TN 45 (11-23)

SI 00601.100 General Guidance for Information or Evidence


Section 1631(e) of the Social Security Act, 20 CFR 416.200, 416.203 and 416.912

A. Introduction

Upon receiving a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may need additional information or evidence to determine eligibility and/or payment amount before and after adjudication of the claim. Information or evidence submitted on a claim will differ depending on whether the evidence relates to the medical or non-medical requirements. The failure to provide information or evidence may result in delay, denial, or suspension of benefits.


B. Policy

Claimants and proper applicants (if applicable) are responsible for providing the required evidence to support their allegations and establish eligibility for SSI and ongoing payments. However, SSA will make every reasonable effort to assist individuals to obtain the evidence when needed. Below we outline the general responsibilities for technicians and claimants or proper applicants.

1. SSA responsibilities

  1. a. 

    We must request and obtain the necessary information or evidence to determine an individual's eligibility and payment amount. The SSA-L8009-U3, (Supplemental Security Income, Important Information IC), is for initial claims situations. For instructions on requesting post-eligibility information or evidence and proper notices to use, see SI 02306.020. For developmental tolerances in title II offset cases, see SI 02006.005.

  2. b. 

    We must offer assistance to claimants and interested third parties in obtaining information or evidence needed to determine the claimant's eligibility and/or payment amount. This assistance must be offered to claimants and interested third parties during the initial interview with the individual and all subsequent follow up contacts that involve requests for additional information or evidence. For identifying claimants that may need assistance, see GN 00301.180.

    IMPORTANT: Aged noncitizens may require additional assistance because of possible language barriers, factors related to advanced age, and limited education. For interpreter services, see GN 00203.011. For special interviewing procedures, see SI 00601.060F and if a disability determination is needed to meet noncitizen eligibility criteria, see SI 00502.142.

    IMPORTANT: Victims of domestic abuse may require additional assistance in obtaining information or evidence due to the specific circumstances of their situations. Assistance obtaining evidence may be particularly necessary when a victim of domestic abuse has fled the abusive situation but maintains income or resource associations with the abuser. For additional information in cases where a new Social Security Number (SSN) has been assigned to a fleeing spouse, see RM 10220.210D.1.

2. Claimants and Proper Applicant Responsibilities


  1. a. 

    Answering all claims-related questions to the best of their knowledge.

  2. b. 

    Providing the necessary information, documents, or evidence to prove that the requirements for SSI eligibility are met (i.e. medical sources(s); age; education and training; work experience; daily activities both before and after the date of the claimant became disabled; efforts to work; and any other factors showing how the claimant impairment(s) affects their ability to work).

  3. c. 

    Authorizing SSA to obtain any necessary verification from third parties.

  4. d. 

    Pursuing activities to process the initial claim or redetermination such as:

    • submitting appropriate release forms and letters,

    • requesting information, and

    • appearing for the required examination when disability or blindness is an issue.

  5. e. 

    Obtaining the cooperation of a sponsor, sponsor's living-with spouse (e.g. if the claimant is a noncitizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence and deeming applies), an ineligible spouse, parent(s) and household members.

  6. f. 

    Reporting any changes as described in the reporting responsibilities document provided during the initial interview. For claimant reporting responsibilities in post-eligibility situations, refer to SI 02301.005B.2.

3. Unconfirmed eligibility (initial claims)

  1. a. 

    There may be instances when you cannot confirm eligibility for a past period(s) for which no payment has been made (e.g., develop past periods following an administrative law judge (ALJ) reversal). Make a determination of “unconfirmed eligibility" (payment status code N05) for the past period(s) in question if all of the following are true:

    • the claimant has acted in good faith per SI 00601.100B.2 in this section but is unable to provide the needed information or evidence or an allegation (e.g., amount of income received) and the field office (FO) is unable to provide any further assistance, and

    • you cannot determine eligibility and payment amount, or ineligibility based on the information in file, and

    • you have exhausted all efforts in attempting to obtain the information or evidence from other sources.

      NOTE: For information regarding adjudication before completion of full development of unearned income, see SI 00830.005A.

