TN 11 (09-87)
Special determinations are used to document coverage and wage issue decisions. Based
on the facts and evidence associated with the case, the determination may be formal
or informal. Refer to the procedures to determine which type of determination is applicable
for each individual case.
NOTE: For most earnings discrepancy cases, an informal determination will be acceptable.
Prepare or revise all special determinations on a Form SSA-553 per GN 01010.310 through GN 01010.390. In addition to the instructions in the GN procedure, the following general rules
should be applied to writing a complete and detailed justification of the decision:
If more than one type of evidence has been submitted and such evidence is not in agreement
as to amounts or periods of employment:
Refer to the evidence which has been rejected as well as to that which has been accepted.
Clearly state the reasons for accepting one type of evidence in preference to the
If the secondary evidence of wages has been submitted, include the name of the individual
furnishing the evidence, i.e., who made the statement, together with an explanation
of the basis for the knowledge alleged.
If personal records or receipts have been submitted, indicate whether they appear
to be authentic, currently maintained, free from erasures, etc.
If the determination is based on secondary evidence of wages:
Show why primary evidence is not available, or
Show why such evidence, if available, has not been accepted in preference to secondary
Where there is payment “in kind”, primary evidence may be available but, in such cases, secondary evidence may be
necessary in order to determine the value of the payment. If payment “in kind” is involved, the determination should state that the estimated value of such payment
appears to be reasonable.
If the statute of limitations or other specific limitations, e.g., limitations contained
in General Counsel opinions or Policy Precedent Memorandums, are involved and:
Adjustments can be made for all periods, include the date the investigation was started
in any determination where wages are deleted or included after the time limitation
Adjustments can only be made for some period(s):
Specify the periods for which the records may be adjusted, and
Cite the statute of limitations or other specific limitations as the reason earnings
cannot be corrected for the remaining periods.
Adjustments cannot be made for any period(s), cite the statute of limitations or other
specific limitations as the reason earnings cannot be corrected for the period(s).
Follow instructions in GN 01010.360 for the signing, preparation of copies and distribution of special determinations.
Prepare a closeout letter to the individual per RM
Complete the disposition block of the ED folder to show the action taken.
Prepare a card for the employer precedent file if the decision is of precedent value.
Close the case on the electronic control system and dispose of all material per RM 03803.073.