TN 58 (08-23)

GN 01070.310 DIRCON Signature Requirements

A. Overview of signature requirements for DIRCON

Certain adjudicative actions involving an initial or reconsideration determination require that statements or forms be signed by the claimant or beneficiary. This subsection addresses what to do when a signature is required.

NOTE: As SSA expands its electronic processing, SSA has adopted alternative signature methods to the traditional pen-and-ink or “wet” signature. These methods are referred to by the general term of “signature proxy.” For the background on the signature proxy initiatives and what forms can currently be “signed” by this method, see GN 00201.015. Although normally used by FO personnel when processing initial claims, it is possible that signature proxy could also be used by PC personnel when the purpose of the DIRCON is to obtain or clarify entries on the MCS claims screens, and the information obtained results in an amendment to the application itself, see GN 00201.015I.

B. Signature requirements

1. Signature is required

Accept and act upon the telephone response until the signed statement is received. Properly document the oral response and diary for 20 calendar days pending receipt of the signed statement.

NOTE: This period may be extended to 30 days at local management discretion.

  1. a. 

    If the statement has not been received by the end of the diary period, re-contact the source for the statement. Re-diary if the statement was recently mailed.

  2. b. 

    If the claimant cannot be contacted or refuses to cooperate, or if the statement has not been received 30 days after the second contact attempt, use DOTEL procedure to notify FO that direct contact was made, and request FO follow-up. When FO development is completed, it supersedes the direct contact oral response. Take appropriate action based on the information provided by the FO.

2. Signature is not required

If the requirement for a signature is not specified in POMS, documentation of a claimant or beneficiary's statement is sufficient.

C. Miscellaneous signature guidelines

1. Disadvantageous month of election (MOEL)

Contact the claimant by telephone and explain the disadvantages.

If Then

Change is permissible under the option initially chosen on the application

Do not obtain a new signature.

A new month that is more advantageous is not permissible under the original option chosen

Obtain the claimant’s signature, see GN 00204.047A.

No change is desired

Document the file specifying what disadvantages were explained to the claimant and that the claimant declined to change the MOEL.

In end-of-year review situations involving questionable MOEL’s

Contact the claimant by telephone. Always document the file.

2. Incomplete application forms

Obtain any data relating to factors of entitlement and the payment of benefit over the claimant's signature.

See Instructions

GN 00205.015 for more detailed information and situations in which telephone contact would be appropriate.

GN 00201.015I regarding possible use of signature proxy if the additional information obtained by phone would result in an amendment to the application.

3. Reconsideration or ALJ reversal cases

Obtain by telephone updated application data such as work deduction or suspension information.

4. Claimant and third party reports (Post-adjudicative actions)

  • Do not obtain a signed statement to verify address and student information.

  • Use the telephone to verify a date of death, divorce or marriage without obtaining a signed statement.


  • Foreign address - Do not accept by telephone a change of address to a foreign country.

  • Adverse action - Verify all third party reports resulting in an adverse action, with the claimant or beneficiary or payee before payments are reduced or stopped.

5. Work or earnings (Post-adjudicative actions only)

Obtain an oral report of work or earnings if it is given by an acceptable reporter and accurately identifies the working beneficiary, see GN 03001.012.

6. Self-Employment

  • Accept an oral statement from the claimant regarding time devoted to their self-employed trade or business per RS 02505.075 and RS 02505.100.

  • Obtain claimant's signature in questionable retirement cases, see RS 02505.100.

NOTE: Obtain proof if a significant decline in earnings would result in payment of a substantial amount of benefits which would not otherwise be payable, see RS 02505.085.

7. Student verification reports

Student verification reports require the signature of both the student and the school official.

  • Student Signature Missing - Do not develop to obtain the signature unless there is another issue in question.

  • School Official Signature Missing - Always obtain.

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GN 01070.310 - DIRCON Signature Requirements - 08/18/2023
Batch run: 08/18/2023