TN 3 (11-98)

GN 03301.002 Confidentiality and Disclosure - Acronyms and Special Terms

A. List of Acronyms

ACCESSAutomated Controlled Correspondence Extraction System
ADAPAlcohol and Drug Abuse Patient
AEQYAlpha Access to Employer Identification Query
AIDSAcquired immune-deficiency syndrome
AIMSAdministrative Instructions Manual System
ALJAdministrative Law Judge
APAAdministrative Procedures Act
ARCAssistant Regional Commissioner
BENDEXBeneficiary and Earnings Data Exchange
BEOGBasic Educational Opportunity Grants
BOCBureau of the Census
CANClaimant"s account number
CAPCommunity Action Program
CEConsultative examination
CENSUSCensus Bureau
CFRCode of Federal Regulations
CHAMPUSCivilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services
CMPPAComputer Matching and Privacy Protection Act
CSEChild support enforcement
DCADivision of Civil Actions
DDSDisability Determination Service
DEFRADeficit Reduction Act of 1984 (DEFRA)
DEQYDetailed Earnings Query
DHSDepartment of Homeland Security
DMFDeath Master File
DOCData Operations Center
DOEDepartment of Energy
DOEdDepartment of Education
DOIDepartment of the Interior
DOJDepartment of Justice
DOLDepartment of Labor
DVA (VA)Department of Veterans Affairs
E/REarnings record
EFOIAElectronic Freedom of Information Act
ERSEIEarnings Recording and Self-Employment Income
FICAFederal Insurance Contributions Act
FOIFreedom of Information
FOIAFreedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552)
FPLSFederal Parent Locator Service
FRCFederal Records Center
FSFFolder Staging Facility
FSPForeign Service Post
FTSFederal Telecommunications System
GAOGeneral Accounting Office
GCGeneral Counsel
GPOGovernment Printing Office
CMSCenter's for Medicare & Medicaid Services
HUDDepartment of Housing and Urban Development
IARInterim Assistance Reimbursement
IASMIIndexes of Administrative Staff Manuals and Instructions
IEDSIndependently entitled divorced spouse
IRCInternal Revenue Code (Title 26, U.S.C.)
LIEAPLow-Income Energy Assistance Program
NHNumber holder, the person to whom a particular Social Security Number has been assigned
NUMIDENTNumerical Identification
OAOOffice of Appeals Operations
OCPROffice of Claims and Payment Requirements
OCREOOffice of Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity
OCROOffice of Central Records Operations
OCSEOffice of Child Support Enforcement
ODOffice of Disability
ODIOOffice of Disability and International Operations
OFOOffice of Financial Operations
OGCOffice of the General Counsel
ODAROffice of Disability Adjucation and Review
OIGOffice of the Inspector General
OMOffice of Management
OMBOffice of Management and Budget
OPIOffice of Public Inquiries
OPIROffice of Program and Integrity Reviews
OPMOffice of Personnel Management
OPROffice of Pre-Claims Requirements
PAPrivacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a)
PHSPublic Health Service
PIAPrimary Insurance Amount
P.L.Public Law
PLSParent Locator Service
POMSProgram Operations Manual System
POSProgram Operations and Systems
PSROProfessional Standards Review Organization
RCRegional Commissioner
RFPARight to Financial Privacy Act of 1978
RORegional Office
RRBRailroad Retirement Board
RUIARailroad Unemployment Insurance Act
RUSBRecords Use and Services Branch
SCSSensitive Case Staff
SDXState Data Exchange
SEQYSummary Earnings Query
SMISupplementary Medical Insurance
SOLQState Online Query
SSNSocial Security Number
SSRSupplemental Security Record
SVESState Verification Exchange System
TANFTemporary Assistance For Needy Families
TINTax identification number
TPQYThird Party Query System
TSCTeleservice Center
UCUnemployment compensation
U.S.CUnited States Code
USDAU.S. Department of Agriculture
USPSU.S. Postal Service
VRVocational rehabilitation
WCWorkers" compensation

B. Glossary - Jargon and Special Terms

AccessThe release of a record to the individual to whom it pertains, or to the parent of a minor or the legal guardian of an incompetent person when the parent or guardian is acting on behalf of his/her ward.
NOTE: This does not include release to representative payees or authorized representatives. See “Disclosure” below.
AccountingA record kept of any disclosure made without the subject individual"s consent, excluding records of disclosure within SSA or under the FOIA.
Adverse actionA claim filed by an individual which has an adverse effect on the claim of another person or persons already on the rolls . Adverse actions are of two types, “adverse claim” and “adverse adjustment,” which are defined separately below. (See GN 01010.110.)
Adverse adjustmentA type of “adverse action” (defined above) in which an award of benefits to a new claimant will reduce benefit payments to another beneficiary already on the rolls.
EXAMPLE:   One or more auxiliaries become entitled when there are already beneficiaries in another household. The family maximum requires the benefits to the earlier beneficiaries to be reduced.
Adverse claimA type of “adverse action” (defined above) in which an award of benefits to a new claimant, or reinstatement of benefits to a beneficiary, results in the nonentitlement of a prior claimant.
AgencySee “Federal agency” and “State agency.”
ApplicantAn individual who has applied (submitted a written request for benefits) on behalf of himself/herself or on behalf of another person. (See “claimant” below for the relationship between “applicant” and “claimant.”)
The status of “applicant” continues until:
  • There has been a final determination on the claim, or

  • Another party has been determined to be the proper applicant, or

  • It has been determined that the individual himself/herself should file (when the applicant has filed on behalf of someone else).

