GN 00401.010 Media Notification of a Disaster
Issuing a news release is optional. If the Regional Commissioner (RC) and Regional Communications Director (RCD) determine a news release is appropriate, they should consult with the National Press Office in Central Office (CO).
A. Issuing a news release
1. The release could include:
A summary statement about the probable number of insured claimants affected
A reminder to affected claimants they can contact SSA at 1-800-772-1213, visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov ; or contact their local field office (FO) if they need immediate assistance
2. Do not include in the release:
An estimate of benefit payments;
Information identifying individuals without proper authorization by the affected claimants; or
Information emphasizing the speed of claims processing or suggesting that these claims are receiving priority over other pending claims.
B. Other news releases
To better acquaint other potential claimants and the public with program benefits, it may be desirable to release a story relating to one of the claimants, with written permission, or to the special facilities used to serve claimants. However, those developing such a story must be sensitive to the fact that claimants are likely to be in a state of shock and grief and must complete it in coordination with the RCD and Press Office.
C. Media contacts FO prior to news release
If the media contacts the field office (FO) prior to the agency's formal news release:
The FO manager can release information as indicated in
Media Notification of a Disaster, GN 00401.010A.1.; and
Immediately advise the RCD of the media contact and the information requested.