TN 64 (07-23)

GN 01010.410 Failure to Submit Essential Evidence

A. Failure to submit essential evidence

It is the claimant’s responsibility to submit evidence to establish eligibility and entitlement for benefits. Some claimants may need assistance obtaining evidence; for instructions on how to provide assistance, refer to GN 00301.180. Prior to disallowing or denying the claim, make every reasonable effort to assist the claimant to obtain the necessary evidence.

B. Special considerations

1. Identity discrepancies

The purpose of identifying the claimant is to establish that they are the person alleged. The SSN card by itself is not sufficient evidence to establish the applicant’s identity, see GN 00203.020.

2. Evidence of age

Always make reasonable efforts to resolve material discrepancies. You must consider the proof of age tolerance policy before disallowing the claim. For additional information, see GN 00302.030. See also GN 00203.030 to resolve date of birth discrepancies in Title II claims.

3. Evidence of relationship

Marital and child relationship requirements often involve complex issues. Always consider State and Federal law prior to disallowing the claim. For more instructions, see GN 00305.005 and GN 00306.001.

4. Independently entitled divorced spouse (IEDS)

Unique issues arise with independently entitled divorced spouse claims since the number holder (NH) is eligible but has not filed for benefits. For development when attempting to obtain proofs from the non-filing NH, see RS 00202.100.

5. Failure to cooperate versus unavailability of evidence

You must distinguish between the uncooperative claimant who fails to submit available evidence and the cooperative claimant who submitted all available evidence but such evidence has very low probative value.

a. Failure to cooperate

If the claimant does not cooperate, document the file and process a disallowance or denial.

b. Unavailability of evidence

If the cooperative claimant cannot furnish any evidence of high probative value because it is not obtainable, make a determination based on the evidence submitted and award or disallow benefits accordingly.

C. Claims processing

Always provide the claimant with a complete written list of required evidence at the time of the initial interview. Make sure to add a pending issue in the claim development worksheet (DW01/DW02) in Modernized Claims System (MCS) to indicate the type of evidence requested and a tickle date. If after a reasonable time (e.g., 15 days), the claimant does not provide the evidence, follow the instructions in GN 01010.410C.2. in this section.

NOTE: To determine whether a “reasonable time” has passed to receive evidence from the claimant, we should consider the type of evidence requested and other important factors such as where the evidence is coming from (e.g., requests to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and requests for foreign documents often take longer to receive). Take into consideration the types of documents requested and from where they are requested when determining if we should extend the deadline for receipt of evidence. Do not deny the claim if the claimant needs additional time and we determine they are actively trying to obtain applicable evidence.

1. Initial request

  • For in-office or teleclaim interviews, an initial request constitutes the initial “written” request (e.g., attestation cover notice with proof request) provided to the claimant after their initial claim interview. Tell the applicant that we may have to deny the claim if we do not receive the requested evidence within 30 days from the date of the interview.

  • Internet applications (iClaim)--For Internet applications (first-party applicants using iClaim), the iClaim utility determines what proofs are necessary during the claims taking process and checks to see if the proof already exists in our records. If we need proofs, iClaim generates a list of only the documents required and displays them on the Evidence and Receipt screen and propagates the issue(s) to the DW01 screen. The evidence issue(s) propagated to the DW01 mirror the issue(s) seen by the applicant on the Evidence and Receipt screen. The Disability Report (SSA-3368) and Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration (SSA-827) are not displayed on the Evidence and Receipt screen. Only certain first-party iClaim users are permitted to access the electronic authorization (eAuth) utility to submit an SSA-827 in iClaim. For users who are permitted access to eAuth, the on-screen request in iClaim for the SSA-827 constitutes the initial request for the SSA-827. See the note below for what to do with Disability iClaims missing the SSA-3368 or the SSA-827.

  • If a third-party files the Internet claim, we include the list of documents required with the paper Internet Application Summary mailed to the claimant for review and signature.

  • If we do not receive the information or evidence after 15 days, send a final request notice explaining that we will deny the claim 30 days from the date of the original request, as discussed in GN 01010.410C.2. in this section.

    IMPORTANT: The 30-day period shown on the final request notice starts with the date of the initial written request

NOTE: If you later determine that you need an additional piece of evidence that was not included in the original request (e.g., the SSA-3368 or SSA-827), mail a separate “initial request” (e.g., SSA-L1043, Social Security Request for Information) for the specific item and provide additional time for the claimant to respond.

