I-3-1-62.Translation of Claim(s) File Documents

Last Update: 11/19/18 (Transmittal I-3-165)

A. Requesting Translation

If an analyst receives a case with pertinent documents in any language other than English that have not been translated (e.g., exhibits, correspondence, birth certificate), the analyst cannot continue processing the case until the documents have been translated. The analyst will notify the branch chief of the need for translation and transfer the case to the branch chief to hold in his or her status in the Appeals Review Processing System while the documents are translated.


When the claim(s) file is paper, the analyst will provide a clear photocopy of the documents for translation, and retain the original copies in the claim(s) file.

In most circumstances, the branch chief will forward the information to the Transcribing Services Branch (TSB) for translation.


In limited circumstances, the branch chief may determine it is more appropriate to have the information translated by other qualified Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) staff. For example, if the pending case requires expedited processing (e.g., designated as a critical case), there are only a few untranslated pages, and another OAO employee can provide an accurate translation in a timely manner, the branch chief may ask qualified OAO staff to translate the documents.

B. Translation of Documents

On receipt of the information, the TSB will either:

  • Assign the information to TSB staff for translation; or

  • When TSB staff cannot translate the requested language, coordinate with another Social Security Administration (SSA) translation unit to translate the information or obtain a contractor to translate the information.

The TSB, assisting SSA staff, or OAO staff designated by the branch chief, will produce an English language version of the translation in writing. After translating the documents, the TSB, SSA staff, or OAO staff will send both the English and other language versions of the documents to the branch chief, who will return the case to the analyst. The analyst will associate both language versions of the documents with the claim(s) file (in the same applicable section of the claim(s) file) and continue processing the case.

C. Exhibiting Translated Documents

The Appeals Council (AC) may exhibit certain documents when it denies review or when it grants review and issues a decision. For more information about exhibiting documents when the AC denies review, see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-3-5-15 B and I-3-5-20 B. For more information about exhibiting documents when the AC issues a decision, see HALLEX I-3-8-1 C.

If the analyst recommends exhibiting one or more document(s), he or she will prepare a proposed exhibit list exhibiting the original document(s) but not the translated documents. Instead, in an electronic claim(s) file, the analyst will retain the translated documents in the same section as the original document and complete the NOTE field in eView documenting the exhibit that was translated, such as “Translation of Exhibit 4F.” In a paper file, the analyst will place the translation on top of the exhibit and annotate each page “translation of” followed by the exhibit number and number of pages of the translation. For example, the translation of Exhibit 4F page one of four would be annotated “Translation of Ex. 4F, page 1 of 4.”