TN 13 (11-11)
GN 01010.835 Legal Opinions Adopted as SSA Precedent
A. Policy on legal opinions
Legal opinions interpret or clarify a principle of law and are advice given to SSA as to how the laws in question would most likely be interpreted by the courts.
The Office of General Counsel (OGC) prepares legal opinions on questions regarding either federal laws or the laws of foreign countries.
The Office of the Chief Counsel for a respective region (i.e., Regional Chief Counsel or “RCC”) prepares legal opinions, which interpret the laws of the states within its region relating to coverage, initial title II and title XVI entitlement, eligibility and continuing entitlement or eligibility issues.
B. Process for legal opinions
OGC and the RCCs forward by e-mail (as a word attachment) a copy of the legal opinion to the Office of Program Policy Production (OPPP) in Central Office (CO) using the following e-mail address: ^Regional Attorney Opinions.
OPPP forwards each approved legal opinion by e-mail to the substantive policy component (e.g., OISP, ODP, OIP) for review.
The policy component will follow the instructions included in the OPPP-transmitted e-mail message on how to designate an opinion as a precedent when appropriate.
NOTE: Please e-mail to ^Regional Attorney Opinions any new or revised POMS chapter and subchapter entries for POMS Part 15 and 16 opinions.
All opinions approved as legal precedents by policy staff components are placed on Policy Net under POMS Part 15 or 16.