Identification Number:
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs
Originating Office:DCO OPSOS
Title:New Repository for Recording Tribal Income and Resource Exclusions within a Precedent and Release of Native American Precedent and Resource Center
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title XVI (SSI)
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM.
Retention Date: 09/01/2023

A. Purpose

The purpose of this Emergency Message (EM) is to notify technicians of the Native American Precedent and Resource Center (NAPR). NAPR will replace the Native American Precedent Application (NAPA) as a repository for storing tribal benefit precedents. In addition, NAPR will house resources and decision trees technicians can utilize to determine whether a precedent should be established, and how to count various tribal income and resource programs. Over the course of the next few months, informational videos and training will be provided. In addition, the NAPR contains guidance on how to navigate the site. The tools within NAPR can assist field office personnel on how to properly document and develop the income and resources received by Native American Tribal members within his or her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) case file.

B. Background

Based on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) efforts in developing relationships with tribes throughout the country, we have been able to obtain first-hand feedback on issues that affect tribal members who receive SSI. It is important that we accurately process a tribal member’s application or case, ensuring that we process all applicable income and resource exclusions.

C. Instructions

Process for adding precedents to the NAPR website

Add a precedent to NAPR by using the following steps at the time of an initial claim, Pre-Effectuation Review Contact, or redetermination:

1. Determine if a precedent is needed by utilizing the Decision Trees and/or reviewing applicable POMS. If policy is already in place to exclude funds, no precedent is needed.

2. Determine if a precedent already exists by searching the NAPR site. Go to Tribal Precedents and search by tribe, state, or servicing field office (FO), and click on Tribal Income Benefit Resource Name.

3. If no record is found, and you are in the servicing FO for the tribe, utilize the References and Decision Trees to determine the type of benefit and whether the income or resource is countable or excludable. If you are not in the servicing FO, use the Request to Servicing FO option from the NAPR drop down menu to send an e562 to request a new precedent from the servicing FO.
4. In the Tribal Precedents page, use the button to establish a new precedent.

NOTE: Locate tribal contact information on the Tribal Listing page within NAPR or at: Both the Tribal Listing page and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) website have phone, fax, email, website, and address information.

5. The servicing FO is responsible for creating, developing, and referring the precedent to regional office (RO) for approval. NAPR will generate an e-mail notification to RO when a precedent has been submitted for approval.

6. The RO that services the tribe is responsible for verifying, reviewing, and approving newly submitted precedents. This may require recontact with the servicing FO. The RO approver either approves or denies the precedent. Once approved, the precedent is automatically published in NAPR and posted to the Tribal Precedents page for all FO personnel to view and use when developing SSI cases. In addition, the servicing RO is responsible for deleting erroneous or duplicate precedents.

7. The servicing FO is responsible for maintaining the precedents for tribes within their service area. The servicing FO will edit existing precedents as needed and all updates will be sent through the same approval process as an initial precedent request to the servicing RO approver.

NOTE: For complete instructions on searching, creating, approving, and updating a precedent within the NAPR website, review the User Guide on the NAPR site.

Using NAPR Resource to Research and Develop Precedents

    1. All research for tribal precedent development can be done within the NAPR site. NAPR contains a References page with all policy instructions on tribal benefit programs. It also contains links to use intranet sites with useful tribe and tribal policy information.

2. NAPR also contains Tribal Decision Trees to assist technicians through tribal income and resource policy. Each decision tree leads to a final decision screen. The final decision screen provides the following information:
        · Whether a precedent is required or not required
        · Whether tribal income or resources are excluded or counted
        · If counted, how it is applied in individual SSI cases
        · How to code the outcome in the SSI claims system.

Using the NAPR Website to Document Income and Resources

    1. Precedent relates to excludable income or resources

      If the income or resource is excludable, accept the applicant or recipient’s allegation of the amount and receipt date. If the applicant or recipient’s allegation is consistent with the information on NAPR, there is no further development required.

      NOTE: If the allegation is not consistent with the precedent file, verify the information with another source before applying an adverse action.

      Use an SSI Claims system Report of Contact (DROC) screen to document whether the income, resource, or both are excludable.

      EXAMPLE: “Per NAPR precedent, the (Name of the Tribe) elder payment is excludable from income. Normal resource counting rules apply.”

    2. Precedent relates to income or resources that are not excludable
      Follow existing SSI procedures for verifying and documenting the amount of income and resources.

      Use an SSI Claims system DROC screen to document that the income, resource, or both are not excludable.

      EXAMPLE: “Per NAPR precedent, the (Name of the Tribe and the type of payment) is not excludable from income or resources. Normal income and resource counting rules apply.”

    3. Update precedent if there is new or discrepant information
      If the applicant or recipient provides information that is new or discrepant with the existing precedent, update the precedent or use Request to Servicing FO to send an e562 request for an update from the servicing FO.

      The FO that services the tribe will develop the issue and refer the updated precedent to the servicing RO for verification, review, and approval.

Resources related to NAPR can be found here.

Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff using vHelp or Program Service Center (PSC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions, concerns or problems to their Central Office contacts

D. References
SI 00830.800 Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

SI 00830.810 Bureau of Indian Affairs Adult Custodial Care and Child Welfare Assistance Payments

SI 00830.820 Individual Indian Money Accounts

SI 00830.830 Indian-Related Exclusions

SI 00830.850 Exclusion of Income from Individual Interests in Indian Trust or Restricted Lands

SI 00830.852 The Claims Resolution Act of 2010 (Cobell v. Salazar)

SI 00830.855 Processing Inquiries from Potential Barney Class Members

SI 00830.880 Indian Fishing Rights Income

EM-22043 - New Repository for Recording Tribal Income and Resource Exclusions within a Precedent and Release of Native American Precedent and Resource Center - 08/02/2022