GN 01070: Intercomponent Communications
TN 19 (05-07)
A. Policy for appointed representatives
If the claimant has executed Form SSA-1696-U4, or equivalent statement, appointing either an attorney or a non-attorney representative, all contacts must normally be made through the representative (see GN 03910.050) until such time as the representative submits a fee petition or otherwise terminates his/her services.
For the purpose of this section, the term “representative” does not include a representative payee.
2. Category 1 Issue
An issue that does not affect entitlement is a Category 1 issue.
3. Category 2 Issue
An issue that does affect entitlement is a Category 2 issue.
C. Guidelines for contacting claimant appointed representatives
1. Representative not available when call is made
Tell the secretary/staff what information is needed from the claimant.
State that the information is required to make payment.
Ask if direct claimant contact is permissible.
Document the file accordingly.
2. representative does not respond - category 1 issue
If there is no response received within 3 calendar days, and the needed information permits payment and is available from the claimant / beneficiary:
Re-contact the representative. Repeat the request and explain that if no response is made within 2 days, we will assume that the representative does not object to SSA contacting the claimant / beneficiary directly.
Document the claims file accordingly.
3. Representative Does Not Respond - Category 2 Issue
Do not contact the claimant / beneficiary directly without the representative’s permission.
If no response is received after 5 calendar days - (initial call and follow-up call) - use the direct contact mail procedure.
Contact the representative and send a copy of the request to the claimant.
Set a 20 day diary.
If no response is received after the 20 calendar day diary, develop the issue through the claimant’s resident FO. (See GN 00904.048.)
D. Examples – Category 1 Issues
The following are examples of issues that do not affect entitlement - Category 1.
Why claimant born in “yes” state answered “no” about pre-age 5 public birth record
Reason for “in care of” address
Military service dates
Basis for receipt of military or Civil Service pension in giving military wage credits
Railroad employment dates
Proper payment method (continued direct deposit or home mailing address) in re-entitlement claims
Reason for return of HIB-SMIB card
Disperse underpayment over $750 or more than one month’s benefit (including underpayment due a deceased beneficiary - see GN 02301.055);
2. Development Requests
Evidence of support (tax return, etc.)
Change of address information
Reason for returned check if reason listed as “MISC” (SM 00624.030).
SSN omitted or incorrectly shown on report or letter from beneficiary
Representative payee information
Correct address (see GN 02605.005)
Death of beneficiary or date of death (NOTE: In CMS death alert cases follow GN 02602.050)
Non-receipt of check allegation (mail only) – SM 00624.030
E. Examples – Category 2 Issues
The following are examples of issues that do affect entitlement - Category 2.
Inconsistent statements in file
Intent of overpayment protest (GN 02250.002)
Attorney fee petitions (GN 03930.001)
2. Development Requests
Resolve omitted or discrepant item(s) or form(s) submitted by claimant which are not related to the Category 1 issues shown above.
Copy of claimant’s tax return, schedule SE, etc. for evidence of earnings
Names and addresses of employers for third party DIRCON (see GN 01070.305D.)
Dates of employment
Workers’ compensation information
Suspension / deduction events when application is not current