By Amy Wallish, NENA President
Chief Executive Officer
Full Circle Employment Solutions LLC
and Heather Miller
Ticket to Work Coordinator
Full Circle Employment Solutions LLC
If you’re anything like me, you anxiously await the first of each month because that means you can start requesting more EN payments in the portal. Our organization has designated staff who work on requests as well as a central location (folder) where paystubs are saved and wait to be processed. The following are tips and tricks for how you can make the life of your EN Payments Processor easier.
[Disclaimer: this is primarily for wage employment only, not self-employment. That’s another article to be written at a later date.]
Make sure the paystubs have the following information clearly legible:
- Beneficiary Name. Sounds simple enough, but I’ve seen them go through without a name especially in the digital age when beneficiaries can screenshot a payments app to send over.
- Pay Period Dates (or at least an ending date). This is also needed for an SSI beneficiary because it has to be entered to submit the payment. **Note** If you really want to get on the processor’s good side, complete the SSA form Supplement Earnings Statement if the pay period dates aren’t listed. Some payments will be denied if you type in or handwrite the pay period dates onto the stub. If you can’t get your beneficiary to respond to requests asking for pay periods, Google the employer. Oftentimes, larger employers or governmental agencies will have payroll schedules available online. You can submit this with your earnings evidence.
- Pay Date.
- Name of Employer (not to be confused with the payroll company processing the paystubs.)
- Gross Wages.
- Net Wages.
- Make sure it shows taxes being deducted, or TPM may assume it’s self-employment.
- Continue to counsel beneficiaries to report wages to their local SSA office. When wages are reported timely and applied to their record, earnings can show up on record in the portal. This is quite helpful for payment purposes and it also helps the beneficiary avoid overpayment of benefits.
- Ensure the paystub is not upside down. Yes, it happens frequently and it’s hard to read everything upside down, so go that one extra step and straighten that all out for your team member!
- Label the stub correctly with an agreed upon method. This keeps things nice, neat and orderly. It also helps prevent the processor from missing paystubs. Depending on the processor, it may soothe anxiety as well.
- Make sure the stubs reflect Trial Work Period or Substantial Gainful Activity level. That’s great if Joe Smith finally returned to work, but if he isn’t earning at those levels yet, it just clutters up the folder and takes time away from the processor.
- Obtain paystubs prior to ticket assignment if Phase 1 payments are in question and earnings haven’t been updated in the portal. This helps ENs avoid overpayments. It’s not always possible, but it’s very helpful. If you do benefits counseling, it’s nice to have them anyway.
- Have a BPQY readily accessible so the payments processor can use it to check past earnings on record. This helps determine which Phase 1 payments we might be eligible for. It also helps give proof of earnings before assignment should you need to show that.
- And finally, remember to tell the payments processor how great they are on a regular basis!
These are just a few tips and tricks you can easily implement to help create a more efficient payment processing method. If you’ve ever processed payments in the EN Portal, you already know how valuable it is to have this information available. It saves time energy and a whole lot of frustration.