GN 00301.095: Social Security Administration Certification of Photocopies
Effective Dates: 05/31/2012 - Present TN 40 (05-12) GN 00301.095 SSA Certification of Photocopies A. Policy for SSA’s certification of photocopies
- When SSA retains a photocopy of the claimant's evidentiary document, the SSA certifier who evaluated the document must certify to the accuracy of SSA's copy and the authenticity of the claimant's document.
- This certification is not a routine clerical function. The document submitted by the claimant is the document that the SSA certifier must evaluate for authenticity. The certification statement and signature of the SSA certifier on the photocopy attests to the authenticity of the claimant's document and affects the probative value of the photocopy.
EXCEPTION: U.S. State Department personnel who staff the Foreign Service Posts (FSP) normally use SSA's certification procedure. However, when we receive a foreign claim and the photocopy of the evidence has the U.S. State Department certification statement, rather than the SSA certification statement, accept the evidence if the FSP mailed the photocopy directly to OIO from the FSP and there is no other reason to question its authenticity.
- B. Procedure for certifying documents
- 1. Photocopy of claimant's document
- Follow this procedure when we retain a photocopy of the claimant's document for SSA's file:
- * Write in ink, type, or rubber stamp the certification statement. Include your signature, title, and date of certification.
- * State whether the claimant's document appears genuine, authentic, unaltered (free of erasures and overwriting), and made at the time claimed based on issuance rather than recordation.
- * Describe any irregularities on the claimant's document such as changes or alterations to the entries, see GN 00301.050C.
- NOTE: If appropriate, indicate whether the custodian made changes prior to the custodian's certification.
- * In the case of a multipage photocopy, indicate the number of pages involved. A suggested statement is as follows:
- “The original document, of which this is a photocopy, appears to be genuine, and unaltered, and to have been made at the time purported. This photocopy consists of ## pages.”
- 2. Photocopies of SSA forms
Photocopies of SSA forms completed by SSA personnel and maintained in SSA's control do not require certification. However, photocopies of SSA forms completed by someone outside the Agency require certification (e.g., SSA-721, “Statement of Death and Burial Expenses by Funeral Director”).
- 3. Photocopies of foreign language documents
- An authorized certifier, who is not an authorized translator in the foreign language involved, is fully qualified to evaluate whether the foreign language document appears genuine and unaltered. They may also certify:
- * the document is the implied age based on its general appearance or by remarks made by the person submitting it, and
- * the issue date, or
- * how and when the document was secured.
- 4. Photocopy has incomplete certification
* If the photocopy bears an SSA stamp, but it does not indicate the number of pages in a multipage photocopy, * assume the claimant's document was properly evaluated by the certifier; and * take adjudicative action. * If the photocopy does not contain any part of the certification statement required in GN 00301.095B.1.d., in this section, request a properly certified photocopy of the original document post-adjudicatively.
x← This means that the line was removed and was added – in other words, the "Effective Dates" line at the top of the document has been updated to reflect that the new version is effective as of the date the change was made.