TN 13 (11-11)
GN 01010.830 Instructions for All Components Upon Receipt of the Legal Opinion
A. Policy on legal opinion receipt
Any pending claim waiting for the legal opinion should be clear upon its receipt. However, the legal opinion cannot be considered an SSA precedent for other claims until Central Office (CO) approves it and Policy Net is updated.
B. Procedure for receipt of legal opinion
1. Assistant Regional Commissioner, Management (ARC) and Operations and Support (MOS)
Reply directly to the component maintaining the claim file.
If, in answer to a submittal, the Regional Chief Counsel (RCC) relies on an earlier opinion, which is not on Policy Net, submit the earlier opinion to the appropriate policy component for consideration as a precedent.
Do not rewrite the RCC’s opinion summary. If you believe that the summary does not fully explain the opinion, contact the RCC and ask for a revised summary.
2. Processing Center (PC) and Field Office (FO)
Include the summary of the approved legal opinion in the claim file (paper or electronic file) in which the issue raised and process the outstanding action accordingly.
Process any other claims which were held pending receipt of the legal opinion and include a copy of the opinion in the claims file.
Document the claim with the basis for the adjudicative action to include any prior opinion involving a different Number Holder (NH) record.
NOTE: Remember to block or delete any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) (from prior opinions involving a different social security number (SSN)) before filing it in the claims folder.