POMS Reference

GN 00307: Foreign Evidence

TN 31 (08-05)

A. Kinds of other evidence

The following are some, but not all, possible sources of evidence of age for persons born in the Philippines and, where appropriate, some general information on them.

1. Children's birth records

These are available at the local, BRM and NCSO level.

2. Marriage records

These are available at the local, BRM and NCSO level. See GN 00307.768 for the minimum ages for marriage. Marriage contracts show age and parental consent, if applicable.

3. Cedulas

These are receipts for payment of the annual residence tax by all residents of the Philippines. They show the payer's name, place and date of birth (or age), marital status, place of residence and date of payment.

The first cedula tax is due by April 30 of the year a resident reaches age 18, if the individual's birthday is before July 1. For those born after June 30, the tax is due by April 30 in the following year.

4. Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association (HSPA) records

The HSPA has records for persons who contracted to work on a plantation and any dependents who came with them. They show the date and place of arrival and the age at the time of arrival and are usually the most easily obtainable evidence for pre-1946 arrivals (see GN 00307.762A.5. for post-1945 arrivals).

Although there were minimum and maximum age limitations for hiring, the HSPA guidelines varied and their wording was contradictory.

Information from these records is secured through the Honolulu FO and requires as much of the following information as possible:

  • Name of individual and other names used;

  • Date of birth;

  • Age at arrival;

  • Sex;

  • Home prior to arrival;

  • U.S. alien registration number;

  • Date naturalized — if a U.S. citizen;

  • Date and port of arrival;

  • Name of ship on which he/she arrived;

  • Accompanying friends or relatives;

  • Contract number or Bango number;

  • First employer in Hawaii;

  • Visits outside Hawaii (place visited, date departed and name of ship, date returned and name of ship, port of reentry).

5. Immigration and naturalization records

This is best source of evidence for persons who came to Hawaii after 1945 and all persons (regardless of date of arrival) who did not arrive under a plantation employment contract.

6. School records

For many older persons, Philippine school records either never existed or were destroyed. However, they are available for younger persons.

The Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) in Manila, Philippines develops this source by either examining the source record(s) or requesting the information directly from the school.

7. Employer records


8. Military service records


9. Affidavits

These are very weak evidence and easily available in the Philippines.

B. Policy

1. General

SSA gets other Philippine evidence or evidence established shortly after the claimant left the Philippines if neither a civil nor religious birth/ baptismal record exists.

Whenever possible, SSA bases the age determination on at least two pieces of evidence.

2. Children's birth certificates

Discrepancies caused when births were registered by friends or relatives can generally be discounted.

3. HSPA records

As a general rule, SSA assumes the minimum and maximum ages for hiring were 18 and 45.

4. School records

SSA does not request a claimant to get such evidence himself/herself.

5. Affidavits

Before an affidavit can be used to establish a factor of entitlement, the Federal Benefits Unit or the FO must interview the affiant and establish that he/she has a sound basis for believing the fact(s) to which he/she has testified.