TN 25 (04-08)

GN 00301.345 Authorization of SSA Translators

A. Policy - selection process

FO and PC managers are responsible for identifying personnel who have foreign language skills and are willing to serve as translators.

1. Employees hired as a Bi-lingual employee

Assume these employees have the capabilities necessary to serve as a translator. Form SSA-1014 (Official Translator’s Signature Card) must still be submitted to the RO for approval. (See GN 00301.345B).

2. Other SSA employees

Other employees who volunteer as translators must meet the following selection criteria:

  1. Able to read, write and/or demonstrate fluency in the foreign language.

  2. Able to translate verbatim with occasional aid of a dictionary.

  3. Has had 2 years of formal instruction in the language within the past 5 years; or served as a translator in that language for other organizations; or has native language ability (e.g., reared in a bilingual home). See exception in (GN 00301.345A.2.f.).

  4. Is familiar with documents in the foreign language which are commonly presented to SSA, or if not familiar with them, sample documents will be made available to the candidate (e.g., copies of translations provided by other SSA translators).

  5. Has completed (or will complete before acceptance) training or testing considered appropriate by FO or PC manager, for example:

    • National and/or regional training on evaluation of evidence or foreign-language documents;

    • Peer reviews of the candidate's translation of documents conducted by an authorized SSA translator in the region or in the Translation and Priority Workload Unit (TPWU).

  6. EXCEPTION: If all of the criteria are met except item c. above but the manager believes the candidate has sufficient experience and ability to serve as a translator, the manager may still recommend that the candidate be accepted as an authorized SSA translator. The manager's written recommendation must be supported by convincing rationale.

3. Limited authorization criteria — ceremonial religious records only

  1. An employee may be certified on a limited basis if the above criteria are met and the employee is:

    • willing to volunteer services; and

    • familiar with the ceremonial baptism and marriage records which are issued by churches or temples.

  2. Normal authorization procedures will apply.

B. Procedure - authorization process

The Regional Commissioner (RC) will designate which component within the region should certify field office (FO) and program service center (PSC) translators.

1. FO manager

  1. Complete two copies of Form SSA-1014 (one copy if submitting it electronically) specifying candidate's qualifications:

    • Name of school and period of attendance.

    • Nature of prior translator experience.

    • Native language ability.

  2. Prepare written recommendation per section (GN 00301.345A.2.f.), if necessary.

  3. Certify on Form SSA-1014 that candidate meets selection criteria.

  4. Both FO manager and candidate sign the form. Electronic signatures are acceptable (e.g., /s/ Mary Smith DM).

  5. Forward using mail or email to the RO, “Attn: ARC, Programs” or RC designee, for approval.

2. RO - ARC, programs (or RC designee)

  1. Countersign a copy of SSA-1014 (electronic signatures are acceptable) and return to FO manager via mail or email.

  2. Retain a copy of the SSA-1014 and background material in RO file.

  3. Add approved candidate's name and location to next RO issuance which lists SSA translators for the region. Indicate limited authorization, if appropriate.

3. PC manager

  1. Prepare memo to Director of PC Operations or RC designee that criteria in section (GN 00301.345A.2.) are met, specifying basis for candidate’s knowledge of language. If criteria are not met, explain why the candidate is being recommended.

  2. Certify on form SSA-1014 that candidate meets selection criteria.

  3. Both PC manager and candidate sign the form. Electronic signatures are acceptable (e.g., /s/ Tim Johnson, title).

  4. Forward using mail or email to the RO, Attn: RC, Programs: or RC designee, for approval.

4. Director of PC operations (or RC designee)