TN 4 (10-09)

RM 10225.145 Processing SS-5 (Social Security Card Application) for Prisoners Under Terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A. Guidelines for processing SS-5s for prisoners

SSN replacement cards may be processed for prisoners who are U.S. citizens, when no changes to the Numident record are required, and there is a MOU in place that covers the facility where the prisoner is held. Only applications meeting all provisions of the MOU are processed using these instructions. Also, only the FO parallel to the prison, or the FO specifically authorized to do so, may process SS-5s under the MOU with the facility.

The FO processes applications from prisoners that cannot be processed under an MOU agreement following the normal application and evidence procedures. For general rules for evidence of identity, see RM 10210.405.

Before processing any application under the terms of a prisoner replacement card MOU, ensure that the facility submitted a list of officials authorized to sign the cover letter and Certification of Prison Records form. To ensure the list is up-to-date, the FO requests a new list of officials annually, or when circumstances dictate per RM 10225.135C.

FOs must be familiar with the terms of the prisoner replacement card MOUs and know which facilities in their area are covered by Federal, State, or local MOUs, in order to ensure that the facilities abide by the terms of the agreement. If the facility consistently submits applications for prisoners that are not in compliance with the terms of the MOU, i.e., incomplete or unsigned SS-5s or insufficient documentation, refer to RM 10225.150, Auditing a Correctional Facility with Prisoner Replacement Card Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

FOs provide the correctional facility with an SSA contact name, address, and telephone number, as well as an adequate supply of SS-5’s and SSA-3288’s (Consent for Release of Information).

B. FO handling of SS-5s from a correctional facility

IMPORTANT: SS-5s received from correctional facilities must be processed accurately and timely, with attention to the integrity of SSA records and the enumeration process. Only employees who are fully trained in enumeration procedures, with sufficient experience and time to complete all tasks should perform this process.

When the FO receives SS-5s completed by inmates, the FO will:

  1. Count the SS-5s to verify the number received against the number of SS-5s indicated on the cover letter.

  2. Review each SS-5, SSA-3288, and Prison Certification Statement for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with the MOU.

  3. Compare the signatures on the Certification of Prison Records form with the signatures on the list of approved facility officials authorized to submit inmate applications.

  4. Exclude the following:

    1. Applications for original SSNs or applications involving a change to the Numident (including name changes),

    2. Unsigned applications,

    3. Applications that do not meet standards for processing, e.g. incomplete, not in blue or black ink, etc,

    4. Applications from non-citizens and foreign-born U.S. citizens who do not have a U.S. citizenship code on the Numident,

    5. Applications submitted without an accompanying SSA-3288, without Certification of Prison Records form, or with an incomplete Certification of Records form,

    6. Applications where the prison records, SSA records, or the SS-5, indicate that the applicant used multiple SSNs and SSA records do not clearly show that the applicant is the owner of all SSNs used.

    7. Applications received when it is inappropriate to issue a SSN replacement card for any other reason, e.g., the replacement card limit is met or a special indicator is on the Numident.

  5. If possible, attempt to resolve a discrepancy that would prevent issuance of a replacement SSN card by calling the official who signed the cover letter accompanying the inmate applications.

  6. When conflicting data or questions are not resolved or the FO cannot process the application for another reason, i.e., card limits are met or a special indicator is on the Numident, issue a SSA-L676 (Refusal to Process SSN Application) to the inmate in care of the facility, explaining why the SS-5 cannot be processed. Dispose of the application and other materials per RM 10215.115.

  7. Upon receipt of a properly completed and signed SS-5, accompanied by a signed SSA