TN 13 (11-11)
GN 01010.805 Precedents of Fact
A. Policy on developing a precedent of fact
The Field Office (FO) usually develops precedents of fact by requesting a specific employer or organization to furnish documentation to substantiate an issue. Precedents of fact are maintained in FOs, Regional Offices (RO) or Processing Centers (PC). They may be cited in handling identical issues on future claims.
B. Procedure for developing precedents of fact
1. FO Does not have a precedent
If the FO does not have a precedent opinion, contact the applicable Assistant Regional Commissioner (ARC), Management, Operations and Support (MOS), the PC or, if appropriate, a parallel FO to determine if a prior similar issue has been developed and a determination made (see GN 01070.100 or GN 01070.105, for instructions contacting the ARC or MOS).
If a precedent is located, request a copy and reference it in the claims file as described in GN 01010.805b2.
If a precedent is not located:
Develop the issue;
If necessary, request policy guidance from the affected ARC, MOS or PC;
Prepare the formal special determination; and
Document the claims file as described in GN 01010.805b2
2. FO has a precedent
You must document all claims that refer to a Precedent of Fact. Whenever possible, use the title II report of contact (RPOC) screen to document development. However, if RPOC is not an option, prepare a paper Special Determination SSA-553 and store it in the Non Disability Repository (NDR) or electronic disability (DIB) folder (eDIB) as per GN 00301.322. The determination must include:
The claimant's name and social security number (SSN) of the precedent case;
The component to which it was sent; and
The issue or facts in the current case, which relates to the precedent case.
3. Privacy of the precedent of fact
Precedents of fact are referenced by the name and SSN of the claimant involved in the determination. If a claimant or representative requests review of his or her claim folder containing a precedent of fact from another SSN, the name, SSN and any other personal identifying information within the precedent must be deleted. This is necessary in order to protect the privacy of the individual(s) involved.