SI 00820: Earned Income
TN 59 (02-13)
A. Introduction of wage verification companies
Employment and wage verification companies generally maintain an up-to-date database of wage earners’ wage information, thereby providing a quick and efficient means for SSA to verify wages.
The information wage verification companies provide us may significantly reduce time-consuming contacts with employers who subscribe to the service. The information generally includes:
gross wages for the 12 most recent pay periods,
total wages for the past two years, and
the number of hours worked.
NOTE: Wage verification companies do not always provide SSA with cafeteria plan information and income from tips, since each employer has a unique payroll system and therefore reports their wages and tips in a specific format to the wage verification company.
Procedures vary for requesting wage information from wage verification companies. Some may have an Internet website and accept online requests. Others may accept a request from us to fax the wage verification information within a few days to SSA.
B. Levels of service from wage verification companies
Wage verification companies provide different levels of service. Some provide SSA with real time, immediate online access to wage information; others fax the wage information to SSA within a few days. Wage verification companies charge the employer a fee to subscribe to the service. As a result, not every employer subscribes, nor will an employer generally subscribe to more than one service. Changes to each wage verification company’s subscriber base occur periodically as they add contracts or contracts expire.
Each wage verification company may have different requirements that SSA must meet before it will release wage information to us. For example, the company may ask SSA to register with the company or provide the working individual’s signed authorization to release the information.
C. Policy for wage verification companies
SSA must approve the wage verification companies at SSA’s Central Office (CO) level in order to consider the wage evidence they provide as primary evidence of wages under certain conditions.
NOTE: Regional and field offices should no longer refer new potential wage verification companies to CO for evaluation, as CO is no longer evaluating and approving new wage verification companies.
1. Probative value of evidence
a. SSA-approved wage verification company
Consider wage information from an SSA-approved wage verification company as primary evidence of wages when pay slips are unavailable, unless there is evidence to the contrary.
If there is a discrepancy in the wage data, resolve the discrepancy by obtaining additional primary or secondary evidence. See the information on evidence of wages or termination of wages in SI 00820.130. Also, see the information on wage verification and reported wages over $65 per month in SI 00820.135.
b. Non-SSA approved wage verification company
Usually, we do not consider wage information that we receive from a non-SSA-approved wage verification company as evidence of wages. However, if no primary evidence of wages exists (e.g., pay slips, wage verification from an SSA-approved wage verification company) per SI 00820.130A.1. and the wage earner’s employer:
does not participate with an SSA-approved wage verification company, and
refers you to a non-SSA-approved wage verification company that provides wage verification to SSA free of charge,
2. List of SSA-approved wage verification companies
SSA has approved the following companies as providing primary evidence of wages when pay slips are unavailable:
the Work Number (TWN) Express Verification,
verify Job System, and
D. Procedure for wage verification companies
1. Contact the company
Always check with the SSA-approved wage verification company(ies) to determine if the employer subscribes to the wage verification service.
2. Cafeteria benefit plans
If the wage evidence you receive from the wage verification company indicates that a cafeteria plan may exist, and the evidence does not provide exact amounts, follow the procedures for cafeteria benefit plans in SI 00820.102.
E. Procedure for the Work Number (TWN) Express Verification
TWN no longer provides SSA with the fax-based standard service. Use the following procedures for obtaining wage verification from TWN.
1. How to establish Administrators (web managers) of TWN
District Managers, Assistant District Managers, Operations Supervisors, and individuals who supervise technicians using TWN must contact their Regional Coordinator (RC) to request administrative access to TWN. We call persons who obtain administrative access administrators of TWN or web managers. Administrators who had no previous access will receive two emails from TWN. The first email will provide the administrator with TWN access rights. The second email will contain his or her temporary password. New administrators of TWN will:
log into TWN using this account using the temporary password,
change their temporary password, and
create accounts for the employees (users) in their office.
Administrators should see TWN step-by-step tutorial web Manager for Social Service Agencies for how administrators can:
add new users,
find and manage users,
access a list of all location users, and
block access for employees who retire, leave the agency, or change to a job that does not have a job-related need for access to TWN.
Contact your RC if a user in your office moves to a different location or field office (FO) in your Region. Do not list users under multiple locations.
NOTE: When creating user accounts, administrators must use the SSA employee’s SSA.gov email address (i.e., John.Doe@ssa.gov) for both the SSA employee’s email address and username.
2. TWN user access
One-time Enhanced Security Enrollment
After the administrator adds a user to TWN account, the user will receive an email containing a temporary password. All users who access TWN must complete a one-time security enrollment the first time logging into TWN and before using TWN service. The Enhanced Security Enrollment process will verify a user’s identity.
