TN 26 (09-08)
GN 00301.090 Personnel Authorized to Certify Documents and Records
A. Policy for authorization to certify documents and records
The employees listed below are authorized to:
Prepare a photocopy of a document and/or to certify the authenticity of such photocopies, see GN 00301.095;
Prepare extract records of evidence and/or certify to the authenticity of such extract records of evidence on the Evidence (EVID) screen, Form SSA-704-F3, Certification of Contents of Documents or Records , and SSA-4385, Certification of Contents of Court Records, for retention in the claim files, see GN 00301.115 and GN 00301.286;
REMINDER: The Evidence (EVID) screen is an extract record that is acceptable evidence for adjudicators to use for establishing factors of entitlement, see GN 00301.010.
Make “true and exact” copies of documents that will not photocopy, see GN 00301.030; and
Certify that a document appears authentic see GN 00301.095.
1. Field Office (FO)
In a FO, the following employees are authorized to perform the duties listed in GN 00301.090A.:
Service Representative and trainee position;
Claims Representative and trainee position; and
Those holding higher position such as Field Representative, Technical Assistant, Technical Expert and FO Management.
2. Program Service Center (PSC)
In a PSC the following employees are authorized perform the duties listed above in GN 00301.090A.:
Module Managers, or persons in comparable PC positions as approved by the Assistant Regional Commissioner for Processing Center operations and the Director, Disability and International Operations;
Senior Claims Processing Specialist;
Reconsideration Reviewer and trainee position;
Technical Assistant and trainee position;
Claims Authorizer and trainee position;
Benefit Authorizer and trainee position;
Debt Specialist and trainee position;
Post-Entitlement Technical Expert;
Inquiry and Expediting Specialists.
3. Other government agencies
The following people are authorized to certify documents:
Veterans Affairs. If the evidence was given to the agency to obtain veteran's benefits, a Department of Veterans Affairs employee.
VARO in Philippines. Employees of the SSA Division of the VA Regional Office in Manila have the authority to prepare photocopies or to certify evidence submitted in claims for Social Security benefits.
U.S. Consular Officer. A U.S. Consular Officer or employee of the Department of State authorized to certify evidence received outside the U.S., including the American Institute in Taiwan.
State Agency or State Welfare Office. An employee of a State Agency or State Welfare Office authorized to certify copies of original records in the agency's or office’s files, see GN 00301.035.
Foreign Government Liaison Agencies Officials or foreign government liaison agencies pursuant to a totalization agreement. For foreign evidence, see the appropriate subchapter of GN 00307.000.
B. Policy for examination of certified documents and records
If the evidence is submitted to prove a factor of entitlement for initial claims or post-entitlement cases, an employee with adjudicative authority such as a Claims Representative or Claims Authorizer must examine the evidence as described in GN 00301.010B. This ensures that an adjudicator carefully examines the evidence to determine whether it sufficiently proves the entitlement or eligibility factor.
1. Documentation that evidentiary document was examined
The CR’s or CA’s adjudicative decision to award or deny benefits documents that he or she reviewed the evidentiary document as described in GN 00301.010B.
REMINDER: The EVID screen is an extract record that is acceptable evidence to establish factors of entitlement. It is not necessary for the adjudicator to also review a copy of the original document if the EVID screen was completed.
2. Evidence appears fraudulent or suspicious
If the evidentiary document appears fraudulent or suspicious, see GN 00301.045 and GN 00301.050. Also, see the Documentation Verification Website .
3. Example of using the EVID screen as evidence to adjudicate a claim
A woman mails in her original marriage certificate to prove marital relationship in a claim for widow's benefits. The service representative accepts the marriage certificate, reviews it for authenticity and validity, and records it on the EVID screen. The adjudicator examines and accepts the EVID screen as acceptable evidence to prove the marital relationship entitlement factor for widow’s benefits. (It is not necessary for the adjudicator to review a photocopy of the original marriage certificate.) For electronic evidence documentation and retention, see GN 00301.286.
GN 00301.010 - Evidentiary Requirements
GN 00301.015 - Acceptance of Evidence
GN 00301.030 - Acceptability of Documentary Evidence
GN 00301.095 - SSA Certification of Photocopies
GN 00301.115, Forms Used for Certification of Contents of Documents or Public Records
GN 00301.280 - Photocopying Process
GN 00301.286 - Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention
GN 01070.781 - Field Office and Workload Support Unit Coordination on Immediate Claims Processing