PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEMPart GN – GeneralChapter 003 – EvidenceSubchapter 07 – Foreign EvidenceTransmittal No. 63, 01/25/2019
This is a Quick Action Transmittal. We are requesting this change to correct an error. This correction does not change or introduce new policy or procedure.
Summary of Changes
GN 00307.585 Evidence from Jamaica
In section C 1, first bullet- In the title for the link to GN 00302.115, change the word "Second" to "First".
Evidence from Jamaica is not reliable except for marriage certificates. The Jamaican Fraud Prevention Unit in Kingston encounters counterfeit, forged, or altered documents on a regular basis. Many of these documents support the issuance of passport or visa applications. There have been no reports regarding Jamaican fraudulent or forged marriage certificates therefore they are acceptable as preferred evidence. Ensure that the marriage certificate bears the seal of the Jamaican Registrar General, and appears to be genuine.
For information on evaluating the validity of documents and records, see GN 00301.050.
Fraud is prevalent in cases of birth certificates issued more than a few years after the birth of the child and in cases of adults with birth certificates recently issued. Birth certificates are easy to amend in any way the applicant wants. The Jamaican civil registry (Registrar General’s Department) has replaced hand written certificates with computerized records printed on security paper. This process improves the identification and authentication of original documents. In January 2007, implementation of a new bedside registration process provided more timely birth registrations. However, unreliable paternity information continues to make birth records, and consequently passports, vulnerable.
We do not accept evidence from Jamaica at face value, except for marriage certificates that bear the seal of the Jamaican Registrar General, and appears to be genuine.
If the claimant lives in the United States, develop for convincing evidence of age as explained in
GN 00302.115 First Priority Automatically Convincing Evidence of Age
GN 00302.118 Second Priority Automatically Convincing Evidence of Age
GN 00302.125 Combination of Documents Which Eliminate the Need for Further Development — Age
If the claimant resides outside the United States, develop for other proof of age evidence as explained in GN 00307.150C.2.
Do not ask the claimant to submit evidence from Jamaica.
Develop for secondary non-Jamaican evidence or other non-Jamaican evidence.
Obtain evidence issued at least five years before the claimant first filed for benefits. If the event occurred less than five years before the claimant first filed for benefits, obtain evidence issued as close to the event date as possible.
Follow these instructions to verify evidence from Jamaica:
Request verification of evidence from Jamaica only if:
Secondary non-Jamaican evidence does not exist; or
We cannot make a decision based on the other evidence; or
The verified Jamaican document would be sufficient to establish:
the factor of entitlement, or
a more advantageous date as explained in GN 00204.040.
If any of the situations in GN 00307.585C.3.a., in this section apply, take the following steps:
Scan a clear and complete copy (front and back) of the document into the electronic folder using the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (ND Red). For an overview of NDRed, see
GN 00301.319 The Purpose of Non Disability Repository Application (NDRed)
GN 00301.310 The Non Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed) Application—Overview
Access the Electronic 562 and prepare a “Request for Assistance/Certification of Documents or Records” as follows:
Request that the Regional Federal Benefits Officer (RFBO) obtain assistance from the Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) or the Foreign Service Post (FSP), if needed.
Include a remark that the document is available in the Claims File User Interface (CFUI), see SM 08001.000.
Specify in the request that we require a personal examination of the source record. (Examining the source record reveals whether the document is accurate, unaltered, and made at the time stated).
Ask the RFBO to have the FBU or the FSP (if needed), obtain a current certification, if the verification shows that the claimant submitted a document that differs materially from the source record.
Do not send the SSA-562 directly to the RFBO. Send the form to office code E15 in the International Benefits Office (IBO), the Office of Earnings and International Operations (OEIO), Division of International Operations (DIO). For information on requesting assistance in foreign cases, see GN 00904.220.