      NOTE: Payment status code N05 cannot be used as ongoing status for initial claims. For use of payment status code N05, see SI 02301.220 Ineligible for A Past Nonpay Period (N05).

  2. b. 

    The claims file must contain documentation of the adjudicative decision per SI 00601.080B.3.

  3. c. 

    Issue a manual award notice explaining the period of “unconfirmed eligibility” using the notice language found in NL 00804.135.

C. Procedure for obtaining information or evidence

Technicians must take these following steps when requesting information or evidence from claimants, proper applicants or third-party individuals:

  • Request information or evidence directly from the claimant (or proper applicant as applicable). As necessary, secure the evidence from a third-party entity, organization, or independent source. After filing an application, claimants can appoint a representative for their claims. If the claimant has an appointed representative, the request may need to be sent to the appointed representative. For more information on communicating with represented claimants, see GN 03910.050.

  • Explain what information or evidence is needed and why. Offer assistance as needed.

  • Provide the applicant with a copy of the Collection and Use of Information by SSA statement (SSA-5000) when required per GN 03360.015.

  • Determine if the information needed requires authorization from the claimant. If needed, use the SSA form Authorization to Obtain Personal Information (SSA-8510).

    Obtain an SSA-8510 only if you are requesting information from a third-party entity, organization, or independent source. You can obtain the SSA-8510 during the initial claim. However, the form is also used for redetermination interviews. Technicians can document that they obtained the SSA-8510 using the Personal Information Authorization (APIA) web page per MS 08108.017.

    The SSA-8510 is not attestable. A wet signature is needed to obtain the authorization to disclose information by a third party, organization, or independent source. If you are interviewing the claimant by phone, send an Information Request Letter to the claimant with instructions to complete, sign, and return the form to SSA.

    The SSA-8510 may be used to obtain the appropriate authorization from the appropriate individual for SSA to receive personal information about the claimant or member of the deeming unit from a third party (except for financial institution information covered under the SSA-4641, wage and employment information from payroll data providers covered under SSA-8240, and medical information covered under the SSA-827).

  • Issue an SSA-L8009-U3 upon receipt of a signed application to request information or evidence from a claimant, see SI 00601.120. For post-eligibility policy and notices, see SI 02306.020.

    IMPORTANT: If the required evidence is an immigration document, instruct claimants to bring evidence with them to the FO. Remind them not to send immigration documents through the mail since noncitizens are required to always have their immigration document(s) in their possession. For documentary evidence of noncitizen status and online SAVE verification of noncitizen status, see SI 00502.115 and SI 00502.130.

  • Advise the claimant to provide the information or evidence within 30 days after the date of the SSA-L8009-U3 notice.

  • Provide a new due date if 30 days is insufficient time to obtain the information or evidence or more time is needed.

  • Grant up to a 30-day extension based on a reasonable period for obtaining the type of evidence or information needed and any special circumstances involved. For information regarding offering assistance, see SI 00601.100B in this section.

    EXAMPLE: The claimant was hospitalized for three weeks within the 30-day request for evidence period. The claimant notified us as soon as returning home. In this case, if we requested several documents to process the claim, an additional 30-day extension is reasonable. However, if the claimant went into the hospital for two days at the end of the 30-day period and we requested only one or two documents, which the claimant stated was in their possession, a seven day extension is reasonable.

  • Grant further extensions on a case-by-case basis based on the special circumstances involved. Extensions should not exceed 30-day increments.

  • Explain that timely cooperation in providing the information or evidence is important and any delay may affect processing the claim and receipt of benefits.

  • Assist the claimant in obtaining necessary information or evidence from third parties, organizations, or independent sources if the individual is having difficulty (e.g., homeless individuals).

    NOTE: Once eligibility has been determined, consider developing for a representative payee if you believe this difficulty indicates the claimant/recipient cannot manage funds or direct the management of funds.

  • If you cannot obtain the information or evidence from a third-party, organization or independent source and the claimant has acted in good faith, then determine eligibility and payment based on the information in file. If evidence of unearned income is not readily available, see SI 00830.005.

