TN 26 (11-99)
GN 00307.952 Developing Evidence of Age From a Former Republic of Yugoslavia
Although local conditions may prevent the U.S. Foreign Service post (FSP) in Croatia (which also handles claims-related matters in Slovenia) from traveling and performing services for SSA, the degree to which these functions are hampered varies from time-to-time depending on the areas involved.
There is no general prohibition on requesting documents from Croatia and Slovenia or assistance from the FSP. However, caution must be taken to ensure that any development requested from the FSP is necessary.
If the FSP is unable to assist SSA, it or the Office of International Operations will so advise the requesting office.
Ask the claimant to submit a civil birth record.
Evaluate it as explained in GN 00307.950B.
Ask the FSP (as explained in GN 00904.220) to contact the civil authorities and determine the date and basis on which the record was established if there is a question about the recordation date of a civil record.
Generally, do not ask a claimant living outside Croatia or Slovenia to get a religious record since religious authorities do not respond promptly to requests from abroad.
Refer to the, Office of International Programs (by Form OF-41, Routing and Transmittal Slip, or similar form) any case in which the FSP is unable to assist and its assistance/information is material to the decision in that claim. Explain fully the issue involved.
The FSP contacts the civil authorities and documents the response with either a letter from the authorities or a report of the contact.
1. The Birth Record Was Based on a Civil Record Made at or near the DB
The FSP takes no further action.
2. The Birth Record Was Established in the 1940s Based on a Religious Record
The FSP takes no further action. The actual recordation date is not secured unless there is other evidence which disagrees materially and the claimant insists the other evidence shows the correct DB.
3. The Birth Record Was Established After the Initial Compilation of Civil Records in That Area and Was Based on a Religious Record
The FSP determines why the entry was made after the initial compilation. Any further action depends on this response. For example, if the authorities state the claimant was not in the list sent initially by the religious authorities, the FSP determines when the religious record was made.
4. The Birth Record Was Based on Other Evidence
The FSP determines the nature of the evidence and includes this information in the report to the requesting office. If it cannot get a copy of the evidence, this information will also be included in the response.
If the claimant lives in the FSP's service area and states there is a baptismal record made before age 5, the FSP asks him/her to get either a baptismal certificate or a statement from the religious authorities that none can be issued.
If the church will not issue either, the FSP gets a statement from the claimant showing he/she tried to get a religious record and why one was refused.