TN 29 (02-03)
GN 00502.138 Evidence of Neglect or Abuse Discovered During Initial Interview or Payee Investigation
In the course of the initial interview or followup contact (i.e., payee investigation), FO staff may come across cases in which a child or other vulnerable person may be the victim of abuse or neglect. For example, staff may observe a child with unexplained serious bruises or other injuries, or witness a physical attack on a child.
Certain State agencies are responsible under title XX for preventing or remedying neglect or abuse of children and adults who are unable to protect their own interests.
There may be instances where it seems necessary to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities. However, a report of possible abuse is a very sensitive matter. Refer to the following procedures if you become aware of a potential abuse situation.
Refer to GN 03314.120 for procedure pertaining to reporting abuse situations via the RO to the appropriate State Agency. In case of doubt, report the situation. (The State Agency can then decide whether to pursue the matter.)
If you believe the life of the potentially abused person is in imminent danger, you may also refer the matter as an issue of health and safety to a law enforcement agency. (See GN 03316.135 for procedure pertaining to such referrals and the Privacy Act requirements for health and safety disclosure and notification.)
In disability claims, check the DDS file to determine whether DDS had made a report of abuse to avoid making a duplicate report. Alert the DDS whenever you report abuse to avoid duplicative reporting by the DDS. Document the file accordingly and enter the following remark on the EDCS transfer details screen for MCS/MSSICS cases, or in item 34 of the SSA-831-U5, item 24 of the SSA-832/833: