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Minnesota Department of Human Services Combined Manual
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VERIFYING SOCIAL SECURITY CREDITS

ISSUE DATE: 03/2015

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has developed an automated system to verify information on Social Security credits on an overnight basis. For procedures on verifying work credits using the SVES interface on MAXIS, see TEMP Manual TE02.12.15 (SVES Quarters of Coverage), TE02.12.24 (Social Security Credits).

It is important to note that an individual’s credits may also be credited from his or her current and/or deceased spouse, only for the credits worked during the spousal relationship, and credits worked by a parent before a child attains age 18 may be attributed to the child even after he/she becomes an adult. Add the number of credits that the applicant and any relevant individual have been in the United States. If the total equals 40 credits or more, continue. If not, the applicant is not eligible for federally-funded MFIP and SNAP.


Follow these procedures if any of the years reported include any earned income for the applicant, the applicant’s spouse, or the applicant’s parents, count up to 4 credits in each calendar year for the applicant, and for each relevant individual:

Always credit the applicant’s own credits first and then the applicant’s spouse and parents.

AND

Check U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) documentation for the date of entry into the country for the applicant, spouse, and/or parents. The date of entry should be consistent with the amount of work history claimed by these individuals.

If the dates of entry are inconsistent with the years of earnings reported, the applicant is not eligible for federally-funded SNAP and federally-funded MFIP.

Do not use a Consent for Release of Information Form (SSA-3288) for the applicant or applicant’s spouse. By signing the CAF, the applicant or applicant’s spouse are giving consent for SVES. Use the Consent for Release of Information Form for the person not covered by signing the application. If the applicant’s spouse is not required to sign the application, you need a consent form. You need the consent form signed by the parent(s), stepparent(s), adoptive parent(s) or former spouse of the applicant when requesting credits to attribute to the applicant. In addition, you need the social security number of the parent(s), stepparent(s), adoptive(s) or former spouse. Do not complete the consent form if you are requesting information on a deceased individual’s social security number.

If a spouse or parent refuses to sign the consent or cannot be located, you cannot use SVES. Assist the applicant in contacting their local Social Security office, where they may be able to obtain the information.


Do NOT count any credits after 12-31-96 in which the person earning the credit also received assistance from a federal means tested program. See FEDERAL MEANS TESTED PROGRAM in 0002.23 (Glossary: Fair Hearing...). Compare credits earned after 12-31-96 to MAXIS participation records, and deduct the credit in which the person also received public assistance. Accept the client's statement as to receipt of public assistance in another state.

See SOCIAL SECURITY CREDITS in 0002.61 (Glossary: Self...). Also see 0010.18.11 (Verifying Citizenship and Immigration Status), 0011.03.06 (Non-Citizens - MFIP Food Portion), 0011.03.09 (Non-Citizens - SNAP/MSA/GA/GRH), 0011.03.12 (Non-Citizens - Lawful Permanent Residents), 0011.03.15 (Non-Citizens - LPR With Sponsors).

For correction of earning or discrepancies, the applicant can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.


LAG QUARTERS


SSA may still be processing earnings for a previous period (lag quarters) and these earnings may not yet be on a person's record. Accept an employer's wage statement that includes FICA withholdings for the period in question, if those credits are needed to establish the 40 qualifying credits. See 0002.35 (Glossary: Inventory...) for the definition of LAG QUARTERS.

Certify the household pending the results of the investigation for up to 6 months from the original date of insufficient credits if the household says that members have 40 credits, but the SSA cannot confirm the information and is conducting an investigation to determine if additional credits can be counted.

Accept tax forms such as a W-2 and/or W-2c, employer wage statements, or an IRS copy of the individual’s tax return, if there is a problem in the last taxable year.

Follow these steps if the discrepancy is due to non-covered employment. Use the following process to establish and convert qualifying credits if the applicant does not meet the 40 qualifying quarter exception using covered earnings and alleges that he/she had additional work that is not documented by the SVES Interface or QUREY.

1.

Review the SVES QUERY with the applicant or relevant individual to determine whether or not qualifying credits are missing.

2.

Make the determination based on the information you have if the work credits are not missing.

3.

Use the following list of verifications to convert the information you have if work credits are missing:

Form W-2 or W-2c.

Employer prepared earnings statement.

Statement of earnings signed by the custodian of the employer’s records.

IRS copy of the employee’s tax return.

Timely-filed return for a self-employed individual with a canceled check, money order or copy of Schedule C - Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship) - with the IRS stamp. Be sure the tax return was filed no more than 3 years 3 months and 15 days after the year in which self-employment was earned.

Other evidence such as bills, vouchers and receipts that would allow you to determine that the business did exist and that a profit was earned.

Vouchers, pay-envelopes and similar unsigned employer earnings statements to the employee, or a state or federal agency.

Union records.

Individual’s personal records and statements.

Other evidence of probate value.

4.

If additional earnings exist, see TEMP Manual TE02.12.24 (Social Security Credits) to determine the qualifying work credits.

5.

To assign quarters before 1978 use:

One credit for each calendar quarter if $50.00 or more was earned, including agricultural wages for 1951- 1954.

Four credits for each taxable year an individual’s net earnings from self-employment were $400.00 or more.

One credit earned for each $100.00 – limited to a total of four credits- for agricultural wages paid during the years of 1955 – 1977.



MFIP:

Follow general provisions for the food portion only.


DWP, MSA, GA, GRH:

No provisions.


SNAP:

Follow general provisions.

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