TN 9 (07-00)
SI 00870.020 PASS Procedure—Field Offices
A. Procedure — Handling Inquiries About PASS
Provide an overview of PASS to an individual who inquires about PASS or is likely candidate for a PASS per SI 00870.003B.1. Also explain role of the PASS expert to the individual and give the person the expert's toll-free number if the person would like additional information. If the person would like to pursue a PASS, follow the appropriate instructions in SI 00870.004 and SI 00870.005.
B. Procedure — Individual Submits a PASS
Follow the procedures below when an individual submits a PASS request:
Thoroughly review the material submitted. If a SSA-545-BK is received, ensure that it is properly completed (see SI 00870.023 regarding completion of the SSA-545-BK).
Accept any appropriate documentation presented at the time of the interview.
If the individual does not already receive SSI, obtain a full SSI application (the SSA-545-BK is a protective writing). Be sure to advise the PASS expert that an application was taken.
Request any additional documentation you know is needed (e.g., a business plan for a PASS involving a self-employment goal).
Tell the individual that the documentation can be copied and forwarded to the PASS expert by the FO, or that the person can mail it directly to the PASS expert. Give the individual a postage-paid envelope addressed to the servicing site.
Give the individual the toll-free telephone number for the servicing PASS expert(s).
Photocopy the SSA-545-BK (or other written PASS request) and any accompanying PASS material.
You may use Exhibit 2 in SI 00870.100, the FO PASS Transmittal Sheet, to forward the PASS material to the PASS expert. Unless you fax the material to the PASS expert servicing your field office, forward the SSA-545-BK and any accompanying material to the PASS expert on the day it is received or the next working day. If you request additional documentation from the individual, let the PASS expert know what was requested. Keep the photocopy (or the original if faxed) on file for future reference or in case the individual calls at the office regarding the PASS.
C. Procedure — Reconsideration Request
1. Case Review
Forward a request for a reconsideration that involves a case review of a PASS decision, along with any material submitted, to the servicing PASS expert for the individual. Advise the individual that a PASS expert, other than the person who made the initial determination, will review the case.
2. Request for a Conference
If the individual requests an informal conference, ascertain whether a teleconference would be acceptable to the individual. If acceptable, determine the best time and phone number to contact the individual. Forward this information, along with the reconsideration request and any material submitted, to the servicing PASS expert for the individual, using Exhibit 2 in SI 00870.100. Advise the individual that a PASS expert, other than the one who made the initial determination, will be contacting the individual by telephone.
If the individual has pertinent material to submit, the expert may ask the person to bring or mail the material to the servicing FO. If the person comes or mails the material to the FO, fax or mail the material to the expert. (See SI 00870.045 for instructions pertaining to the PASS expert's role.)
If the individual insists that the conference be conducted in person and no PASS expert is available locally, refer the case to the manager of the servicing FO for handling. The manager may delegate the handling of the case to a FO employee at least equal in grade to the employee who made the initial determination. This FO employee:
conducts the conference;
makes the decision;
makes any corresponding changes to the SSR; and
issues the notice to the individual and sends a copy of the notice and any other materials to the PASS expert;
performs all of the above in consultation with the servicing PASS expert.
NOTE: The FO manager may designate a lower-graded employee to assist with these activities, but this employee may not make the decision.