TN 1 (04-14)

DI 23030.005 Disability Determination Services (DDS) Procedures When There is an Immediate Threat of Suicide or Homicide

An immediate threat exists when a claimant who is onsite or on the telephone, threatens violence (e.g., threatening to harm self or others immediately). Whenever there is an immediate threat, treat the claimant with the utmost sensitivity and understanding. For additional instructions, see DI 39567.380 Exhibit – Suggestions for Dealing with Suicidal Callers.

A. DDS actions when the claim is in the DDS

When a claimant makes an immediate threat of suicide or homicide while the claim is in the DDS, take the following actions:

  • Flag the electronic folder to alert all personnel who handle the claim that there is a potential for violence. (See DI 81020.085 - Certified Electronic Folder (CEF) Flags);

  • Immediately notify the designated DDS authority (e.g., the DDS administrator, or his or her designee);

  • Follow internal DDS procedures for contacting the appropriate community service or law enforcement authorities;

  • Review the folder for evidence of a mental impairment and identify third-party contacts to provide assistance.

NOTE: The Privacy Act permits disclosure of information to appropriate third parties and the local hot-line facility in circumstances affecting the immediate health and safety of an individual. If there are any questions concerning the disclosure, consult with SSA’s regional Privacy Act Coordinator for further guidance. For additional instructions, also see GN 03316.135 - “Disclosures Without Consent in Health and Safety Situations.”

  • Document all actions taken on Form SSA-5002 (Report of Contact); and

  • Add Form SSA-5002 to the electronic folder (see DI 81020.105) or paper folder;

  • Refer the case to the designated DDS authority to ensure DDS made the appropriate contacts, adequately considered the potential suicide or homicide issues in the DDS determination, and completed the Automated Incident Reporting System (AIRS) report.

B. DDS actions when the claim is no longer in the DDS

When a claimant makes an immediate threat of suicide or homicide and the claim is no longer in the DDS, take the following actions:

  • Immediately notify the designated DDS authority;

  • Follow internal DDS procedures for contacting the appropriate community service or law enforcement authorities;

  • Determine the folder location, immediately notify the office by telephone, and inform the component of the details;

  • For electronic folders - add a message in eView documenting all DDS actions according to the instructions in DI 81020.090 – Certified Electronic Folder (CEF) Messages and DI 81020.080 – Certified Electronic Folder (CEF) Alerts. (The office with jurisdiction of the CEF will receive an eView alert that DDS added a message to the electronic folder);

  • For paper folders - document all actions the DDS took on Form SSA-5002 and add Form SSA-5002 to the paper folder;

  • Refer the case to the designated DDS authority to ensure the DDS made the appropriate contacts, if applicable, adequately considered the issue of potential suicide or homicide in the determination, and completed the AIRS report for reportable incidents, according to the instructions in AIMS GAM 10.05.00.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0423030005
DI 23030.005 - Disability Determination Services (DDS) Procedures When There is an Immediate Threat of Suicide or Homicide - 10/04/2016
Batch run: 10/04/2016
Rev:10/04/2016