TN 9 (02-85)

GN 00302.330 Developing Evidence of Age for Holocaust Survivors

A. General Procedure

If a claimant whose alleged DB is discrepant with the evidence presented states that he/she had to change the DB in order to escape persecution by the Nazis during World War II, process the claim according to these instructions.

Step

Procedure 

1

Interview the claimant and obtain an SSA-795 or other signed statement from him/her that explains:

  • Under what circumstances the DB was changed, and

  • How the claimant knows what his/her correct DB is.

NOTE: Conduct the interview with compassion. Some claimants may be reluctant to recall these painful events in detail, or may have suppressed them while recalling other events that occurred at the same time. Inconsistencies in their statements should be examined carefully because they are not necessarily indicative of fraudulent intent.

2

  • Ask for statements from friends or relatives who have knowledge of the claimant's DB.

  • Obtain an SSA-795 or other signed statement from such individuals (preferably in an in-person interview) that explains:

    • Under what circumstances the claimant's DB was changed, and

    • How the person making the statement knows the correct DB.

3

Ask the claimant for evidence of survivor status (see GN 00302.335).

4

Decide whether preferred evidence of age must be requested.

  • If the claimant states that he/she was born in a “Yes” country (see the list in GN 00302.330B.), and that preferred evidence is available, or it is unknown whether preferred evidence is available, then request preferred evidence (see GN 00302.330C. for instructions).

  • If the claimant states that he/she was born in a “Yes” country (see the list in GN 00302.330B.) and that preferred evidence is unavailable, do not request preferred evidence, document the basis for the claimant's knowledge that no record exists, and go to step 5.

  • If the claimant states that he/she was born in a “No” country (see the list in GN 00302.330B.), do not request preferred evidence and go to step 5.

5

Decide whether partial adjudication procedures may be used.

  • If the evidence in file is of sufficient probative value to establish the adopted (misstated) age, and the adopted age would allow entitlement to benefits, and evidence of survivor status and/or preferred evidence is not yet in file, then prepare an amended award based on the adopted DB. Do not list the claim.

  • If the evidence in file is not sufficient to establish the DB or the claimant would not be old enough to be entitled to benefits based on the adopted age, and the claimant has established survivor status, and preferred evidence has been requested from either Romania or Poland, and the claimant has signed a statement that he/she wants the claim to be adjudicated pending receipt of the requested development, then prepare an award based on the claimant’s statement and list the claim under Code 605 (Holocaust procedure – DB based on statement).

NOTE: Experience has shown that Romania and Poland may take over a year to respond to requests for BCs.

6

Was partial adjudication used?

  • If yes, go to step 7.

  • If no, go to step 8 (preferred evidence was obtained), or step 9.

7

If the claim was partially adjudicated under step 5, take the following actions:

  • If, after the claim is partially adjudicated, development proving survivor status is received, THEN

    • Make a determination of survivor status

    • Prepare an amended award based on the claimant's statement, and

    • Do not list the claim.

    If, after the claim is partially adjudicated, preferred evidence is received, THEN

    • Prepare an amended award, if appropriate, based on preferred evidence, and

    • List the claim under Code 604 (Holocaust procedure - preferred evidence obtained).

8

  • Establish the DB based on preferred evidence, if obtained

  • List the claim under Code 604 (Holocaust procedure - preferred evidence obtained)

  • Stop

9

  • Establish the DB based on the claimant's statement if acceptable proof of survivor status is in file and preferred evidence does not exist

  • List the claim under Code 605 (Holocaust procedure - DB based on statement).

B. Availability of Birth Records

Birth records are generally available and will be requested for survivors for births in the countries listed “Yes” in the following list.

Country

Generally Available

Remarks

Albania

No

——

Austria

Yes

——

Belgium

Yes

——

Bulgaria

Yes

U.S. citizens only

Czechoslovakia

Yes

U.S. citizens only

Denmark

Yes

——

Estonia

No

——

Finland

Yes

——

France

Yes

——

Greece

Yes

For men only

Germany, East

Yes

——

Germany, West

Yes

——

Hungary

Yes

U.S. citizens only

Italy

Yes

——

Latvia

No

——

Libya

No

——

Lithuania

No

——

Luxembourg

Yes

——

Netherlands

Yes

——

Norway

Yes

——

Poland

Yes

——

Romania

Yes

——

U.S.S.R.

