TN 60 (08-18)

GN 00307.540 Evidence from Guyana

A. Introduction to evaluating evidence from Guyana

Vital statistics records from Guyana are not reliable. All civil documents issued by the General Register Office (GRO), including birth and marriage certificates, are hand written and lack modern security features. Following guidance from the Government of Guyana, those documents issued prior to 2010 are particularly vulnerable to fraud.

Civil documents regularly contain errors (e.g., record verification requires a manual search of the approvable ledger at the GRO). Efficient searches require the place and date on which the registration occurred. The approximate date of, and errors on, documents often makes it virtually impossible to validate marital status. Counterfeit documents (birth certificates, in particular) are seen regularly.

B. Policy for accepting evidence from Guyana

We do not accept evidence from Guyana at face value.

C. Procedure for developing evidence from Guyana

1. Obtaining evidence of age for people born in Guyana

If the claimant lives in the United States, develop for convincing evidence of age as explained in GN 00302.115, GN 00302.118, and GN 00302.125.

If the claimant resides outside the United States, develop for other evidence to prove age as explained in GN 00307.150C.2b.

2. Obtaining evidence of other events that occurred in Guyana

Do not ask the claimant to submit further evidence from Guyana. Develop for secondary evidence or other non-Guyanese evidence according to the evidentiary requirements for the type of claim filed. For information on determining what evidence SSA requires, see GN 00301.140. Obtain evidence issued at least five years before the claimant first filed for benefits. If the event occurred less than five years before the claimant first filed for benefits, obtain evidence issued as close to the event date as possible.

3. Verification of evidence from Guyana

Follow these instructions to verify evidence from Guyana

a. When to request verification of evidence from Guyana

Request verification of evidence from Guyana only if:

  1. 1. 

    There is no secondary non-Guyanese evidence; or

  2. 2. 

    We cannot make a decision based on the other evidence; or

  3. 3. 

    The verified Guyanese document would be sufficient to establish:

    1. a. 

      the factor of entitlement or

    2. b. 

      a more advantageous date as explained in GN 00204.040.

b. How to request verification of evidence from Guyana

If any of the situations in GN 00307.540.C.3.a in this section apply, take the following steps:

  1. 1. 

    Scan a clear and complete copy (front and back) of the document into the electronic folder using the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed).For an overview of NDRed, see GN 00301.319 and GN 00301.310.

  2. 2. 

    Access the Electronic 562 and prepare a “Request for Assistance/Certification of Documents or Records” as follows:

    1. a. 

      Request that the Regional Federal Benefits Officer (RFBO) obtain assistance from the Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) or the Foreign Service Post (FSP), if needed.

    2. b. 

      Include a remark that the document is available in the Claims File User Interface (CFUI), see SM 08001.000.

    3. c. 

      Specify that we require a personal examination of the source record. (Examining the source record reveals whether the document is accurate, unaltered, and made at the time stated).

    4. d. 

      Ask the RFBO to have the FBU or the FSP (if needed), obtain a current certification, if the verification shows that the claimant submitted a document that differs materially from the source record.

    5. e. 

      Do not send the SSA-562 directly to the RFBO. Send the form to office code E15 in the International Benefits Office (IBO), the Office of Earnings and International Operations (OEIO), Division of International Operations (DIO). For information on requesting assistance in foreign cases, see GN 00904.220.

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GN 00307.540 - Evidence from Guyana - 08/31/2018
Batch run: 10/17/2018