TN 32 (07-06)
GN 00307.869 Evidence From Syria
Conditions in Syria prevent the Foreign Service post (FSP) in that country from personally examining the records on which civil and religious documents that are submitted in connection with claims for benefits are purportedly based. There is no direct contact with the custodians of these records.
SSA does not make any assumptions about the reliability of information shown on civil or religious documents from Syria.
SSA evaluates such documents as based on statements, made at the time the document was issued, by the claimant or other interested party(ies).
Some churches in the U.S. issue baptismal certificates that appear to have been issued by a religious authority in Syria and occasionally are dated at or near the date of baptism. The seal on the certificate is often a good indication of the source since it will identify the church in the U.S. Baptismal certificates issued by churches in the U.S. are not acceptable evidence of age for a person born in Syria.
Do not request the claimant to submit evidence from Syria. Develop for other non-Syrian evidence as explained in GN 00307.869C.2. and GN 00307.869C.3.
If the claimant submits evidence from Syria, evaluate it as explained in GN 00307.869B.
2. Evidence of Age
If the claimant lives in the U.S., develop for convincing evidence as explained in GN 00302.115 and GN 00302.118.
If the claimant does not live in the U.S., develop for other evidence as explained in GN 00307.150C.2.
3. Other Evidence
Develop for other non-Syrian evidence. Obtain evidence issued at least 5 years before the claimant first filed for benefits or, if the event occurred less than 5 years before the claimant first filed for benefits, evidence issued near the date of the event.