I-3-1-12.Request for Earnings Information
Last Update: 9/08/05 (Transmittal I-3-36)
The analyst may determine that additional earnings information is necessary to adjudicate a case.
Updated earnings information is required before the Appeals Council issues a favorable or partially favorable decision. The analyst will obtain either a detailed earnings query (DEQY) or a summary earnings query (SEQY) to determine whether work after onset is an issue which requires further development before forwarding a recommendation to issue a fully or partially favorable decision to an AAJ. If the earnings information reveals postings after the proposed onset date, the analyst will recommend the action necessary to resolve the issue.
Updated earnings information may be necessary to:
determine whether insured status is met at a certain date;
verify reporting of former lag earnings;
determine deductions in Retirement and Survivors Insurance cases; or
ascertain work activity after onset.
The analyst will request routine earnings information electronically, by means of accessing SSA mainframe computers through SSA's Master File Query Menu. In most cases, online information, e.g., SEQY, DEQY, or Informational/Certified Earnings Records System (ICERS) (see B. below) will suffice.
In cases involving unposted earnings, the analyst may contact the servicing field office for assistance. If necessary, the analyst may also request a manual search (“scouting”) of Office of Central Records Operations (OCRO) records. Form HA-534-U3, Request for Earnings Record Information, is used to make such a request. This form is then submitted to OCRO via mail. (See POMS RM 02625.008 for additional discussion on processing the HA-534-U3.)
B. Request for Earnings Information—Types of Queries
1. Summary Earnings Query (SEQY)
MINIMUM DATA ENTRY REQUIRED: SSN and the years to be queried.
DATA AVAILABLE: Total covered earnings, including Medicare Qualified Government Employment (MQGE), are displayed for each year requested.
LIMITATIONS: Quarters of coverage (QCs) are not displayed; specific years before 1951 are not displayed.
ADVANTAGES: Response is available online, and satisfies the need for information regarding total yearly earnings.
INTERPRETATION: Information on accessing online queries is contained in the Modernized System Operations Manual (MSOM) and information on reading and interpreting queries is contained in POMS SM 00345.000 ff.
2. Detailed Earnings Query (DEQY)
MINIMUM DATA ENTRY REQUIRED: SSN and the years to be queried. If employer's name and address are needed, also furnish the Employer Identification Number ( EIN).
DATA AVAILABLE: In general, the DEQY is useful for years after 1977. Covered and non-covered earnings, employer names and addresses, and pension data are available for each year requested.
LIMITATIONS: QC's are not displayed; years before 1978 are generally not available.
ADVANTAGES: As non-covered earnings and employer names and addresses are available on-line, this information may aid in substantial gainful activity investigations.
INTERPRETATION: Instructions are contained in sections SM 00344.003 – SM 00344.035 of the POMS.
3. Informational Earnings Record Estimate (ICERS Function 3)
MINIMUM DATA ENTRY REQUIRED: SSN and date of filing. For benefit computations, date of onset of disability or death is also needed.
DATA AVAILABLE: Total earnings, itemization of QC's for years after 1950, and benefit computations are available on-line. In general, specific information is not available for years prior to 1951.
LIMITATIONS: The detail contained in DEQY is not present.
ADVANTAGES: This query is useful for insured status determinations and benefit computations and generally contains all information shown on a full claims earnings record (FCER).
INTERPRETATION: Instructions are contained in MSOM ICERS 001.001.
4. Disability Insured Status Calculator Online (DISCO)
MINIMUM DATA ENTRY REQUIRED: SSN. For benefit computations, date of onset of disability or death are also needed.
DATA AVAILABLE: Total earnings, itemization of QC's for years after 1950, and benefit computation are available on-line. In general, specific information is not available for years prior to 1951.
LIMITATIONS: As with the Informational Earnings Record Estimate query, DEQY detail is not present.
ADVANTAGES: This query is very user friendly for insured status and benefit computation determinations.
INTERPRETATION: Instructions can be found at the following link: http://idalnet.kc.ad.ssa.gov/centers/chr/Automation%20Training%20Resources/Disco/Disco%20Guide.doc
The DISCO tool can be found on the OQA Toolbar in PCOM. For OAO staff the icon name is “DISKO” because the original “DISCO” icon uses a “P” designated computer drive (for Field Office use), whereas OAO uses a “K” drive. If not currently shown on their OQA toolbar, OAO users should open PCOM, then the OQA toolbar. They can then select “Menu” and then “Customize Toolbar.” The user should scroll down the left list to “DISKO,” highlight it, click on the center “Add” button, and then “Save Changes.”