M21-1, Part III February 25, 2005
(1)Follow-up on Requests to Division of Disability Operations (for persons under age 55). If the original request to the Division of Disability Operations (par. 9.01a(1) above) was sent via FAX, the follow-up should be sent
via FAX to (410) 298-7954. Use the sample form in Addendum A to this chapter. If the original request to the Division of Disability Operations was sent by mail, all follow-ups must be sent via mail also.
(2) Follow-ups on Requests to National Records Center (for persons 55 years old and older). If no reply has been received within 10 working days, FAX a follow-up request to (816) 257-5106.
d. Filing Social Security Records. Handle all information furnished to VA from SSA records under this paragraph in accordance with the provisions of 38 CFR 1.521.
e. Verification of Amount of Social Security Monthly Payments. All tax contribution records are maintained by SSA in its Baltimore office. Benefit payment records are maintained in the regional Program Service Centers. Use Federal On-line Query (FOLQ) to verify the amount of the monthly benefit.
(1) Federal On-Line Query (FOLQ)
(a) FOLQ is a read-only-specific real-time query developed by SSA for states and other agencies to obtain certain SSA data. This system provides the following information:
Verification of SS numbers,
Title II, Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance data,
Title XVI, Supplemental Security Income data, and
A limited payment history file.
Access to FOLQ will enable VBA to assist veterans and dependents by providing instant verification of the information on applications and post entitlement reviews, such as EVR processing.
(b) Access FOLQ through SHARE. FOLQ requires the VA file number, claimant’s name, claimant's SSN, date of birth, and reason for inquiry for each individual for whom information is needed. A response is immediate, in “real time.”
(c) FOLQ User Guide. This guide is found and maintained on the VBA Intranet at the following address: http://126.96.36.199/bl/21/publicat/Users/SSA/index.htm.
(2) Combined SSA Check to a Surviving Spouse and Children. Under SSA procedures, a surviving spouse may continue to receive Social Security benefit checks in his or her own name but, because of earnings, one or more of these checks will be for the benefit of the child or children in custody. If the VA award is based on combined earnings and Social Security benefits and the amount of the adjusted Social Security benefit is questionable, obtain verification of the Social Security rates paid for the surviving spouse's benefit as follows:
(a) Establish a control to dispatch VA Form 21-8086, “Request for Benefit Data,” on or after May 15 of the year following the year of reported income change to the appropriate PSC listed in subparagraph 9.02a.
(b) After dispatching the form, maintain a 60-day control. Follow up by sending another VA Form 21-8086 marked "Second Request" to SSA at the expiration of that period.
f. Combined SSA Check to Veteran and Spouse. SSA may issue a combined check to a husband and wife although the benefit payment is based on the employment of only one spouse, if both the wage earner and spouse reside at the same address, neither is incompetent, neither voices any objection to the combination and no other reason exists making the combination undesirable, e.g., entitlement by the dependent spouse to old-age insurance (Social Security) benefits on his or her own account. A certificate of award is sent to each containing a statement as to the benefit rates payable to each.
(1) Consider only the amount of the combined check that represents the veteran's part as his or her income.