TN 37 (04-12)

GN 00301.360 Retention of Foreign Language Documents

A. Policy on retaining foreign documents

Retain all foreign language documents until the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a full translation of the documents. Always retain and give all documents that contain alterations or that are questionable to the translator. The translator will have an opportunity to evaluate the document and alterations. Also, develop any fraud aspects that may arise in such cases.

B. Procedure when claimant refuses to release document

1. Claimant refuses to release document

If a claimant refuses to release a document, prepare a certified photocopy of the document.

NOTE: If the document will not photocopy, the claimant must submit other evidence. Prepare a Report of Contact (RC) to explain that the document is not acceptable as evidence because we are unable to photocopy the document.

2. Claimant releases document for translation

  • Take particular care to include all pertinent information in the translation, including complete identification of the issuing agency and the person who signed the document.

  • If the claimant releases a document for translation, but the document will not photocopy and the claimant resides in the U.S., complete SSA-533 Translation Request item “B.” See Form SSA-533 Translation Request. You must complete item “B” to designate the reason the original document or certified photocopy of the document cannot be sent, or prepare an RC explaining the absence of a photocopy in the claims file.

    NOTE: The signature line in item B of Form SSA-533 pertains only to item B and must have the signature of the claims representative or the person who decided to forward the translation without the original document or a certified photocopy of it.

  • If the document will not photocopy and the claimant resides outside the U.S., complete a Form SSA-4385 Certification of Court Records or Form SSA-704-F3 Certification of Contents of Document(s) or Record(s).

3. Labeling documents

To reduce the possibility of lost documents you must mark all foreign-language documents (original and photocopies) with the number holder's name and Social Security number (SSN) (lightly in pencil on the reverse side) immediately upon submission to SSA.

C. References

  • GN 00301.050 Evaluating the Validity of Documents and Records

  • GN 00301.410 Translations- Identifying Alterations and Corrections

  • OS 15010.165 SSA-533, Translation Request


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200301360
GN 00301.360 - Retention of Foreign Language Documents - 04/24/2012
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