Identification Number:
GN 00903 TN 12
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Information and Referral Services
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:

Part GN – General
Chapter 009 – Miscellaneous FO and OIO Activity
Subchapter 03 – Information and Referral Services
Transmittal No. 12, 08/11/2020



Originating Component


Effective Date

Upon Receipt


This is a Quick Action Transmittal. These revisions do not change or introduce new policy or procedure.

Summary of Changes

GN 00903.330 Resources Needed to Make Proper Referrals

Section A

  • No changes.

Section B

  • Changed the first word in the seventh bullet from "Add" to "Any."

Section C

  • In support of the enhanced Leads and Appointment System (eLAS) system release scheduled for August 8, 2020, we are replacing the reference to the "800# Appointment and Referral System" with "enhanced Leads and Appointment System (eLAS)." We retitled the subsection to "Procedure for the enhanced Leads and Appointment System FO Informational/Referral Screen."

  • Removed the obsoleted language "800 Number System INFO" screen and the obsoleted reference MSOM APPTS 001.003 in the last sentence and replaced it with the current MSOM reference, MS 00601.003. We updated the last sentence to the following: "For more information, refer to MS 00601.003."


GN 00903.345 Updating the File Data With Information and Referral (I&R)

  • Replaced the language "800 Number INFO screen" with "Field Office Informational/Referral Screen" due to the release of the enhanced Leads and Appointment System (eLAS) on August 8, 2020.

  • Removed and replaced the obsoleted reference MSOM APPTS 001.003 to MS 00601.003.

GN 00903.330 Resources Needed to Make Proper Referrals

A. Establish a resource file in field offices with referral information

  • Each field office (FO) should establish a file containing information about all available community services according to the instructions in GN 00903.330B in this section. This will be the resource file for all interviewing personnel who provide information about community services or refer interested parties to other agencies, and must include complete data for making proper referrals.

  • To be functional, the file must be something other than a library of all available catalogs and manuals published by private and public agencies. These catalogs and manuals should logically be a primary resource for information to be contained in the "working file" with supplemental information furnished by FO personnel involved in public affairs activities.

  • The file must be easily accessible to all persons (including staff in a co-located Teleservice Center (TSC)) who provide such information to the public or make referrals to other agencies. Multiple copies of the file may be necessary, including any materials designed for use at the field office. All entries must be current, accurate, and complete. Use of multiple cross-referral entries, where warranted, is encouraged.

B. Information to be included in the FO referral file

  • Name of agency (cross-refer branches).

  • Agency address, telephone number, and office hours for referrals.

  • Specific population served, if applicable, e.g., blind or deaf.

  • A precise and brief description of the services provided.

  • Method of referral- walk-in or by appointment only.

  • Fees and any provision for fee waiver.

  • Any other pertinent information, especially anything that would aid the interviewer to inform and refer efficiently; or would be of help in the process of updating the file or in dealing with agency officials.

In addition to the above, the file should contain:

  • statements embodying understandings between community agencies and the FO;

  • statements regarding particular services which previous searches have shown are not available in the community;

  • statements of procedures for answering inquiries within the FO; and,

  • statements when a service representative, a claims representative, or management receives inquiries for assistance or completion.

C. Procedure for the enhanced Leads and Appointment System FO Informational/Referral Screen

Since TSC staff handle many requests for Information and Referral (I&R) services, FOs must ensure that their information screen provides as much information as possible about community resources in the FO service area.

For more information, refer to MS 00601.003.

GN 00903.345 Updating the File Data With Information and Referral (I&R)

Policy for updating the file data

Field Offices (FOs) are required to:

  • provide systematic and periodic verification of the file data; and

  • display the action data prominently on the entry for each agency to avoid referral errors.

NOTE: For the definition of “file data” and “agency” used above, see GN 00903.330.

Referral errors due to problems in other agencies, include, but are not limited to:

  • Office hour variations,

  • Policy changes,

  • Waiting lists,

  • Budget limitations,

  • Personnel changes, and

  • Geographic limitation.

For some agencies, this data will seldom change. However, in some cases, referral to a given agency may be infrequent. The FO representative uses the last date that we verified data with a specific agency to determine whether to re-verify the file data with the agency before making a referral.

NOTE: When updating FO I&R files, be sure to:

  • Share updated information with co-located teleservice centers; and

  • Update information on the Field Office Informational/Referral Screen. For more information, see MS 00601.003.

GN 00903 TN 12 - Information and Referral Services - 8/11/2020