TN 13 (11-11)
GN 01010.120 Common Partial Adjudication Situations
A. Definition of partial adjudication
Partial adjudication is a method of awarding benefits to a claimant before all development is complete. It constitutes an initial determination for all issues except those still being developed. The following list shows the most common partial adjudication situations. For policy and procedure information, see GN 01010.100.
B. Examples of partial adjudication
1. Child relationship issues
A child may be entitled as a stepchild, but could be entitled in an earlier month if there is a possibility that such child is the NH's biological child (i.e. the parents married after the child was born). In this situation, partially adjudicate the child's claim as a stepchild while developing evidence to establish whether the child is the NH's biological child.
2. Earnings issues
If earnings are in question, develop as needed as per RS 01404.005. If insured status exists, partially adjudicate using unquestioned amounts.
If the annual earnings test (AET), foreign work test, or non-citizen (alien) nonpayment provisions are involved, pay benefits only for months not in question (e.g., non-service months in the year that the monthly earnings test applies) while completing development.
3. Unresolved railroad (RR) earnings
You can partially adjudicate a claim based on SSA earnings alone pending resolution of issues involving RR compensation (e.g., creditability of Military Service (MS) under RR, lag RR employment, prior service). However, the NH must be insured based on posted SSA earnings in addition to undisputed lag earnings alone. Process a survivor claim as non-DOFA (RV-19) if the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) advises that the jurisdiction determination will be excessively delayed.
A determination of jurisdiction is only necessary for survivor claims and only when the NH had RR earnings. The RRB makes the determination about which organization (RRB or SSA) has adjudicative authority over the claim. See RS 01601.150 for more information about the Lump Sum Death Payment under the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA).
Payment certification, determination is always necessary on a life claim (see RS 01601.200 - RS 01601.210).
4. Potential open applications
If there appears to be an open application and you cannot support the protective filing date through available SSA records, process the current application as a partial award and advise the processing center (PC) to determine if an open application issue exists and to resolve it post-adjudicatively as an amended award.
See GN 00204.025 through GN 00204.027 for assumptions and notice considerations for when an open application does not apply. See GN 01070.222 through GN 01070.225 for when the prior file has been lost or destroyed or is not readily available.