To successfully enroll, users must:
enter their username and password to log in;
click “enroll now” and answer “yes” to “remember me on this computer;”
select a personal security image (picture);
answer personal questions and verify phone number; and
review the security image and security questions.
If a user sees a different picture on any subsequent log in once he or she completes the Enhanced Security Enrollment process, then the user entered the username incorrectly, or tried to log in into a different part of the website. See TWN web tutorial on how employees enroll in the Enhanced Security process and click on “Watch Movie.”
NOTE: The username is case sensitive and you must enter the username exactly as provided in the initial email from verifierID@theworknumber.com. It is best to copy and paste the username into the website during log in, being careful not to copy a trailing space at the end.
TWN will email the user a temporary password. It may take 10-15 minutes to synchronize with TWN system. The user must wait this amount of time before trying to log in. It is best to copy and paste the temporary password into the website during log in, being careful not to copy a trailing space at the end.
change and create their own password;
take note to remember it for future use;
check “Remember my ID on this computer,” once a user has logged in successfully and for subsequent logins;
Change their password every 90 days (TWN system alerts users when to change their password); and
enter 12 or more characters in the password and remember the password is case sensitive.
Troubleshooting and questions about TWN
Users who have questions or need help with web-related issues or problems must direct all questions about TWN to their local administrator. This is usually the manager or supervisor in the user’s office. If the administrator is unable to resolve the problem, then the administrator must contact his or her RC to resolve any issues.
3. Obtaining signed wage earner authorization
IMPORTANT: Before requesting information from TWN, you must:
obtain the wage earner’s authorization using the APIA screen or a signed SSA-8510 (Authorization for the Social Security Administration to Obtain Personal Information). For the SSA-8510 instructions, see SI 00601.100D. See MS MSSICS 008.027 for more information on the APIA screen. However, if you have a currently signed SSA-821-BK (Work Activity Report—Employee) from the wage earner (within 12 months), then you do not need an additional signed authorization;
fax the SSA-8510 or SSA-821-BK into the Non-Disability Repository (NDRED) or the Certified Electronic Folder (CEF), as appropriate; and
destroy the paper SSA-8510 or SSA-821-BK.
The Office of Quality Performance (OQP) should load the SSA-8510 or SSA-821-BK into the Electronic Quality Assurance System (eQA) or retain a paper copy for non-electronic cases.
NOTE: In the agreement between SSA and TWN, SSA agreed that the FO manager obtains the wage earner’s authorization before requesting wage data from TWN. SSA must retain an electronic copy (or paper copy for non-electronic cases) of the authorization in the event TWN conducts an audit.
4. How to request Internet express wage verifications from TWN
Use the following steps to request information from TWN:
Enter TWN Web Site and log in.
Under “Select Your Permissible Purpose,” click only on the circle marked “Employee’s eligibility for a benefit granted by governmental agency; - we are required by law to consider the employee’s financial responsibility or status.”
view the screen titled, “New Verification Order.”
enter the Social Security Number (SSN) of the wage earner whose wages you want to verify. Do not enter your SSN or any SSA employee’s SSN.
TWN Express Service verification provides employment and income verification with instant, real-time delivery on the user’s computer screen.
See TWN website step-by-step tutorial for users on the features of Express Verification System entitled “The Work Number Social Service Express with Pay Date Summary.”
REMINDER: If an employer participates with TWN or any other SSA-approved wage verification company, do not send form SSA-L4201-BK (Letter to Employer Requesting Wage Information) to the employer. Instead, verify the wage information according to the procedures in SI 00820.130.
F. Procedure for how to request wage verification from Verify Job System
Take the following steps to verify a wage earner’s employment and wage information with Verify Job System. The Internet website address is https://www.verifyjob.com/.
NOTE: Verify Job System does not require a signed agreement with SSA to use its service.
To search the website for an employer’s code, go to https://www.verifyjob.com/. Click on “company code lookup” under “verifiers” in the menu on the left side of the screen. Enter the employer’s name to obtain the code. When a code is given, the employer subscribes to the service. Otherwise, the screen will indicate that there was no matching company found, confirming that the employer does not subscribe to the service.
If the employer subscribes to the service, complete the APIA screen or obtain a signed SSA-8510 authorization from the wage earner. For the SSA-8510 instructions, see SI 00601.100D. However, if you have a currently signed SSA-821-BK from the wage earner (within 12 months), then you do not need an additional signed authorization from the wage earner.
Fax the SSA-8510 or SSA-821-BK into the NDRED or the CEF, as appropriate, and destroy the paper SSA-8510 or SSA-821-BK.
