TN 3 (11-98)

GN 03301.040 Other Federal Laws and Regulations Affecting SSA's Rules on Disclosure

A. Policy - Internal Revenue Code

The Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. 6103, controls SSA's use and disclosure of tax return information. SSA may disclose tax return information to:

  • the individual to whom it pertains, and

  • a third party with the consent of the individual to whom it pertains (see GN 03305.001B. for consent requirements).

  • administer parts of the Social Security Act for which SSA is responsible, or

  • for several other specifically permitted purposes. These purposes are explained in GN 03320.015.

NOTE: SSA may not use or disclose tax return information without consent to administer title IV of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act (38 U.S.C. 4006) or any other program that is not under the SSA-administered portion of the Social Security Act.

B. Policy - Drug and Alcohol Abuse Laws

1. Summary of Laws

The U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) has published regulations concerning confidentiality of certain Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient (ADAP) records (42 CFR Part Z). Authority for these regulations comes from two statutes: 42 U.S.C. 290 dd-3 and 290 ee-3.

2. What an ADAP Record Is

An ADAP record is any record of identification, diagnosis, prognosis or treatment of a patient maintained in connection with the performance of an alcohol or drug abuse prevention function which is directly or indirectly federally assisted.

A prevention function is any program or activity relating to alcohol or drug abuse education, training, treatment, rehabilitation or research.

3. Effects of PHS Regulations

PHS regulations contain some of the same confidentiality requirements that are found in SSA regulations. PHS has two additional requirements which affect SSA:

  • A special consent form is required to obtain an ADAP record from the source.

  • An ADAP record ordinarily may not be disclosed to a third party by SSA without the patient's consent.

4. Disclosure and Use of ADAP Records

When SSA obtains an individual's consent to obtain material subject to PHS regulations on ADAP records, the consent statement must show:

  • the intended use of the requested information, and

  • that the records are to be used to adjudicate a claim.

While these records may be used to adjudicate claims, PHS regulations rather than the PA govern their redisclosure and use (except for access).

(See GN 03305.020 and GN 03340.035E. for instructions on release of ADAP records.)

5. Disclosure of Non-ADAP Records

Medical records concerning drug abuse or alcoholism which are not classified as ADAP records may be disclosed in accordance with the FOIA, PA and other applicable laws.

C. Policy - Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978

The Right to Financial Privacy Act (RFPA) of 1978, P.L. 95-630, governs SSA's obtaining financial records or information about a customer of a financial institution.


  • requires that requests for information from financial institutions must be made with the full authorization of the individual, and

  • restricts SSA's redisclosure of financial information.

(See GN 03360.050 and AIMS GAM Chapter 14 for a full explanation of the requirements of the RFPA.)

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GN 03301.040 - Other Federal Laws and Regulations Affecting SSA's Rules on Disclosure - 12/09/1998
Batch run: 05/01/2019