TN 27 (04-15)

RS 01702.450 Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Use of Common Proofs

Upon request by either agency, the law requires SSA and the VA to share proofs survivors submit when filing claims for Title II or VA benefits. Sharing proofs relieves the claimant of the expense and trouble of submitting the same proofs to both agencies.

A. Requesting proofs from the VA

A claimant has the option of furnishing us with the needed proofs or asking us to use the proofs he or she previously submitted to the VA. Explain to the claimant that requesting proofs from the VA may slow our adjudication and may delay his or her payment.

When the claimant wants us to request the proofs from the VA or has already asked the VA to send us the proofs, take one of the following actions.

1. SSA-24 received

Send a letter to the VA regional office that transmitted the SSA-24 (Application for Survivors Benefits (Payable Under Title II of the Social Security Act)) requesting the needed proofs. In the letter, include the veteran's name and the survivor benefit (XC) number, as shown on the SSA-24.

If you do not receive the proofs from the VA within 10 business days from the date of your letter to the VA, request the proofs from the claimant.

2. SSA-24 not received

Attach your request for the proofs to a completed VA Form 21-4182 (Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or Death Pension (Including Accrued Benefits and Death Compensation Where Applicable) from the Department of Veterans Affairs) and mail it to the appropriate VA regional office. For information on completing the VA form 21-4182, see RS 01702.442.

If you do not receive the proofs from the VA within 10 business days from the date of your letter to the VA, request the proofs from the claimant.

3. Claimant asked the VA to send us proofs

Upon request from the claimant, the VA should forward certified proofs to the parallel field office (FO). Based on the claimant's name and address, the parallel FO transmits the proofs to the servicing FO.

Determine the date the claimant filed with the VA and ask the claimant if he or she specifically requested the VA to forward the proofs to us. If you do not receive the proofs from VA within 10 business days of the claimant’s request, send a letter to VA:

  • requesting the needed proofs; and

  • explaining that the claimant requested the VA to send the proofs, but we have not received them.

If you still have not received the proofs from the VA within 10 business days from the date of your letter to the VA, request the proofs from the claimant.

B. Evaluating proofs the VA provides

Evaluate proofs the VA provides as though the claimant had submitted the proofs directly to us. For instructions on accepting evidence as proof of an entitlement factor, see GN 00301.015. For more information on accepting proofs from other government agencies, see GN 00301.035.

C. Processing the VA’s request for proofs

Upon receipt of a completed VA Form 21-4182, the VA may request that we share proofs we obtained with the Title II survivor claim. Provide any requested proofs currently available by:

  • printing a copy from the Claims File Records Management System (CFRMS) following instructions in SM 08001.005;

  • preparing an SSA-704-F3 following instructions in GN 00301.115;

  • making a true and exact copy following instructions in GN 00301.030B.5.; or

  • photocopying the proofs following instructions in GN 00301.095.

Send the SSA-704-F3 , copies, or photocopies to the requesting VA office by letter. Include in the letter to the VA:

  • the veteran's name;

  • the survivor’s benefit (XC) number, if furnished by the VA. Also include the XC number on any copies; and

  • a list of the requested proofs that are not available.

Send the V