TN 23 (06-23)

DI 33025.015 Foreign Claims

A. Policy – Processing Social Security Administration (SSA) Foreign Claims

The Division of International Operations (DIO) is responsible for administering SSA programs abroad. This includes the full range of disability determination services (DDS) functions, including the processing of appeals with the right to a disability hearing.

A Federal disability hearing officer (DHO) must conduct the disability hearing for an individual who uses a foreign address.

If the DIO cannot issue a fully favorable determination, and the individual waives their right to appear at a hearing, a DHO in the Office of Disability Determinations (ODD) is responsible for processing the case. If the individual intends to appear, a DHO in the appropriate regional office (RO) is responsible for arranging the hearing.

NOTE: The individual's point-of-entry into the United States (U.S.) or their temporary U.S. residence determines the region where the hearing is scheduled. See DI 33001.000 Disability Hearing Unit Procedures.

B. Procedure – Responsibilities of the Disability Hearing Officer (DHO)

1. Securing additional evidence

Obtain the supervisory hearing officer's (SHO) or supervisor’s agreement that the claim requires additional development before requesting additional development.

Send a notice to the beneficiary or recipient and add a copy to the claims folder stating what information or evidence is needed. Provide any explanation that would aid in clarifying the request, and forward the claims folder to SSA to the attention of the Reconsideration Branch:

The Social Security Administration

Office of Earnings and International Operations (OEIO)

P.O. Box 17775

Baltimore, MD 21235-7775

Refer to DI 11010.275 Sending Cases to the Office of Central Operations/Office of International Operations (OCO/OIO) for paper cases and, DI 80850.010 Electronic Disability Collect System (EDCS) for information on jurisdiction and responsibility for transferring information to electronic folders.

2. Translation of foreign documents

  1. a. 

    Obtain a translation from an employee in the disability hearing unit (DHU) who is proficient in the language or an authorized translator in the field office (FO). See DI 23045.001B.2 to determine whether the translation must be verbatim.

    NOTE: A signature is required for every translation request. Provide as much of the following information as possible;

    • type or date of document,

    • issuing agency or official,

    • language involved, and

    • whether the document appears to be genuine, unaltered, and to have been made at the time alleged

  2. b. 

    Send the original documents (if possible) rather than a photocopy when it is necessary to send a document out of the DHU for translation.

  3. c. 

    If the beneficiary refuses to part with the original document, make as clear a photocopy as possible and note any alterations on an SSA-5002 (Report of Contact).

  4. d. 

    Forward the document(s) and Form(s) SSA-533-E (Translation Request) when requesting an out-of-office translation.

  5. e. 

    Send the document(s) and completed Form(s) SSA-533-E to:

    The Social Security Administration

    ATTN: Central Translation Services

    P.O. Box 1756

    Baltimore, MD 21203

    Fax (410) 966-0526

    See also:

    • DI 11010.275 Sending Cases to Office of Central Operations/Office of International Operations (OCO/OIO)

    • DI 23045.001 Translation of Foreign-Language Documents

    • DI 33010.001 General Review of Claims Folder and Preparation of In-House Folder in the Disability Hearing Unit (DHU)

    • GN 00301.330 Overview of Translation Process

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DI 33025.015 - Foreign Claims - 06/08/2023
Batch run: 06/08/2023