TN 48 (03-19)

GN 00301.355 Translation and Priority Workload Unit (TPWU)

A. Policy

The Translation and Priority Workload Unit (TPWU), formerly known as Central Translation Section translates documents in-house in the languages shown in subsection D. below. Documents in languages not listed below and documents that cannot be translated in TPWU due to workloads are referred to an authorized contract translator. Translations completed by a contractor are returned to TPWU for return to the requesting office.

B. Process

Currently, TPWU holds a contract with a translation company. Languages not listed in Section GN 00301.355D. are contracted out. Field offices (FOs) and processing centers (PCs) should use local translators when available and follow the translator priority lists shown in GN 00301.330D.1. or GN 00301.330D.2. before sending translations to TPWU. If a translator higher on the priority lists is not available for a particular language, send the request to TPWU.

C. Procedure - Processing translation requests

1. How to send translation requests to TPWU

Approved methods for sending translation requests to TPWU:

  • HQ components should use inter-office mail or fax;

  • DDSs, FOs and PCs should fax requests;

  • DIO paperless cases (all non-medical translation requests) should be sent via the paperless system;

  • DIO DDS medical evidence from paper folders will be taken to the DIO Division Office and placed in the TPWU tray.

2. Use of Form SSA-533 to send translation requests

All translation requests submitted to TPWU must use Form SSA-533 (Translation Request). When faxing a translation request to TPWU, include the full name, email address and telephone number of the person requesting the translation of the document (all entries must be legible). A fax cover sheet is not required.

Most items on the Form SSA-533 are self-explanatory. However, since a Form SSA-533 must be completed for each document which is to be translated, show the total number of documents being referred for each case at the top of the form. For example, if four documents require translation, Forms SSA-533 should show: “1 of 4,” “2 of 4,” “3 of 4” and “4 of 4.” In addition, if translation of an entire document is not necessary, requesters should specify the information that is needed in item 5 (facts to be proved). See GN 00301.365 for detailed instructions on completing the SSA-533.

Exception to using the SSA-533: See GN 01704.600B. for instructions on handling bilingual liaison forms with short remarks in German, Italian, or French for totalization claims.

3. Where to send requests for TPWU translation

HQ components using inter-office mail should use this address:

Social Security Administration

P.O. Box 17769

Baltimore, Maryland 21235-7769

Attn: Translation and Priority Workload Unit

Fax requests to:

(410)966-0526  (410) 965-8020  (410) 966-6032

4. TPWU reply to requesting office

TPWU will email or fax the response back to the person who faxed the original translation request. If the translation request is emailed it will be returned as a Word document attached to the email. The subject line of the email will contain the social security number provided by the field office.

5. Turnaround time for translation requests

When contactors are used, the estimated turnaround times for TPWU is 25 business days for most languages. For in-house translations, TPWU will process translation requests as quickly as possible and the time can vary depending on the volume of requests. Follow ups can be made by fax or email after 21 days. In dire need situations you may call the TPWU at (410) 966-5083.

D. List of languages translated In TPWU

TPWU currently translates the following languages in-house:







E. References

GN 00301.330, Overview of Translation Process

GN 00301.365, Transmittal of Foreign Language Documents for Translation

GN 00307.015, Office of International Operations translation requests

GN 01704.600, Completing Requests for Translation


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GN 00301.355 - Translation and Priority Workload Unit (TPWU) - 02/06/2018
Batch run: 03/21/2019