POMS Reference

GN 00905: Techniques Concerning SSA Foreign Operations

TN 7 (03-90)

A. Introduction

These diary periods take into account international mail time. They ensure the claimant/beneficiary has a reasonable time to secure the information and for the response to reach DIO.

B. Procedure— General

Document all contacts/attempted contacts with claimants or beneficiaries. Include copies of pertinent correspondence. However, rather than translate foreign-language requests or followup letters, show a brief explanation (e.g., “claimant asked to send birth certificate”).

Use diary periods other than those shown in C. if needed because of the local conditions, provided the individuals are given a reasonable time in which to get any evidence and respond.

Follow the general principle of an initial request and two subsequent diaries.

C. Procedure— Diaries

IF.... THEN....
Initial request Diary for 60 days.
No reply to initial request Make a followup request and diary for 30 days.
No response to second request See D.

D. Procedure— no reply to direct mail requests

Determine whether the:

  • Claimant/beneficiary has failed to respond because he does not want to cooperate;

  • Claimant/beneficiary has failed to respond because he is having difficulty complying with the request; and

  • Issue under development involves protection of the Trust Funds (e.g., preclaims earnings discrepancies, scrambled wage records, possible erroneous benefit payments, etc.).

1. Individual does not want to cooperate

If protection of the Trust Funds is not involved, close out the case.

Send a second followup request containing a 30-day close out paragraph and diary the case for another 30 days.

Disallow the claim or close out the issue if the individual has not responded when the diary period expires.

Exception: If pursuing an inquiry for an individual for whom a protective writing exists, send a 6-month notice.

2. Individual having difficulty complying with the request

If protection of the Trust Funds is not involved, and the individual seems to be cooperating but having difficulty in responding to the request:

  1. Request the assistance of the FBU servicing the individual's address. Advise the FBU if a personal contact is necessary.

  2. Diary the request per GN 00904.245.

3. Protection of trust funds involved

Develop through an FBU. Request that a personal contact be made if possible.

Diary the request in accordance with GN 00904.245.