TN 24 (03-11)
GN 02401.001 General Information on Title II Checks
A. General check information
1. Certification of Title II checks
SSA certifies and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) issues the following types of Title II checks:
current month accrual (CMA),
Single Payment System (SPS), critical payment (CPS), and
prior month accrual (PMA).
2. Check date
All checks, except regular monthly checks, bear the date on which the Treasury printed them. Monthly recurring checks show the scheduled delivery date.
SSA pays recurring monthly check payments, which include the cycle payments, on one of four dates in the month following the month for which they are due:
If the regularly scheduled payment date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal Federal holiday, Treasury dates the checks for the first day before that date that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal Federal holiday. For example, the regularly scheduled payment date for the March 2010 payment was April 3. However, the third fell on a Saturday. Therefore, Treasury dated the March 2010 payment April 2, 2010.
For more information about cycled payments and the method, we use to assign the payment dates, see GN 02407.005 - GN 02407.020.
PMA payments we prepare after the cutoff date, but before the first of the month, include payments for the current calendar month and we date them for the first of the next month.
NOTE: Since this type of PMA check includes payments for the current month, the payment date must be the first day of the next calendar month.
B. Check file processing
1. Updating check data
The Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) is the main data source for certifying payments. Every month, the MBR updates by segment on a varying schedule, depending on the number of workdays in the month. Each Regional Financial Center (RFC) maintains a check-writing file of the accounts handled by its affiliated Processing Center. The RFC maintains the file by ZIP Code in SSN sequence. Upon receipt of the updated MBR data, the RFC updates its file and prints the checks.
2. Check production
Treasury prints the checks; a machine encloses them in envelopes and places them in trays by ZIP Code and check number, awaiting pickup by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Until pickup, Treasury can remove the checks from the trays based on any hold-check requests received from SSA.
3. Check stuffer
Treasury includes a check stuffer with all PMA checks, unless there is a foreign address, advising the beneficiary that a letter of explanation will follow shortly.
From time to time, Treasury includes a stuffer with recurring checks to suggest that direct deposit is a better way to receive payments. In addition, all courtesy disbursement or replacement checks have an insert warning against cashing both the original and the enclosed check.
4. Regular transcript index (RINDEX) file
The RFCs maintain a RINDEX file on tape. The file represents a visual record of all benefit checks that Treasury printed, but did not necessarily release, in a given month.
C. Description of Title II Treasury Check
1. Date line
This is the first print line located below the words “Check No.” and runs the length of the check. Typical information found on the date line, from left to right, includes:
Date of the check, far-left side;
Check symbol, a four-digit check symbol related to the series of the check number; and
Check number, far-right side.
2. Payment ID line
The second print line is located directly below the date line. Typical information found on the payment ID line, from left to right, includes:
Agency Location Code (ALC) - an eight-digit number identifying the federal payroll agency that prepared the payroll file that Fiscal Service issued.
An “S” after the ALC code indicates that the check is an SSA income-attached benefits check. The number immediately following the “S” indicates the type of SSA payment. For example:
S1 = SSA recurring payment
S2 = prior month’s accrual (PMA)
S3 = current month’s accrual (CMA)
Sometimes, the beneficiary receives the first check before receiving the notice. As a result, checks contain a single letter code on the payment ID line that enables the field office (FO) to explain the type of payment involved.
3. Name and address line
These are the print lines 3 – 7 and include the following data elements:
Name of the payee to whom the check is issued is on the third print line. On a child support check, the payee would be the State Disbursement Unit (SDU). A numeric code repeating the last two digits of the check number appears after the name line (first line of the address legend).
Name of non-custodial parent (NCP) or payer, fourth print line,
Case or member identification number, third or fourth print line, depending on number of lines in address, and amount of payment, far right.
For recurring payments, the words, “SOC SEC FOR (month)” show which month the payment represents. For example, a recurring payment check dated 01 13 10 would have the words “SOC SEC FOR DEC”.
GN 02401.065 – Checks Issued to Beneficiaries Residing in Foreign Countries
GN 02402.000 – Direct Deposit
GN 02402.201 – Background and General Policy for Direct Deposit outside the U.S.
GN 02407.005 – Payment Cycling