Prepare a wage request on SSA letterhead. Include the wage earner’s name, SSN, employer’s name or code, FO fax number, your name, and telephone number.
Fax the letter, along with the wage earner’s signed SSA-8510 or SSA-821-BK authorization form, to Verify Job System at (910) 392-8159. Verify Job System will fax the wage verification information within a few days to the SSA fax number provided. If not received in a few days, send a follow-up fax request.
G. Procedure for how to request wage verification from VerifyAdvantage
Use the following procedures for obtaining wage verification from VerifyAdvantage.
1. Establish an account with VerifyAdvantage. Before using VerifyAdvantage, you must set up an account using the following steps:
From your Internet browser, go to www.verifyadvantage.com.
Click the “Create an Account” link under the “Government Requestor” section.
At the “Security Step: Proof of Identity” screen, enter the characters displayed and click “Submit.”
On the “Government Requestor Account Setup” page, complete the required fields and click “Create Account.”
NOTE: Make sure to enter your government email address and fax number, including area code.
Complete the required fields on the “Government Requestor Account Setup” page and press the “OK” button.
You will receive an email containing instructions to complete the setup process; complete as instructed.
If you have not received an email from VerifyAdvantage containing instructions to complete account setup within 24 hours, contact VerifyAdvantage at (866) 894-7687.
The user ID must be all letters.
The password must be six letters, one number, and one special character such as an asterisk.
In order to have the verified wage data displayed directly on your government computer, each person requesting wage information from VerifyAdvantage must register individually.
Do not use your LAN/Mainframe PIN or password when creating an account.
2. Obtaining signed wage earner authorization
You must obtain the wage earner’s authored response on the APIA screen, or secure a signed authorization (i.e., SSA-8510, Authorization for the Social Security Administration to Obtain Personal Information)) to contact the wage verification company prior to requesting wage data from VerifyAdvantage. In addition, the wage earner’s signed authorization must state the permissible purpose for requesting the data. Therefore, the wage earner’s signed authorization must also contain the following language: “Permissible Purpose—Eligibility for a benefit granted by a government agency; the SSA is required by law to consider the employee’s financial responsibility or status.”
Fax the authorization into the NDRED or the CEF, as appropriate, and destroy the paper copy. We must retain the electronic copy of the authorization in the event VerifyAdvantage needs to see it.
3. Obtaining wage verification
Take the following steps to request wage information from VerifyAdvantage:
Log onto https://www.verifyadvantage.com.
Click on “Log in” in the Government Requestor section.
Type in your username and password and click “Log in.”
Click on “Request Report.”
Click on the “Select Employer” box, then from the list of employers, click “select” next to the appropriate employer.
Type in the wage earner’s SSN (only enter the nine digits, do not include the dashes), then click “Next.”
Click “Next” when you receive confirmation that the wage earner was located.
Agree to the “Terms and Conditions” and click “I Agree” and “I Accept.”
Print the report when it appears on your computer screen.
4. Obtaining help using VerifyAdvantage
To get assistance using VerifyAdvantage, contact VerifyAdvantage in one of the following ways:
go to http://www.verifyadvantage.com and click “help,” or
email firstname.lastname@example.org, or
call (866) 894-7687.
H. Documentation of wage verification
Document the verified wage information from the wage verification company on a Modernized Supplemental Security Income Claims System (MSSICS) DROC screen and lock it, or EVID.
In non-MSSICS situations, fax the response into NDRED or CEF, as appropriate.
Record the verified wages on the MSSICS IWAG screen or SSR, as appropriate.
Fax the SSA-8510 or signed wage earner authorization (SSA-795, SSA-821) into NDRED or CEF, as appropriate, and destroy the paper documentation.
If a discrepancy exists between the wage information that the wage verification company provides and other wage evidence obtained, you must:
Resolve the discrepancy by obtaining other wage evidence;
Summarize the wage determination on a MSSICS DROC screen and lock it, or in EVID; and
In non-MSSICS situations, complete an SSA-5002 (Report of Contact), and fax it into NDRED or CEF, as appropriate.
SI 00820.102 Cafeteria Benefit Plans
SI 00820.130 Evidence of Wages or Termination of Wages
SI 00820.135 Wage Verification and Reported Wages Over $65 per Month
SI 00820.143 Monthly Wage Reporting
SI 00820.145 Form SSA-L4201-BK (Letter to Employer Requesting Wage Information)
GN 00301.286 Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention
SI 00601.100 Information/Evidence - General
DI 10505.005 Determining and Verifying Gross Earnings from Employment
MS MSSICS Personal Information Authorization (APIA)