2. Final request letter

If the claimant does not respond to the initial request, or indicates a lack of interest or unwillingness to cooperate, send an SSA-L1045-U2 (Letter Requesting Proof from Claimant) explaining that we will deny the claim 30 days from the date of the original request.

Be sure to include the following information in the notice:

  • The specific items we need as evidence.

  • A statement advising the claimant to contact the field office (FO) if they have not received the evidence and need more time.

  • A statement informing the claimant that we will disallow or deny the application if we do not receive a response by the date indicated on the letter (i.e. 30 days from the original written request).

3. Documenting the claim file

You must document all contacts with the claimant via a Report of Contact (RPOC) in the MCS to include follow-up dates and the outcome of the contact. Document the development worksheets (DW03) in MCS to describe your efforts to obtain the required evidence and indicate if the claimant requested assistance. For information on identifying claimants who may need assistance, see GN 00301.180.

Prepare a special determination via an RPOC describing what the claimant said or did that led to the conclusion to disallow the claim. You must also document if the claimant did not make a reasonable effort to furnish the necessary evidence.

4. Denial of the claim for failure to provide essential evidence

You must deny the claim if the claimant does not present the evidence needed for entitlement, and:

  • the claimant received assistance to the fullest extent possible in accordance with GN 00301.180; and

  • the claimant has not responded to the final request letter discussed in GN 01010.410C.2. in this section; or

  • the claimant clearly indicated a lack of interest or failure to cooperate; or

  • we cannot locate the claimant.

Use the factor of entitlement not established as the reason for the disallowance or denial even when the claimant fails to pursue the claim. To include information in a disallowance or denial notice due to failure to submit essential evidence, see NL 00601.020E.2.

If you cannot locate the claimant, send the notice to the claimant's last known address.

REMINDER: The lawful presence and citizenship requirements are factors affecting payment of benefits, but they are NOT factors of entitlement, see RS 00204.010B.1.

5. New evidence after disallowance or denial of the claim

If the claimant presents new evidence to establish eligibility or entitlement and it is within the reconsideration period, treat the new evidence as a reconsideration request, and fax it to the paperless unit of the processing center (PC) of jurisdiction for non-disability claims.

For component responsibility, see GN 03102.175.

For disability claims, please refer to DI 81010.145.

If the claimant provides the new evidence to establish eligibility or entitlement but is not within the reconsideration period, consider reopening the claim if appropriate.

To determine when not to reopen correct determinations, see GN 04001.070. To consider reopening under new and material evidence, see GN 04010.030.

6. Additional development and PC requests

In some situations, if the PC discovers issues that were clearly overlooked or erroneously applied, the PC can request further development of the issues. The FO must document all the development done to avoid additional PC requests. The PC should not question the FO's judgment on the amount of help a claimant needs. A claimant’s ability to pursue a claim and the degree of help they need is largely a matter of judgment. The FO adjudicator is usually in the best position to make this judgment.

NOTE: For claims involving identity requirements, refer to GN 00203.020. If we denied the application for lack of identity evidence, refer to Claim Denials in GN 01010.400.

D. Failure to submit evidence chart


T2 Initial Claims Disposition Process – Failure to Submit Essential Evidence


At the initial interview, if needed, we provide a notice and request that the claimant return the information or evidence to us within 30-days.

The initial notice provides for a 15-day return period to indicate the sense of urgency.

We will deny the claim at 30 days.


If we do not receive the information or evidence within 15 days, we send a final request notice explaining that we will deny the claim 30 days from the date of the original request.


If after 30 days, we do not receive the requested information or evidence, we make a determination on the initial claim. Technically deny the initial claim the day after the 30th day.

E. References

  • DI 11018.005, Field Office Responsibilities in a Failure to Cooperate-Insufficient Evidence Decision (FTC)

  • GN 00301.180, Identifying Claimants Who May Need Assistance

  • GN 00301.225, Follow up and Closeout Precautions

  • GN 00305.005, Determining Marital Status

  • GN 00306.001, Determining Status as Child

  • GN 01010.360, Special Determinations for Claims Adjudication

  • GN 03102.175, Component Responsibility in the Reconsideration Process

  • GN 04010.030, Reopenings – New and Material Evidence

  • GN 04001.070, Do Not Reopen Correct Determinations – Operating Policy

  • RS 00202.100, Independently Entitled Divorce Spouse

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GN 01010.410 - Failure to Submit Essential Evidence - 07/26/2023
Batch run: 07/26/2023