DI 31005.010 Disability Determination Services (DDS) Procedures for Handling Inquiries from Public Officials Other than United States (U.S) Congress Members
NOTE: Regional procedures for implementing this policy may vary.
A. Responding to requests for general claim information
Inquiries from public officials other than U.S. Congress members, (e.g., State and local officials), about disability claims processing and related issues are generally answered by the office to which the inquiry is addressed. DDS personnel may use the telephone whenever possible to acknowledge receipt of an inquiry, provide an interim status update, or to provide a final reply to Congressional offices accepting or requesting this form of communication.
B. Responding to specific information inquiries
Handle inquiries made on behalf of a claimant and inquiries related to the disclosure of medical information according to the instructions in GN 03300.000.
C. Responding to an inquiry if the claim is in the DDS
The initial response may serve as a final reply in most claims, regardless of the location of any related claims folder. For public officials that accept this form of reply, use the telephone to provide the final reply when practical.
If you need additional information to reply to public official inquiries:
D. Responding to an inquiry if the claim is in another office
Inform the inquirer the DDS forwarded the claim to another office and take the following action(s):
forward the inquiry to the office with jurisdiction of the claim for a response;
advise the inquirer to contact the servicing FO if he or she has further questions about the claim;
for electronic claims, add an alert to the electronic folder according to the instructions in DI 81020.080;
for paper claims, complete an SSA-408 (Route Slip) and annotate with the comment: “Inquiry – Action Needed.”; and
forward a copy of the reply and the inquiry to the office in possession of the claim.
E. Responding to an inquiry if there is no record of a paper claim
If you cannot find a record of a paper claim after a thorough search inform the inquirer you are sending the inquiry to the FO for reply. If you cannot determine the servicing FO:
complete an SSA-408, annotated with the remark: “Please respond to inquiry, no record of a claim in our office”, and
attach the SSA-408 to the inquiry send the inquiry and a copy of the acknowledgement to the parallel FO (in the locality of the DDS) for forwarding to the proper FO.