GN 00904.084 FO Contact with Individuals Living Outside FO Service Area
The servicing FO may, in certain instances, contact individuals living outside the FO service area by telephone or mail. This applies only to contacts within regional boundaries. Contacts outside regional boundaries are to be made only as already provided in specific instructions unless expanded by regional offices arranging reciprocal agreements permitting direct contacts across regional boundaries.
Contacts outside the service area are restricted to individuals; present restrictions on contacts with organizations and institutions such as employers, hospital, school, funeral directors, etc., are not affected. Direct contact with these groups is already permitted in many situations, e.g., employer contacts for Forms SSA-7011 or SSA-L725 (see OS 15010.347 for the form SSA-L725), etc.
The decision to make a direct contact must be made on the merits of each case individually; such factors as the type and amount of information needed should be considered. Authority for direct contact with claimant's representatives is discussed in GN 00904.048.
Experience has shown that information which is readily obtainable by direct contact includes items that can be recorded on a Report of Contact. Short statements, forms, or applications that can be explained or completed by phone and mailed for signature, and material available to the individual that can be mailed directly to the FO are also suitable items to be handled by direct contact.
Elaborate discrepancies, complex applications, previous attempts at direct contact, matters involving potential fraud, or any other situations that should be handled face to face, should not be considered for direct contact. If the situation could be handled by telephone or letter in your own service area, it can be handled in this manner under these procedures.
D. Subsequent SSA-562-U3
If the attempt at direct contact fails and an SSA-562-U3 is sent to the servicing FO, provide a description of the previous efforts on the SSA-562-U3.