PACER On-Line

Claims Questions and Answers

Q. Is there a limit on copies of checks provided to the agencies? Is there a charge?
A. There is no limit to the number of requests. Agencies may incur costs for the requisite hardware and software (see Equipment Requirements list). The main charge to the user will be telephone line usage charges incurred while on-line, receiving, or transmitting information. The only charge payable to FMS will be for copies of checks that are older than 18 months (following the date of issuance) which is also done in today's environment. The current cost is $5.50. FMS is developing a cost strategy for check copies in an imaging environment.

Q. Can a FPA use PACER On-Line for selected claims (Congressional Inquiries for example) and still utilize a batch process for the majority of their claims?
A. Yes. A FPA can use PACER On-Line for selected claims while continuing to use a batch process for the rest.

Q. Will the agencies receive hard copies of information relating to OPAC on claims?
A. No. OPAC will be received and viewed via GOALS--OPAC as is done today. Microfiche will continue to be sent to agencies.

Q. Is the Agency Claim Number mandatory when creating a claim?
A. No. Agency Claim Number is now referred to as Agency Reference Number to be consistent with CP&R terminology. It is optional when you are creating claims on-line or in batch, but is required for paper SF-1184s.

Q. Will the PACER On-Line system pass the claim back to the agency sooner?
A. Yes. If the check is outstanding, turnaround time will be 48 to 72 hours.

Q. How quickly will FPAs be able to provide status information?
A. PACER On-Line will be able to provide check and initial claim status information immediately. Daily Advice of Status for check claims will be provided within 48 hours.

Q. Will the agency get the check claim form?
A. For agency claims ( A and F stops) the check claim form will be mailed back to the agency. For payee claims, the check claim form is mailed to the payee, unless the agency has made arrangements with FMS to have it mailed to the agency.

Q. The reclamation process is time intensive. How long will it take to recover the money under PACER On-Line?
A. PACER On-Line will not significantly shorten the reclamation process. Some efficiencies will be gained, but the length of the recovery time is largely beyond FMS's control. The recovery process is governed by the financial institutions, not by PACER On-Line.
Q. Does a second trace request have to be initiated by an agency or does it occur automatically in PACER On-Line?
A. The second trace is not automatic. It must be requested by the FPA. Currently, EFT Claims are not supported by POL.
Q. How long will it take to process a trace on an EFT payment in the PACER On-Line system? Traces currently take weeks.
A. Financial institutions govern the EFT trace process. PACER On-Line will process trace requests promptly but cannot influence how long it will take the Federal Reserve Bank or a financial institution to provide status on the item. Currently, EFT Claims are not supported by POL.

Q. Can claims be on the same PC as GOALS?
A. Yes. PACER On-Line and GOALS can be accessed from the same PC.

Q. How soon does the agency receive a credit after a returned check is received by Treasury?
A. The credit will be returned to the agency in the next daily cycle, if there is no problem matching a check to an issue record.

Q. Will an agency still receive SF-3859s?
A. Yes. SF-3859s are Claims Disposition Notices (CDN) which are used in the Check Claim Adjudication process. This process is not being changed by PACER On-Line.

Q. Will the payment cancellation information change under PACER On-Line?
A. No. Detail cancellation will not change under PACER. Information will be processed as it is today.

Q. Will SF-1081s be processed in the same format as today?
A. Yes. This will remain a TRACS process and will not change.

Q. What effect does PACER On-Line have on TRACS data handling?
A None. The processes will remain the same.

Q. When PACER On-Line is implemented, will the SF-1184 be obsolete?
A. Not in the near future. FMS is exploring the possibility of eliminating the SF-1184 at some point in the future. FMS encourages agencies to take advantage of the improved levels of service provided by PACER On-Line or large file batch processing over the PCAct or the SF-1184 method.

Q. Will all payments issued by FMS be available for claims initiation through PACER On-Line or just the payments made after PACER On-Line began operations?
A. Payments issued after the implementation of PACER On-line will be available for on-line claims initiation. Claims against payments issued prior to the implementation of PACER On-Line will be handled as they are today.
Q. Will it be much faster to process claims in PACER On-Line?
A. Yes. The part of the claim process that PACER On-Line addresses will improve significantly. For example, an agency will be able to determine check status immediately. Currently, the SF-1184 process used in determining check status may take from six to eight weeks. The time it takes to submit a claim through the SF-1184 process and mail the claim form to the agency or payee falls within the same time frame. PACER On-Line will provide Daily Advice of Status on-line within 48 hours. The claims form will be mailed to the agency or payee within 7 working days after the claim is submitted to PACER On-Line. In both these cases, the level of service will improve significantly. In some cases the amount of time will decreased from weeks to instant check status and in others from 6 to 8 weeks to 48 hours for DAS, and from 6 to 8 weeks to 7 days for the mailing of a claim form. For agencies that take advantage of the Digital Check Imaging capability of PACER On-Line, copies of checks will be available immediately if the image is resident at FMS or within 24 hours if the image must be requested from the Federal Reserve Archive. The current process for agencies using the SF-1184 falls within the 6 to 8 week time frame.
Q. We have payees who do not receive their checks, so we issue them another one. What happens when we generate a second check and the payee cashes both checks? Who is liable? What do we do if the first check is paid?
A. PACER On-Line will not affect this process. It will be handled the same as it was before PACER On-Line.

   Last Updated:  March 14, 2014