TN 2 (09-85)
GN 01704.500 Consent Statements
No information about an individual may be sent to or obtained from a foreign agency unless a claim has been filed for that individual under an agreement, or unless the individual has submitted signed authorization.
B. Routine Use—Claim Filed Under an Agreement
The routine-use regulations for totalization became effective January 7, 1980. From that date, any information in specific systems of records may be disclosed to a foreign country with which the United States has a totalization agreement if the information is required to adjudicate a claim filed under the agreement. To be considered “filed under an agreement” for consent purposes, a claim must be made on an application form specifically designed to take claims under an agreement (see GN 01704.425) or on a national application of the United States or a country with which an agreement is in effect, if that application was filed on or after the effective date of the agreement and indicates coverage under the agreement.
If one of these forms has been filed, information needed by the foreign country pertaining to any individual listed on that application for whom benefits are being claimed may be disclosed. Consent statement(s) from the listed individuals is (are) not required. SSA may disclose information from the application itself, as well as information from any of the approved systems of records not only under the SSN on which the totalization claim was filed, but also under any related SSN. However, SSA must be satisfied a claim has been filed under an agreement before disclosing information. Either a copy of the application or a statement from the foreign agency that a claim has been filed under the Social Security totalization agreement between the United States and its country and that the information being requested is needed to process that claim will be sufficient. Assume foreign agencies request U.S. ERS only if such a claim has been filed.
C. No Claim Filed Under an Agreement
If a foreign agency requests information about an individual who has not filed an application under the agreement, the routine-use provision does not apply. However, disclosure is permissable if the individual:
Submits a signed authorization to SSA directly or through the foreign country (this is good only for the information and purpose specified, and is limited to a one-time disclosure); or
Signs an authorization form properly completed and submitted by the foreign agency. The D/USA 7, the CH/USA 7, the N/USA 7, the BE/USA 7 and the CAN/USA 7 are the only such forms at present. (This is a broad authorization and is permanent in nature.)
Is deceased. No consent statements are necessary to release information, including E/Rs about deceased individuals. However, no information about survivors can be released without consent.
The countries with which the United States has agreements also have laws to protect the privacy of individuals. Therefore, consent may be required before foreign agencies release information to us. An application for benefits from a foreign country filed under the agreement will satisfy their consent requirements, and should be included when requesting information from a foreign agency.