GN 00410.001 Processing Claims Affected by a Disaster – General Information
A. Priority processing of claims
In local disaster situations, give priority handling to survivors’ claims. Refer to the definition for local disaster in Disaster Management Procedures GN 00401.001B.1.
In widespread disaster situations, the Regional Office (RO) will provide specific instructions with the claim types you can process. Give priority handling to disaster-annotated cases when they involve payments and actions affecting payments.
B. Identifying cases affected by disaster
The Office of Systems (OS) annotates the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) and Supplemental Security Income Record (SSR) of all cases with addresses in the disaster area, as identified by the affected regions. The disaster area includes all zip codes that are part of the servicing area of a field office (FO) closed due to the disaster and other zip codes of severely affected areas.
1. Title II
The Special Message field on the MBR designates a disaster case. For example, the Special Message field may read “DISASTER PROCEDURES APPLY FOR BIC(S) (followed by the applicable BIC(S))”. Do not delete or replace this special message with another message. You may encounter situations where an MBR was established after the initial Systems identification. In these cases, the appropriate component should establish the special message and listing code post-adjudicative.
2. Title XVI
All Title XVI records of affected claimants, other than terminated records, display a specific case characteristic (CG) code. Do not delete the CG code from the SSR.
FOs may encounter displaced recipients for whom we did not automatically post the specified code to the SSR. FOs may add the code as the first CG field entry for recipients who resided in one of the affected areas if they remain displaced.