Only a member of the FO management or designated staff may personally request assistance via telephone contact or electronic mail (e-mail)
with the processing center. It is the responsibility of this staff to assure that
the telephone inquiries or e-mails cannot be better handled through normal procedures
and that the inquiries either meet the critical case definition and are of an emergency
nature or are otherwise supersensitive. Telephone calls or e-mails which are clearly
outside the emergency critical/supersensitive case area are time-consuming and delay
processing of the truly critical cases. See DOORS for the special telephone numbers
which have been set up in each processing center to receive emergency critical/supersensitive
The following situations are examples of when a telephone call or e-mail may be appropriate:
A beneficiary has returned to work but his benefit payments are still being issued
each month. Direct input has not been successful in stopping the payments. The beneficiary
becomes irate about having to return the checks each month and threatens to contact
the media about the problem.
A beneficiary has not received an award notice which is needed to determine the amount
of or eligibility for a private pension or some other payment. Prior contacts with
the processing center via other methods have failed to produce any results.
A claimant for a lump-sum death benefit has not received payment. Regular procedures
have failed to produce a payment and the claimant is upset and in constant contact
with the FO.
Survivor benefits have been suspended (S9 status on the MBR) pending RRB determination
of jurisdiction. The beneficiary seeks assistance from the FO. Although SSA cannot
issue a payment (except as noted in RS 01602.606), the FO should ask the PC to call the RRB and request that the determination be
expedited. (See RS 02803.145A.3.)
Prepare a summary of each telephone call, including an explanation of the emergency
situation which prompted the call, for the critical case file. (If a critical case
referral was previously sent to the PC, interfile the summary of the call with the
other critical case material to prevent duplicate referrals.) If using e-mail, retain
a copy of the sent message electronically on the computer or in paper.
Forward a copy of the e-mail or telephone summary marked CONFIRMATION to the appropriate
processing center. The confirmation copy of the telephone request must be signed by
the individual who made the call. Send an informational copy to the Office of the
Assistant Regional Commissioner. Annotate the case as RIB or DIB, on the informational