TN 2 (02-20)

GN 03316.005 Disclosure Without Consent to Administer Social Security Administration (SSA) Programs

A. Disclosure within SSA

The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(1)) allows disclosures of personal information within SSA to officers and employees who need the information to perform their duties.

SSA officers and employees must adhere to established standards of conduct when accessing, using, and disclosing personal information in our records. Section 1.5 of the Overview of Information Security and our disclosure regulations, 20 C.F.R. Part 401, Appendix A, explain the rules of behavior for users and managers of information resource.

B. State Disability Determination Service (DDS) role in SSA disclosures under Sections 221 and 1633 of the Social Security Act (Act)

For the purpose of making disability determinations under sections 221 and 1633 of the Act, our disclosure regulations define "Social Security Administration" as including State DDS units (see 20 C.F.R. § 401.25). State DDSs are bound by and must comply with our confidentiality and disclosure requirements. See our regulations at 20 C.F.R. § 404.1631 and 20 C.F.R. § 416.1031 for more information.

State DDSs may disclose information to third parties, as necessary, to carry out the disability determination functions under sections 221 and 1633 of the Act, consistent with our regulations and written guidelines. States DDSs should not make decisions to disclose SSA information for purposes unrelated to the disability determination function unless:

  • DDS is specifically authorized in this POMS chapter or the DDS Security Manual to disclose information, or

  • DDS receives authorization from an SSA regional office (RO) to disclose information.

An SSA RO may approve arrangements for a DDS to disclose information to other State agencies when:

  • we have the authority to disclose information to that State agency, and

  • the State agency agrees to abide by our confidentiality and re-disclosure requirements, via a data exchange agreement negotiated between SSA and the State agency, allowing the DDS to provide information to the State agency.

C. Disclosures to Federal, State, and local agencies and third parties for program purposes

We established routine uses under the Privacy Act that allow us to disclose personal information to Federal, State, and local agencies and private entities, as necessary, to administer our programs and responsibilities under the Act.

The disclosures relate to determining initial and continuing entitlement to, or eligibility for, benefits under the programs we administer under the Act. When necessary, we may disclose non-tax return information and tax return information to third parties in order to administer our benefit programs. You can view a full listing of all our system of records and their routine uses at

Examples of allowable disclosures to third parties for program purposes include releases of the following information:

  • verifying an individual’s entitlement to or eligibility for benefits;

  • verifying an individual’s capability to manage his or her benefit payments;

  • verifying information provided by representative payees or representative payee applicants;

  • locating an individual in connection with an SSA program matter when his or her address is unknown;

  • verifying Social Security numbers (SSN) for employers for wage reporting purposes;

  • disclosing wage reports to employers or former employers to reconstruct wage records submitted to SSA;

  • disclosing information to social security agencies of foreign countries with which we have entered into international social security (totalization) agreements to adjudicate claims filed under the United States or foreign social security system, and for carrying on other SSA or foreign program-related activities;

  • disclosing non-tax return information to medical and vocational consultants to prepare for, or perform consultative examinations or vocational assessment of individuals applying for, disability benefits under sections 221 and 1633 of the Act;

  • processing an individual’s application for an SSN;

  • conducting investigations of fraud and other criminal abuse in our programs; and

  • reporting the activities of persons that pose a risk to the safety and security of SSA employees, customers, and facilities to appropriate law enforcement officials.

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GN 03316.005 - Disclosure Without Consent to Administer Social Security Administration (SSA) Programs - 02/06/2020
Batch run: 02/06/2020