The following are explanations of selected terms used in GN
UNTIL the paper claims file is destroyed.
With few exceptions, SSA has established guidelines for the destruction of paper claims
folders. The exceptions, which require longer retention periods, include foreign claims,
claims with outstanding overpayments, fraud issues and pending appeals.
However, the established timeframes are subject to change in support of the Agency's
paperless initiative, and as a means to resolving the mounting paper storage problems.
Therefore, instead of providing a specified time period, documents that SSA has determined
will be retained for the maximum time possible have been designated, “UNTIL the paper claims file is destroyed” or, for SSI postentitlement purposes,“UNTIL the paper claim or postentitlement file is destroyed”.
NOTE: The Agency is actively pursuing authorization to reduce the retention period for many
forms in this category. When authorization is received, an updated transmittal will
Destroy 120, 60 or 30 DAYS after receipt and verification of systems acceptance.
For documents retained through the appeal period, a 120 DAY timeframe is being established.
In the majority of cases, 120 days should allow ample time for the actual appeal or
protest period plus mailing time and most good cause reasons for late filing. Material
retained for 120 days or less should not be placed in the claims folder. Instead,
a holding file should be created. Unless a timely appeal or protest is filed, the
material should be destroyed after 120 days.
A Commissioner's decision established a 60 DAY retention period for paperless lump sum death payment only claims. See RS 00210.050 for the criteria for processing these claims.
Direct input forms are usually held outside the folder for a short verification period
(e.g., 30 days) and then destroyed. They are only kept long enough to ensure that
the action was correctly processed to the appropriate data base. If a processing exception
occurs, the data is available for review and re-input. This category has not been
Do NOT retain.
These forms will be retained only long enough to complete the action for which it