No

——

Yugoslavia

Yes

Except for the Republics of Macedonia and Montenegro.

C. Requesting BC - Claimant Resides in U.S.

When a BC must be requested for a survivor, use the following procedures.

Step

Action

1

Prepare an SSA-562-U3 (see GN 00904.220) to the Office of International Operations (OIO) to request a BC for the claimant from the country of birth.

2

Identify the request as being made under the Holocaust procedures.

3

Include all identifying information on the request:

  • Claimant's full name at birth (both the English and foreign versions of the name)

  • Full DB (spell out month of birth)

  • Place of birth (if claimant born in a large city, show parent's address or district at time of birth), and

  • Full names of both parents, including mother's maiden name.

NOTE: See GN 312.322 to request a birth record from Poland and GN 00312.328 to request a birth record from Romania. For Romanian requests, state whether the claimant still holds Romanian citizenship or has renounced it. See GN 00307.140 if the claimant was born in Belarus, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan. See entries for individual countries in GN 00307.000 for instructions about requesting birth records from other former Soviet republics.

IMPORTANT: If the SSA-562-U3 does not include the information regarding the full name at birth and the full DB, OIO will return the request to the FO for the information.

If the claimant cannot furnish this information and it cannot be obtained from other sources, assume that the record is unavailable and base the DB on the claimant's statement (if survivor status is proven).

4

Diary the request for 120 days (180 days if USSR record) for follow up with OIO.

5

If a response has not been received within 120 (180) days, then:

  • Send a follow up SSA-562-U3 to OIO, and

  • Diary for an additional 60 days.

D. Requesting BC - Claimant Resides Outside the U.S.

These cases will be handled in much the same manner as those in which the claimant resides within the U.S.

OIO will request the Foreign Service Post (FSP) servicing the area in which the birth record may be located to obtain a certification of the claimant's record.

NOTE: It is assumed that few, if any, of these claimants will be residing in the country of their birth. However, if the claimant is so residing, ask him/her to obtain the birth record.

E. OIO Handling of Requests for Birth Record

Step

OIO Actions

1

Upon receipt of an SSA-562-U3, ask the appropriate FSP to obtain a BC.

2

Show the following information on each request to the FSP:

  • “The cost for securing this document should be charged in accordance with 4 FAM 335.,” and

  • “Holocaust survivor.”

3

Continue normal development procedures until either the certification or negative response is received.

NOTE: Refer to International Program Policy and Totalization Staff, International Policy Staff, Office of Policy (IPPTS, IPS, OP) any case where it appears impossible to get either a birth record recertification or a negative response after 180 days.

4

Forward the certification or negative response to the requesting FO upon receipt.

F. Processing Claims for Survivors Who Were Previously Disallowed for Failure to Establish Retirement Age

When a claimant alleges survivor status and states the prior claim was disallowed due to failure to establish retirement age, the normal rules of administrative finality apply.

Use the following procedure:

Step

Procedure

1

Take a new application if the disallowance cannot be reopened.

2

Request the prior folder.

3

Does the folder show that an unsuccessful attempt was made to obtain preferred evidence?

  • If yes, go to Step 4 and stop.

  • If no, go to Step 5.

4

  • Obtain evidence of survivor status

  • Establish the DB for the new claim based on the claimant's statement

5

Request a BC for the claimant using the procedures in GN 00302.330C. or GN 00302.330D.

6

Establish the DB for the new claim using the procedures in GN 00302.330A.

G. Correction of Age on Previously Allowed Claims

When a Holocaust survivor whose claim was allowed prior to the effective date of this procedure (9/80) asks that his/her DB be reconsidered based on these procedures, the rules of administrative finality apply.

If the initial determination cannot be reopened, the DB may be changed only for prospective benefits, effective with the month in which SSA receives the request or a protective statement.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200302330
GN 00302.330 - Developing Evidence of Age for Holocaust Survivors - 01/28/2011
Batch run: 01/28/2011
Rev:01/28/2011