  • Code the document information on the SSI application screens and record the document on the EVID screen, when appropriate, with all the required information or evidence used to adjudicate the claim or decide on an action, per GN 00301.286.

D. Procedure for using Form SSA-8510 (Authorization for the Social Security Administration to Obtain Personal Information)

1. How to Use

Use Form SSA-8510 to request information or evidence from third parties other than public records, financial institutions, electronic wage verification companies, and federal agencies.

a. Claimant

You must explain to the claimant the need for the authorization to obtain information about themselves and, complete the first line with the claimant's name and SSN. Leave the second line blank.

b. Parent or legal guardian

A parent or legal guardian can authorize SSA to obtain personal information about a minor claimant or legally incompetent adult claimant from a third party, organization or independent source, Explain the need for the authorization and complete the first box (Authorizing Person) on the first line with the parent or legal guardian's name and the second box (Social Security Number) on the first line with the parent or legal guardian's SSN. Complete the first box (Claimant/Beneficiary) on the second line with the claimant's name and complete the second box (Claimant's/Beneficiary's Social Security Number) on the second line with the claimant's SSN.

c. Authorizing Person Other Than the Claimant, Parent, or Legal Guardian such as Deemors, Sponsors, or a Parent or Legal Guardian authorizing disclosure for themselves

Complete the first line with the authorizing person's name and SSN where it is necessary to obtain information about an authorizing person who has income subject to deeming, shared expenses, property, subsidized rent, or other eligibility factors or who has sponsored a noncitizen.

Explain to the claimant, parent (or legal guardian), deemor, sponsor or authorizing person what information is needed and why we need the information from the third party, organization or independent source. To demonstrate that we have collected this authorization, submit the form with a pen-and-ink signature to the third party, organization, or independent source.

Obtain and complete the form outside of the SSI Claims System (i.e., download the SSA-8510 using INFORMS) and collect a pen-and-ink signature on the form from the authorizing person.

IMPORTANT: In the SSI Claims System, the Personal Information Authorization web page is NOT an electronic version of the SSA-8510. The web page is to document that the technician secured the SSA-8510 authorization, refer to MS 08108.017 for additional processing information.

NOTE: Do not use attestation for the Personal Information Authorization. You must collect a pen-and-ink signature.

d. Noncitizen claimant from Cuba or Haiti and filed application for asylum

If the noncitizen claimant is originally from Cuba or Haiti and alleges filing an application for asylum, obtain a signature on an SSA-8510 so SSA may contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding an asylum application. For information regarding Category 2(B) and Category 2(C) Cuban/Haitian entrants, see SI 00502.115 and SI 00502.130B.7.c.

e. Multiple forms

We must obtain a signed SSA-8510 for each entity that requires an authorization. Therefore, during the interview, you must determine how many third-party entities, organizations, or independent sources need to be contacted and obtain one signed SSA-8510 for each of them.

f. Attachment

Attach the SSA-8510 to the appropriate form to be completed or to the form requesting information.

2. Time limitation

Use the signed SSA-8510 only for the identified sources while developing the initial application, redetermination, or other post-eligibility event. The SSA-8510 is valid until the claimant withdraws their claim or revokes the authorization. However, you should never request additional SSA-8510 forms for future use.

E. Exhibit - form SSA-8510

To view the form, go to SSA-8510.

F. References

  • DI 22501.002 Responsibilities for Case Development of Disability Claims

  • GN 00204.150 Authorization to Obtain Wage and Employment Information from Payroll Data Providers via an Information Exchange for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Programs

  • GN 00301.180 Identifying Claimants Who May Need Assistance

  • GN 00301.185 Helping Claimants Obtain Evidence

  • GN 00301.215 Payment for SSA Purchase of Evidence

  • GN 00502.001 - GN 00502.055 Determining the Need for, Developing and Selecting a Representative Payee

  • SI 00601.110 Final Request - Failure to Cooperate (N18) - Initial Claims

  • SI 02301.220 Ineligible for A Past Nonpay Period (N05)

  • SI 02301.235 Failure to Provide Information (N20)


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SI 00601.100 - General Guidance for Information or Evidence - 11/06/2023
Batch run: 11/06/2023