TN 65 (10-22)

GN 00301.280 Photocopying process

A. Introduction

If it is necessary for SSA to retain a photocopy of the document in the claims file, follow the procedure shown below.

B. Procedure

1. General

  1. a. 

    Photocopy both sides of the document if any pertinent information appears on the reverse side.

  2. b. 

    If the custodian's certification is entered on the reverse of the document, photocopy the reverse of the document.

2. Photocopy is not clear

Complete the appropriate certification form when it is impossible to prepare a clear and legible photocopy of a document (See GN 00301.115). However, if only portions of the photocopy are illegible, you may write in the illegible portions provided such additions are initialed.

3. Document contains a raised seal

If the document contains a raised seal which does not reproduce, no indication is required on the photocopy, even if the document is not acceptable without the seal, unless the information on the seal does not appear elsewhere on the document (e.g., the name of the issuing agency).

4. Foreign-Language document

  1. a. 

    FO Action:

    Write on the photocopy information on a seal which will not reproduce, to ensure that this information is brought to the attention of the translator.

  2. b. 

    Translator Action:

    Assume that the statement as to the genuineness of the record indicates all such requirements are met, if the FO certifier does not indicate otherwise.

5. Photocopies marked Void

In an attempt to reduce fraudulent use, some public custodians are now issuing documents on a new type of paper stock which when photocopied will show the word “VOID” on the face of the photocopy. Accept the photocopy marked “VOID” if the FO certifies that the original document was not marked “VOID”.

6. Documents illegal to photocopy

  1. a. 

    U.S. Passports, naturalization certificates and other INS records, as well as vital statistics records from some States, sometimes bear a legend stating that these documents may not legally be photocopied. The following SSA certifiers have been granted permission to photocopy these documents for internal use only:

    • Authorized SSA personnel; and

    • Designated employees of the Federal Benefits Units in U.S. Foreign Service Posts.

  2. b. 

    Never advise the claimant to photocopy such documents or to have them photocopied.

  3. c. 

    If a legal restriction exists in regard to copying some other document, prepare an SSA-4385 with a notation to that effect in the “Remarks” section of the form. (See GN 00301.360 regarding certification of photocopies of foreign-language documents).

C. Reference

GN 00301.095 SSA Certification of Photocopies

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
GN 00301.280 - Photocopying process - 10/18/2022
Batch run: 10/18/2022