procedure described in M21-1, Part X, 8.2.d or f,
  • the beneficiary confirmed the accuracy of the identifying information VA already has of record, but
  • FOLQ is unable to locate an SSA record when VA queries the system using the identifying information of record.
3
Did the beneficiary respond to the development letter within 60 days?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step
  • If no, proceed to Step 7.
4
Take whatever action is necessary based on the information the beneficiary provided in response to the development letter.
5
Inform the beneficiary that VA will not reduce or discontinue his/her award (unless the beneficiary’s response to the notice of proposed adverse action necessitates an award adjustment).
6
Clear the pending EP 692 and proceed to Step 16.
7
Clear the pending EP 692.
8
Establish EP 600, using the SS Number Verification claim label, and add Potential Under/Overpayment as a special issue.
9
Prepare and send a notice of proposed adverse action to the beneficiary.  In the notice, inform the beneficiary that
  • VA intends to reduce or discontinue his/her benefits (whichever is appropriate) based on the beneficiary’s failure to provide the information VA requested in the development letter referenced in Step 2, and
  • the effective date of any award adjustment that is based on the beneficiary’s failure to provide the information VA requested will be the first of the month following the month during which the 60-day period following the date VA first requested the information expires, per 38 CFR 3.500(w).
Reference:  For more information about issuing notice of a proposed adverse action, see M21-1, Part I, 2.B.
10
Did the beneficiary respond within 65 days?
  • If yes, proceed to the next step.
  • If no, proceed to Step 14.
Note:  Follow the instructions in M21-1, Part I, 2.C.3 if the beneficiary requests a hearing in response to the notice of proposed adverse action.
11
Take whatever action is necessary based on the information the beneficiary provided in response to the notice of proposed adverse action.
12
Inform the beneficiary that VA will not reduce or discontinue his/her award (unless the beneficiary’s response to the notice of proposed adverse action necessitates an award adjustment).
13
Clear the pending EP 600 and proceed to Step 16.
14
Reduce or discontinue (whichever is appropriate) the beneficiary’s award effective the date proposed in Step 9.
15
Notify the beneficiary of the action taken.
16
Annotate the corresponding entry on the Unverified Social Security Numbers report to reflect the
  • action taken, and
  • current date.

4.  SSN Verification Codes in BIRLS

 

Introduction

This topic contains information on SSN verification codes in BIRLS, including

Change Date

April 20, 2017

X.8.4.a. Code Descriptions

BIRLS displays the two codes referenced in the table below, which indicate whether or not VA has verified the SSN of a Veteran or a Veteran’s spouse.
Verification Code
Description
Y
VA verified the SSN through computerized records-matching with SSA.
N
VA has not verified the SSN.

X.8.4.b. Updating the Corporate Record to Reflect the Verification of an SSN

If an RO has proof that the SSN in a VA record is correct, an RO employee may enter Y in the SSN – VERIFIED field in BIRLS.
Proof consists of a
  • copy of the individual’s Social Security card
  • printout of a response to a FOLQ query that verifies the SSN, or
  • letter from SSA that verifies the SSN in question.
Reference:  For more information about updating BIRLS, see the Share User’s Guide.

5.  Reporting Requirements


Introduction

This topic contains information on reporting requirements, including

Change Date

April 20, 2017

X.8.5.a.  Content of Quarterly Reports

At the end of each quarter, ROs must prepare a report that shows the
  • number of development letters the RO issued in connection with the SSN verification process (this includes development letters the RO issued in connection with the SSN verification process that also requested information/evidence the RO needed for a different purpose)
  • number of SSN verification cases the RO resolved without development
  • number of responses to SSN verification development letters that resulted in an increase in benefits
  • number of awards the RO reduced after issuing a notice of proposed adverse action in an SSN verification case, and
  • number of SSN verification cases in which a beneficiary failed to provide an SSN.

X.8.5.b. Deadline for Submitting Quarterly Reports

ROs must submit their quarterly reports to VA Central Office 14 working days after the end of the following months:
  • March
  • June
  • September, and
  • December.

X.8.5.c.  Where to Send Quarterly Reports

Veteran Service Centers must e-mail their reports to VAVBAWAS/CO/212A.
Pension management centers must e-mail their reports toVAVBAWAS/CO/PENSION POL & PROC.
Note:  Negative reports are required.

X.8.5.d.Disposing of Quarterly Reports

Dispose of quarterly reports in accordance with RCS VB-1, Part I, Item 13-091.100.
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