TN 9 (05-22)

DI 28040.110 Attempts to Contact are Unsuccessful or Unproductive in Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE) or MINE-Equivalent Cases

A. Unsuccessful or unproductive attempts to contact

If both telephone and written attempts by the disability determination services (DDS) to contact the beneficiary or recipient, payee, or representative are unsuccessful or unproductive (for example, the individual is unable or refuses to communicate effectively by telephone), the DDS may, as appropriate:

  • Process the case as whereabouts unknown (WU),

  • Request assistance of the field office (FO), or

  • Process the case as failure to cooperate (FTC).

B. Requesting FO assistance in MINE or MINE-equivalent Cases

The DDS may request assistance from the FO when there is a need to contact the beneficiary or recipient, obtain completed forms, or gather other information. The DDS may complete an assistance request (AR) to the FO using form SSA-883-U3 (Request for Evidence of Assistance (Disability Case)), or the electronic AR described in DI 81020.100. On the AR:

  • Annotate “MINE or MINE-equivalent Case -- Sensitive Handling Required.”

  • Indicate DDS actions taken to contact the beneficiary or recipient representative, or representative payee. Request that the FO make further attempts to contact the beneficiary or recipient.

  • If applicable, indicate the impairment(s) and annotate the questions on the SSA-454-BK (Continuing Disability Review Report) that are relevant to the particular case. In paper cases, attach the SSA-454. Request the FO to obtain answers to the annotated questions, being sensitive to the nature of the impairment(s) and the age of the beneficiary or recipient. For example, do not request answers to the work-related questions on the SSA-454 if the beneficiary or recipient is a Title XVI child under age 15, unless there are indications that the child may be working.

  • If applicable, request the FO to obtain a signature and date on the SSA-827 (Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration).

  • Indicate other assistance needed from the FO (for example, locate requests, third party contacts, etc.).

Request the FO return all documentation to the DDS for processing within 15 days. The DDS should create a diary for 20 days to follow up if the FO has not completed the AR and returned the requested documentation.

C. WU in a MINE or MINE-equivalent case

WU applies when the DDS is unable to locate the beneficiary or recipient. Please note, WU cases (both Title II and Title XVI) are not considered medical cessation cases.

MINE and MINE-equivalent cases require limited medical documentation. If the beneficiary or recipient cannot be located, the DDS must stop development and return the case to the FO as a "no determination (ND)," even if sufficient documentation exists to continue the case. Inform the FO whether there is sufficient medical documentation to prepare a determination, and whether a call-in letter, or other letter, to the beneficiary or recipient, representative payee, or representative was returned as undeliverable.

If the FO is unsuccessful in locating the beneficiary or recipient, the FO will prepare a WU cessation determination for Title II claims, or suspend payment of benefits in Title XVI cases in accordance with DI 13015.011 through DI 13015.025.

D. FTC when continuing disability review (CDR) forms are not received in a MINE or MINE-equivalent case

FTC refers to a beneficiary or recipient's failure, without good cause, to do what SSA or DDS has requested them to do by a certain date.

If essential forms are not received within 14 calendar days from the date of the confirmation of review notice, follow up with the beneficiary or recipient, representative payee, or representative via telephone. If necessary, follow-up twice more at 10-day intervals.

If the CDR forms are still not received:

  • Forward an AR to the FO requesting an attempt to contact the beneficiary or recipient, payee, or representative.

  • Indicate that this is an FTC case; the beneficiary or recipient has not returned the forms or refuses to answer the questions.

  • Refer the FO to DI 13015.001 through DI 13015.007 for FTC procedures to follow if all FO attempts are unsuccessful.

  • Request the FO return all documentation once completed back to the DDS. The DDS will prepare a cessation determination based on FTC per DI 28075.005 when appropriate.


In Title XVI child cases involving noncooperation, make special efforts to identify and contact another adult or agency responsible for the child's care. The general approach in DI 25205.020 and DI 13015.005A.2.a. applies to CDRs as well as to initial claims.

FTC is a basis for the DDS to make a cessation determination and terminate Title II or Title XVI benefits. FTC cessations are considered medical determinations; therefore, FTC does not apply if there is enough evidence to make a continuance determination. For more information on FTC in a CDR case, see DI 28075.005.

E. Beneficiary or recipient contacts the DDS

If the beneficiary/recipient or payee contacts the DDS after the case has been referred to the FO:

  • Verify current telephone number and address.

  • Obtain or verify a third-party contact, if needed.

  • If possible, conduct the interview at that time.

Document this information (using a SSA-5002 (Report of Contact) or other approved method), and provide this to the FO.

F. References

  • DI 11005.056 Signature Requirements for Form SSA-827

  • DI 13005.110 Field Office (FO) Procedures for Processing Disability Determination Services (DDS) and Disability Processing Branch (DPB) Referrals of Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE) or MINE-Equivalent Cases

  • DI 25205.020 Failure to Cooperate and Insufficient Evidence in Title XVI Disabled Child (DC) Cases

  • DI 28075.005 Failure to Cooperate (FTC) and Whereabouts Unknown (WU) During a Medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR)

  • DI 81020.100 Electronic Assistance Requests (AR)

  • DI 81020.125 Electronic Case Routing Before Final Determination

  • DI 81020.130 Electronic Case Closure

  • GN 03360.005 Releasing Information by Telephone

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DI 28040.110 - Attempts to Contact are Unsuccessful or Unproductive in Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE) or MINE-Equivalent Cases - 05/04/2022
Batch run: 05/04/2022