GN 00904.052 Resident Office Guide
The resident office has jurisdiction over all claims filed on the same social security number even though there may be several claimants being served by a number of servicing offices.
In determining resident office it is important to distinguish between domestic and foreign claimants.
A. Domestic Claimants
A domestic claimant is a person who lives in one of the following places:
The 50 states
The Northern Mariana Islands (for the SSI, HI/SMI, Special Age-72 Programs only.)
The resident office is the servicing office of the principal claimant (or eligible individual) or the person filing on behalf of the principle claimant (or eligible individual). Any other DO is a nonresident office.
In monthly benefit cases, the principle claimant is, in the order named:
Number holder, eligible individual
Widow, widower, or eligible spouse
Youngest child for whom a claim will be filed
Parent (father if both parents are filing)
LSDP — No monthly benefits being paid—the principal claimant is:
Widow or widower
Child of NH
If the person who would be principle claimant has not filed an application or is found to be ineligible, the next in line will be the principal claimant. If the ineligible person files an application, he/she will remain the principal claimant until his/her claim is transmitted to the PSC, ODO, etc., in title II claims or is finally adjudicated in Title XVI claims.
If the principal claimant and a person filing on the claimant's behalf (representative payee) are in different service areas, the DO servicing the representative payee's address is the resident office until the principal claimant files a claim.
Where the principal claimant's address is unknown, or where he/she is at a military address not located within the United States, the address of the next claimant in line determines the resident office. If there are no other claimants, the DO first receiving his/her application will assume jurisdiction of the case.
B. Foreign claimants
A foreign claimant is a claimant not listed in A.1. above.
If there is a domestic claimant on the same social security number—the DO servicing the domestic claimant is the resident office even if the foreign claimant is the principal claimant.
If there is NO domestic claimant—see Service Area Directory, Part C, to determine resident office.
Note: For RSDI claims, DIO is resident office for all foreign countries (other than Canada, and the Philippines) when there are no domestic claimants