TN 7 (03-11)
GN 00903.010 Introduction to Information and Referral (I & R) Services
A. Referrals are a part of our service to the public
An essential part of our service to the public is to provide information about the programs and services of other public and voluntary agencies. Many people write, call, or come to the field offices (FO) with problems and questions that are outside the scope of the Social Security program.
Many in the public sector believe there is an interrelationship between Social Security, other government agencies, and local social services agencies since federal funds partially support many State, county, and municipal welfare programs.
Through its network of FOs, Telephone Service Centers (TSCs), and contact stations, SSA frequently provide the only means of direct contact between the public and the Federal Government. In SSA, Information and Referral (I & R) evolved as a natural consequence of the above occurrences and the large quantity of inquiries received in the FOs about non-Social Security services. Although SSA is not mandated to provide I & R services, it is an integral part of our service to the public.
B. Title XVI referrals
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program has heightened the need for I & R skills and resources in every FO. With responsibility for SSI eligibility determinations — including a detailed workup of income and resources for the aged, blind, and disabled — FO employees are in a position to assess the applicant's and recipient's needs and pinpoint the appropriate referral sources for additional assistance. This requires a comprehensive set of I & R files and a staff that is knowledgeable in community resources.