GN KC03360.025: Certifications of Copies of Documents and Extracts from Records
Effective Dates: 11/10/2015 - Present
- GN KC03360.025 Certifications of Copies of Documents and Extracts from Records
- SSA frequently receives requests for certified copies of documents. The documents need to be certified so that the copies can be admitted as evidence during a court hearing or similar matter. In most cases, the court hearing does not involve SSA, but private parties. By certifying the documents, an appearance by an SSA employee is unnecessary.
A certified document (certification) is basically a photocopy or extract of a file, sealed with a ribbon and the gold seal of the agency. This way, the document cannot be altered by anyone once it is certified. Federal statutes (42 U.S.C. § 3505) provide that copies of any records or other documents in Social Security, when authenticated under the Agency seal, shall be admitted in evidence the same as if the originals were being admitted. Field offices frequently receive requests to complete an affidavit or deposition questions when producing a copy of a file. As this is considered to be testimony, which is not allowed without approval, and as the FOs are not the custodian of the record (even though the file may be in your office), FOs should offer a certification.
- A. Types of Certified Records
* Certified Information from Earnings Records – only the Office of Earnings Operations prepares and processes certifications of earnings. An SSA-7050 with the appropriate fee and authorizing signature is required (See GN 03360.025D.1). The Kansas City RO cannot certify any earnings information, including the SEQY and DEQY. * Certified Photocopies or Extracts of Social Security Records – The ROs, PSCs, ODIO, and other CO components are empowered to certify a record or an extract of a record. An extract provides information that would not be understood if the actual document was provided (e.g., an MBR, SSID, or PHUS would not be understood by a court, while a written explanation of a benefit payment would be quickly understood). In the ROs, certification authority is given to the Regional Commissioners, Deputy Regional Commissioners, Assistant Regional Commissioners, Directors of ORQPA and Deputy Directors of ORQPA.
- B. Field Office Responsibilities
In most cases, the FOs should forward the requests for certified copies to the SSA component having custody of the file (GN 03305.001C.1 and GN 03340.010B). If, however, a subpoena has been received, the FO should NOT transfer the request but follow the instructions in GN 03330.015. Carefully review the consent form for compliance per GN 03305.001B2. If the consent does not meet the guidelines, the request is to be denied. If the consent does meet the guidelines and the FO is retaining control of the action, the FO should request the folder. When the folder is received, the FO should: * Review the consent again to ensure compliance. Remember that the consent for release of information must be followed. If the NH consents to only the release of medical information, copy only the medical information. In addition, the NH normally cannot consent to the release of information about a spouse or minor children. Therefore, the information on any auxiliaries should not be photocopied. * Photocopy the requested portion of the file. The file should only be copied on one side. DO NOT photocopy back to back, as it is too hard for the requester to review the file with the ribbon on it. Remember, though, to photocopy the front and back of all records. DO NOT staple the photocopies into any separate forms or stacks, but leave as one big stack. * Attach a short note to the file indicating a certified copy is necessary, a contact person in the FO, and any special information. A sample sheet is included in this transmittal that can be used but is not required. This form is also available on our website at the following link: Certification Request * Mail the original file (with the consent and any cover letters) and the photocopy to: Social Security Administration Center for Disability and Programs Support Rm. 1002, Bolling Federal Office Building 601 E. 12th Street Kansas City, MO 64106 ATTN: Renee Saure
- C. Regional Office Responsibilities
* The Kansas City RO will again review the consent form and notify the requester (the attorney or record service) of any problems. * If there are no problems, the RO will review the photocopy against the original file for completeness and disclosure provisions (e.g., child's claim, spouse's SSNs, etc.). * The RO will prepare the certification and the cover letter.
- * The RO will send the certification and the file back to the FO.
- REQUEST FOR CERTIFICATION
- To: Social Security Administration
Center for Programs Support
- Regional Privacy Coordinator
- 601 E 12th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64106 Attn: Michelle Palmer
- Re: Certification of records for Claimant's Name, SSN ______________
Please certify the photocopies of the attached file. Attached is a copy of the request and the signed consent form that meets the requirements in GN 03305.001.
- Return Certification to: FO Employee Name ________________________
- I can be reached at: ___________________________
- Field Office Address: DO, DOC ______________________
- Address 1 _______________________
- Address 2 _______________________
- City, State, ZIP ______________________
Special Instructions: ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ View PDF Version
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