GN BOS00301.040 SSA Access to State Records Online (SASRO) – Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) – (TN 2-98 – 02/2006)
SSA has agreements with State agencies throughout the United States to obtain benefit and other information from their records online. CR/SR's have traditionally obtained this information by phone, paper, or fax requests. Online access means the adjudicator can access the information on his/her computer screen, thus decreasing telephone, fax, and mail traffic between SSA field offices and the State agencies.
SSA Boston Region has an agreement with the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) allowing Social Security field office employees inquiry-only access to the DCF eligibility system, ACCESS. ACCESS contains information about TANF and Food Stamps benefits, as well as child support information.
SSI adjudicating employees in the three Vermont field offices are authorized to use ACCESS.
1. PIN Issuance and De-Activation
DCF allows SSA employees to use ACCESS through a PIN and password system similar to that used by SSA. Usage is limited to those employees who need the data to perform their jobs. Title XVI CRs, Generalist CRs, and TEs are the primary users.
Each ACCESS user must be registered with the State. To register a new employee the field office manager completes the New User Request form available on the SASRO website for Vermont on BOSNet and sends the form by email to the Boston Center for Programs Support (CPS) at ||BOS CPS RSI SSI. Use the same email address to inform CPS when an employee no longer needs access.
Once a new user is known to the system, the state will issue that employee a Resource Access Control Facility (RACF) user ID and temporary RACF password. Login instructions for ACCESS are contained in the Training Package for ACCESS on BOSNet. When prompted, the user will also choose a second, ACCESS password.
The Federal Privacy Act and other disclosure regulations protect SASRO information (both custodial and collateral) in the same manner as other SSA records (GN 03301.020). Information obtained from the State must be treated in the same confidential manner as SSA data:
Treat the query information consistent with the requirements of the Social Security Act, the Federal Privacy Act, and applicable regulations.
Use of ACCESS data is restricted to those authorized individuals who need the information to perform their official duties.
3. Calling the COPS Help Desk
The Computer Operations and Problem Solving (COPS) Help Desk accepts questions on ACCESS from a limited number of SSA employees. Each SSA field office supplies the names of two employees who are authorized to phone the COPS Help Desk. The Help Desk will not accept phone calls from anyone other than these individuals. FO staff should raise questions about using ACCESS with the local office experts. If they are unable to resolve the issue, a designated employee will contact the COPS Help Desk at 1-802-421-2500.
Field office management must notify CPS of any changes in the designated individuals. Also refer policy questions about how to use data obtained from ACCESS to CPS.
4. Accessing SASRO Data
Vermont field office employees get to ACCESS through a web-based application set up by local management. Use this application to create a Desktop Icon or Internet favorite leading to ACCESS.
5. Using SASRO Data
Use DCF information to help determine the eligibility and payment of individuals for benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act.
Two kinds of data are available through SASRO:
Custodial Data consists of records created and or maintained by the agency or official who is charged under law to safeguard records. SSA can use this information as verified, since it is from the custodian of the record.
Collateral Data is information available from an entity that is not the custodian of the record. For example, the DCF eligibility database may contain information about earned or unearned income from other sources. With the exception of child support, SSA cannot use this information as verified, since DCF is not the custodian of the record. Verify the information with the actual source of the income, if applicable.
b. ACCESS Data Considered Verified (Custodial Data)
Consider the following information obtained from ACCESS as verified (i.e., no further verification is necessary):
Receipt of TANF or General Assistance (to verify PA household per SI 00835.130B or to exclude TANF recipients from deeming computation per SI 01320.141),
Individuals in the household assistance unit,
Child support payments to the household,
Benefit amounts for TANF and Food Stamps, and
Termination dates of TANF and Food Stamps benefits.
There is no requirement to verify that an individual does not have income from the DCF. (This type of verification is referred to as “negative verification.”)
NOTE: To verify child support amounts, direct contact with the State is needed, if the household contains more than one child. ACCESS provides the amounts and dates of child support payments to the household.
c. ACCESS Data Not Considered Verified (Collateral Data)
Information on ACCESS such as the following can assist interviewers in completing applications or redeterminations, but must be verified with other sources:
Income not provided by DCF (e.g., wages, veterans' compensation, etc.),
Resources attributed to the household,
SSNs for household members,
Dates of birth for household members, and
Addresses and phone numbers for recipients of benefits from DCF.
d. How to Document SASRO Data
Document online verifications for MSSICS, MCS, and other SSA systems per current POMS and MSOM instructions (GN 00301.286 through GN 00301.290, Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention). Follow existing POMS procedures in resolving discrepancies between evidence obtained online and the claimant's allegation.
When entering verification of custodial data obtained via ACCESS into any of SSA's systems, the documentation should clearly indicate that data were obtained from an online query. In general, the data entered must contain sufficient audit trail information to support the determination. In addition to the pertinent data being documented, record the agency name (DCF) and system accessed (ACCESS), the date of access, and the screen(s) where the information was located.
A Training Package for ACCESS is available on the BOSNet Regional SASRO website for Vermont. The package describes the screens and the information that is available.
GN 00301.035 – Proofs from Other Government or State Agencies
GN 00301.286 – Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention
GN 03301.020 – Privacy Act