GN 00302.420 Content of DB Determination
A. Policy: Forms to use
A DB determination can be on an RC, SSA-553 (see GN01010.310ff), or the SSA-2038-F3 which was specifically designed for this purpose.
B. Policy: Show rationale
The determination must be complete enough to demonstrate the adjudicator's reasoning process in showing the weight given to various pieces of evidence and to explain why the evidence is considered sufficient to establish the claimant's DB.
This determination must clearly justify the decision that the evidence in file establishes the DB. All factors that influenced the adjudicator in the decision must be reflected in file and might include:
What efforts were made to get evidence of higher probative value
Statements from the claimant indicating that he/she lacks information needed to obtain some other record which might be available, and
Other pertinent information relating to the evidence included or not obtained.
Presenting this picture of the evidence development is especially important in those cases in which the adjudicator would be dissatisfied with basing his/ her decision on the evidence in file if evidence of higher probative value were available.
If the adjudicator believes the evidence in file is of sufficiently high probative value to establish the DB without pursuing further evidence which may be available, the determination must show the reason for this decision.