TN 23 (09-07)
GN 00301.365 Transmittal of Foreign-Language Documents for Translation
A. Procedure - General
1. Selecting Translator
Use the priority list in GN 00301.330.
2. Multi-lingual Documents
If a document is written in more than one language (none of which is English), have it translated in the language of the country in which it was issued, if this will not unduly delay processing the claim. Follow this selection process when choosing either SSA or non-SSA translators.
B. Procedure - FO Routing Translation Request
Follow the procedure below when routing a translation request.
Prepare a certified photocopy if original document cannot be forwarded for translation.
Make a clear and complete copy of each page including the reverse side if it is not blank.
Detect and annotate on the SSA-533 any alterations to the original document (additions, erasures, etc.).
Use Form SSA-533 (Translation Request) to forward the foreign-language document or a certified photocopy to the translator.
C. Procedure - Completion of SSA-533
Follow the procedure below when completing the SSA-533.
1. Request to Translator in Region
Complete appropriate items in part A. If the document pertains to a person other than the NH, show that person's name as well as the maiden name if the person is a married woman.
NOTE: This information can be of material assistance to the translator in determining what information is required.
Annotate the form “claim pending,” if appropriate, to ensure the request is given priority.
Complete return address and telephone number on the SSA-533. (Failure to show this can result in unnecessary delays or the loss of documents.)
Use a separate form for each document to be translated.
Ask the translating office to prepare a photocopy of the claimant's document if you cannot photocopy it. Indicate if the translator should return the claimant's document.
If the translator is expected to return the claimant's document, forward a label showing the claimant's address to the translating office (if a mailing tube or other reusable mailing package is being used), or forward an envelope addressed to the claimant.
EXCEPTION: If a document is sent to a non-SSA translator, the document will be returned to the requesting office for return to the claimant.
Exercise care to avoid defacing or damaging documents and to assure their safe handling by the use of mailing tubes or other protective devices when indicated, see (GN 00301.265).
2. TPWU Translation Requests
Prepare an SSA-533 form as in GN 00301.365C.1.
Mail to: Social Security Administration
P.O. Box 17769
Baltimore, Maryland 21235-7769
Attention: Translation and Priority Workload Unit
Fax #s: (410) 965-5020 (410) 966-6032 (410) 966-0526
3. Request to Non-SSA Translator
Prepare Form SSA-533 as in GN 00301.365C.1. a. through GN 00301.365C.1.d.
NOTE: Due to privacy considerations do not include claimant’s entire SSN when completing form SSA-533.
Check verbatim translation.
Delete section D of the form, since the non-SSA translator prepares a verbatim rather than an extract translation.
If translating from an original document, complete item C.1.a. on the SSA-533.
If translating from a photocopy, complete C.1.b.
D. Procedure - Facsimile Transmission
Follow the procedure below for facsimile transmission.
Telefax transmission may be used as an option to request the translation of a foreign-language document and to return the completed translation.
Observe SSA's basic evidentiary principle that the claimant must always submit the original of a foreign-language document or a photocopy properly certified by the custodian of the record system to SSA for evaluation.
2. Requesting Office
Evaluate the document submitted by the claimant for alterations (additions, erasures, etc.).
Complete sections A. and B. of the SSA-533 “Translation Request” form.
Telefax all printed faces of the foreign-language document and the face of the SSA-533 form to the translating office.
Photocopy the completed translation when it is printed on thermal paper if it is being used for legal entitlement purposes. (This is necessary because telefax processes differ, and the permanency of the output degrades over a period of time. A photocopy of the telefax will ensure the permanency of paper folder documentation for the entitlement factor.)
Complete sections C. and D. on the reverse side of an SSA-533 form and annotate item C.1.b “telefax translation”.
Telefax the completed translation and SSA-533 cover sheet back to the requesting office.
NOTE: If, for any reason, the translator questions the authenticity of the telefax document, he/she may telephone the requesting office and ask that the original document be provided for evaluation.
E. Procedure - Control and Follow-up
Annotate the SSA-533 with the SSN and keep one copy for control and follow-up purposes.
For requests sent to regional translators, follow-up after 20 days.
For requests sent directly to TPWU, follow-up after 30 days using the following contacts: