Identification Number:
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/PSCs/OCO/OCO
Originating Office:DCO OPSOS
Title:Disaster Procedures – Western Kentucky and Tennessee Deadly Storms and Tornadoes - One Time Instruction
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:See Reference at the end of this EM.
Retention Date: June 13, 2022

This emergency message (EM) informs you that the Atlanta Regional Commissioner has invoked local disaster procedures.

A. Background
    The Atlanta Regional Commissioner has invoked SSA’s local disaster procedures because of the deadly storms and tornadoes on December 10, 2021 in Kentucky and Tennessee. To date, there are 68 fatalities and dozens of people unaccounted for or missing.
      NOTE: Due to reduced staffing levels and FO closures as explained in EM-20010 SEN REV 8 - Disaster Procedures for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), individuals affected in an area in which SSA invoked disaster procedures (see GN 00401.001, Disaster Management Procedures) may not be able to go into the FO. In dire need situations, offices may offer in-office appointments based on available staff and office operating status.

      B. Field Office (FO) claims processing instructions

      Follow GN 00410.000, Processing Claims and Payments in Disasters, to process survivor claims. Reproduce Exhibit 3 in GN 00410.050, Disaster Exhibits, for each claim. Forward or fax the forms on a flow basis to the following contact:
        Social Security Administration
        Atlanta Region
        ATTN: Ray West
        eFAX: 833-914-1819
          · All claims filed as a direct result of the disaster should be identified by coding “R10” in the last three digits of the unit code on the DW01, per GN 00410.010B.2.
          · For Title II claims, enter the disaster listing code of “499” on the MCS DECI screen.
          · We will issue further instructions to identify the appropriate NDDSS Litigation Code.

          C. SSNs for individuals affected by disaster
            There is no change in policy for the evidence required by SSA to issue either an original or replacement SSN card. GN 00410.005 provides guidance for Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for individuals affected by a disaster. Eligible individuals can use the internet Social Security Number Replacement Card (iSSNRC) application to obtain a replacement SSN card.

            Instructions in GN 03340.015, provide policy on alternative identity verification criteria by a number holder (NH) for access purposes.

            Individuals who cannot use the iSSNRC application or cannot provide sufficient evidence to obtain an SSN card via iSSNRC because the evidence was lost or destroyed in a disaster, may request an SSN Printout by phone, fax, or mail. Instructions for verifying identity for telephone, fax and mail requests are in GN 03340.015 C.2, C.3, and C.4.

            Third party requests for SSN verifications require the consent of the subject individual. For consent criteria, see GN 03305.001B. If a third party, (local or state agency) requires an individual to obtain verification of his/her SSN, please follow the process below:
              1. Obtain written consent from the individual (Form-SSA-3288) via fax or email.

              2. Inform the individual that we will contact the requesting third party to provide verbal verification of his or her SSN.

              3. Contact the third party and provide verbal verification of the NH’s name and SSN.

            Note: The instructions in EM-20010 SEN REV 8-Disaster Procedures for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), affect the individual’s ability to go into a field office to obtain an SSN verification.
              D. Receiving inquiries from displaced individuals
                If applicable, inform callers that his or her local Social Security office is closed and that many services are available online if he or she has access to the internet. Encourage individuals to use SSA’s Online Services and Automated Telephone Services before referring callers to the FO inquiry line available on the Field Office Locator website.
                  Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff or Processing Center (PC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PC OA staff may refer questions or problems to their Central Office contacts.

                  E. Reminder for issuing immediate payments

                  As mentioned in GN 00410.020, Processing Payment Actions in Disasters, during a disaster situation, we encourage employees to be as responsive and flexible as possible in determining emergency need for replacement funds. Consider payment of an individual’s benefits prior to the actual payment date if they are obviously not able to receive their benefit.

                  We have proactively increased the limit in order to accommodate full benefit payment replacement in situations resulting from this severe weather. Please note, Immediate Payments for SSI and concurrent cases cannot exceed $999 per day, due to a Systems limitation.

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

                      GN 00401.000 Disaster Management
                      GN 00410.000 Processing Claims and Payments in Disasters
                      GN 00410.005 SSNs for Individuals Affected by Disaster
                      GN 00410.020 Processing Payment Actions in Disasters
                      GN 00410.050 Disaster Exhibits
                      GN 00301.060 Emergency Evidentiary Procedures

                      EM-21071 - Disaster Procedures – Western Kentucky and Tennessee Deadly Storms and Tornadoes - One Time Instruction - 12/14/2021