POMS Reference

GN 00307: Foreign Evidence

TN 32 (07-06)

A. Introduction

Evidence from Egypt is unreliable. Fraudulent documents are readily available. In addition, documents can be obtained through official channels that do not accurately reflect the records on which they are purportedly based. Since most Egyptian government certificates are handwritten, they can be altered and counterfeited easily.

B. Policy

SSA does not accept civil or religious documents from Egypt at face value.

C. Procedure

1. General

Do not request the claimant to submit evidence from Egypt. Develop for other non-Egyptian evidence as explained in GN 00307.472C.2 and GN 00307.472C.3.

2. Evidence of Age

If the claimant lives in the U.S., develop for convincing evidence as explained in GN 00302.115, GN 00302.118 and GN 00302.125.

If the claimant is not living in the U.S., develop for other evidence as explained in GN 00307.150C.2.

3. Other Evidence

Develop for other non-Egyptian evidence. Obtain evidence issued at least 5 years before the claimant first filed for benefits or, if the event occurred less than 5 years before the claimant first filed for benefits, evidence issued near the date of the event.

4. Verification of Evidence

Request the servicing Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) for Egypt (as explained in GN 00904.220) to verify evidence from that country only if:

  • there is no non-Egyptian evidence as explained in GN 00307.472C.2. and GN 00307.472C.3.; or

  • a decision cannot be made based on the other evidence; or

  • the claimant states the evidence is correct and it would be sufficient, if verified, to establish the factor of entitlement or establish a more advantageous date.

Be sure to include a clear and complete copy of the document to be verified. If both sides of the document have been completed (or stamps have been placed on the reverse) be sure to include copies of both sides. Specify in the request that the verification needs to include a personal examination of the source record. The personal examination is needed to determine the authenticity of the document, that the document accurately reflects the source record and that the source record is unaltered and was made at the time purported.

Ask the FBU to obtain a current certification if the verification shows that the document submitted by the claimant differs materially from the source record.

NOTE: If conditions in that country prevent the FBU from verifying the evidence, it will notify SSA and explain why it cannot comply with the request.