GN 00904.064 Handling Claims and Claims Inquiries in Non-Resident Office
A. Applicant (or one of the applicants) is the principal claimant
When a claim is filed, or inquiry made about filing a claim in person or by telephone at a nonresident office (or one of its contact stations) ask whether it will be more convenient for the person to contact that office rather than the resident office. If the person was merely confused about the location of the DO servicing his/her address and would prefer to contact that office follow GN 00904.064C. If the person prefers to contact the nonresident office, follow D. below. Any administrative advantage a given DO might gain or lose is NOT a factor to be considered in resolving jurisdictional issues. The individual's own preference and convenience are controlling. Do not discourage the person from contacting the nonresident office if he/she so prefers.
B. None of the applicants is the principal claimant
As in A. above, determine which office he/she prefers to contact (e.g., whether he/she prefers to contact a DO other than the one that services his /her address). However, if an auxiliary files a claim in the servicing non-resident DO, the claim should be completely processed as outlined in D. below, UNLESS a primary claim is pending in the resident office. In that case, process as outlined in C. below (see GN 00904.010).
C. Person prefers subsequent contact with resident office
The nonresident office should give all necessary assistance to the claimant so he/she can file a proper claim. Record on an SSA-250 or SSA-562-U3 any developmental action being taken by the nonresident office for the resident office. A duplicate copy of the development record must be maintained in the nonresident office.
Complete the claim as far as possible in the nonresident office. If the claim is developed by telephone, send the application(s) and other material to the claimant using the SSA-L566 or SSA-847-U3 (as appropriate); be sure to include a return envelope bearing the address of the resident office.
The nonresident office should keep sufficient records to permit completion of any action required by them after the file is forwarded to the resident office.
Forward the application and related material to the resident office the same day as received; use the SSA-250 or SSA-562-U3 as a transmittal sheet. Maintain the duplicate SSA-250 or SSA-562-U3 in the nonresident office to control any outstanding developmental actions.
The resident office will request the earnings record if one is required.
If the nonresident office receives proofs or other development materials after the claim is sent to the resident office, it must send the material to the resident office by route slip. It must also annotate its duplicate SSA-250 or SSA-562-U3 record. The nonresident office should inform the resident office that the material is being sent so the resident office does not request the same material.
D. Applicant (or one of the applicants) is the principal claimant and prefers to contact nonresident office
Handle the claim or inquiry to completion as though your office were the resident office. Include in the development documentation (a signed statement or RC) showing the claimant's preference for nonresident office case processing. Handle the case per GN 00904.048 if the claimant has appointed a representative. Tally claims on the district office weekly report for control purposes. Inform the claimant that your office will handle the claim to completion but that, in the future, he/she will be contacted by the office servicing his/her home address.
In preparing the SSA-450C (Claims Input Data) enter in the “ST” block, the State, county, and DO code of the resident office since this item must always agree with the claimant's address.
If the claim is being disallowed or forwarded unadjudicated or conditionally adjudicated, make an entry on the SSA-3428-U2 or SSA-3601. Showing the resident office on these forms in addition to your own office will enable the processing center to route any post-entitlement notices to the resident office.
In disability claims, handle as explained above and, in addition, enter the nonresident office address on the SSA-831-U5. DO NOT show the resident office address on this form.
After preparing a dummy SSA-250 for your files, send the SSA-250 to the resident office immediately explaining under remarks, “Claimant filed with this office. (See GN 00904.064D.)” Identify your office in the top margin on the front of the form. Upon receipt of the SSA-250 the resident office should promptly send any lead forms, proofs, correspondence, etc., to the nonresident office and file the SSA-250 in the 250 file.
If contact with the claimant is needed during development of the claim, the nonresident office should contact the claimant directly. If contact is necessary with other than the claimant in the service area of another office, follow the rules in GN 00904.080 through GN 00904.095. When requesting assistance of the resident office, indicate that the claimant prefers contact with your office per GN 00904.064D.
If before or during the filing of a claim with the resident office, the claimant expresses a preference to contact another office, provide the services in C. above normally provided by the nonresident office. Enter in remarks on the reverse of the SSA-250, “Claimant prefers to contact your office, see GN 00904.064D.” Prepare a dummy SSA-250 for use in the event that future actions are received relating to this claimant.
E. Written lead or inquiries
When received by a nonresident DO, and transmit to the resident office unless the lead or inquiry contains a clear preference to contact the nonresident office. In the latter case, the nonresident office will handle the matter as in C. above. Do not contact the inquirer solely for the purpose of determining his/her preference.