Authorized representativeAn individual appointed in writing by another individual to represent the latter individual before SSA and who has been accepted by SSA. Only an individual, not a firm or organization, may be an authorized representative. If an attorney is a member of a law firm or Legal Aid Society, the individual attorney, and not the law firm or Legal Aid Society, is the authorized representative.
NOTE: Authorized representatives are most often attorneys, but they may also be paralegals, members of the clergy, physicians, or any other responsible person acceptable to SSA.
BeneficiaryA person entitled to benefits or payments under any Social Security program. When there is a representative payee, the person on whose behalf the benefits are payable is the beneficiary.
A “primary beneficiary” is a NH entitled to benefits based on his/her own work record. An “auxiliary beneficiary” is someone entitled to benefits based on someone else"s work record, by virtue of relationship to the NH.
Blue BookAn informal name for the Social Security Administration Privacy Act Notices of Systems of Records  (published with a blue cover), described below under its complete title.
ClaimantA person on whose behalf a claim has been filed. Someone applying on his/her own behalf is both “applicant” and “claimant.” A person applying on someone else"s behalf is the “applicant” and the person on whose behalf the claim was filed is the “claimant.”
Court of competent jurisdictionA court that has legal authority to hear a particular case.
Court orderAn order signed by the judge of a court. (An order signed by a clerk is not a court order.)
Designated representativeA responsible individual designated in writing by an individual (or by a parent or guardian on behalf of his/her ward) seeking access to his/her own medical records (or the ward"s records).
DisclosureThe release or showing of personal information about an individual to a third party, other than to a parent or guardian exercising access rights on behalf of his/her ward. (See “access” above.)
NOTE: The term does not include release of information to the individual to whom it pertains, nor release to a minor"s parent or legal guardian if the parent or guardian is acting on the individual"s behalf. These situations are considered “access” (see GN 03340.000).
Federal agency(For purposes of disclosure by SSA), any component of the Executive Branch of the United States Federal Government, other than SSA or any component thereof, or any other party acting as agent for a Federal agency.
NOTE: The term does not include any Federal court, the Congress, nor any component or agency thereof (such as GAO). SSA defines itself as one “agency” for PA purposes.
Health-maintenance programAny noncommercial program (such as Medicare and Medicaid) designed to provide an individual with health care (both prevention and treatment) or to subsidize the cost of such care. A commercial insurance company may administer such a program for a State or local agency.
Income-maintenance programAny noncommercial program designed to:
  • provide an individual with basic necessities of life (such as food, clothing, shelter and utilities), or

  • supplement the individual"s income to permit the purchase of such necessities.

Income maintenance programs include subsidized housing, food stamps, TANF, general assistance, title XX services, fuel subsidies, workers compensation, unemployment compensation, government pension programs, and State supplementation. Loan programs are not income maintenance programs.

IncompetentA person who has been declared incompetent by a court and for whom a legal guardian has been appointed.
IndividualA human being, living or deceased.
MaintainTo keep, collect, use or disseminate a record or to have control over or responsibility for a system of records.
MinorAn individual considered to be a minor under applicable State law.
NotificationTelling an individual whether or not he/she is the subject of a system of records. Under the PA, an individual
  • may request to be notified whether a particular system contains a record pertaining to him/her, and

  • must be given access to that record upon request (with certain exceptions).

NumidentSSA"s computerized system of numerical identification for individuals, consisting of each person"s name, together with other identifying information such as date and place of birth, parents" names, etc., plus the SSN assigned to that person.
Public(For purposes of the FOIA), any individual or entity other than a Federal agency or a Federal or State court.
RecordAny item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that SSA maintains by the individual"s name, SSN, or other personal identifier.
Return informationSee “tax return information” below.
Routine useUse of a record, with respect to its disclosure, for a purpose which is compatible with the purpose for which it was collected.
NOTE: “Routine use” is not disclosure; it is use for a particular purpose by the recipient. After an agency discloses a record, then the recipient uses it.
Routine use disclosureDisclosure pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of the PA, which requires that the disclosure be:
  • To a recipient named in the agency"s published notice of systems of records,

  • For a purpose listed in the published notice,

  • For a purpose which is compatible with the purposes for which the disclosing agency initially collected or compiled the information.

Social Security Administration Privacy Act Notices of Systems of RecordsA book published periodically by SSA, as required by the PA, which lists all systems of records maintained by SSA along with the system manager and routine uses established for each system of records, and other information (informally referred to as the “Blue Book”).


  • The component responsible for administration of Title II, Title XVI, and certain other parts of the Social Security Act; and

  • DDSs, but only when making determinations of disability.

NOTE: “SSA” does not include:

  • CMS, or

  • Officers or employees of parent agencies, such as State Departments of Human Resources or other related components, or

  • Agents of SSA (other than DDSs).

State agency

  • Any component of the Executive Branch of the government of any State or other territory or possession of the United States (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, etc.), or

  • Any agency of a subdivision of a State, such as a county, city, or township, or

  • Any other party acting as agent for a State agency.

NOTE: The term does not include:

  • A State legislature or any agency thereof,

  • A State or local court, or

  • A city or town council, etc., or

  • A Native American tribe or agency thereof.

NOTE: Although Native American tribes are independent of any State government, the tribes and their agencies may, like State agencies, invoke the FOIA in requesting personal information from the Federal government. Therefore the same laws and procedures generally apply regarding disclosure to the tribes as to disclosure to the States.

Statistical recordA record which is:
  • In a system of records maintained only for statistical research and reporting purposes, and

  • Not used in whole or in part to make a determination about an identifiable individual (except as provided by section 8 of title 13, U.S.C.)

Subject individualThe individual to whom a record pertains.
System managerThe SSA official responsible for confidentiality of or disclosure from a system of records.
System of recordsA collection of information which:
  • Is maintained by a Federal agency (or its agent);

  • Pertains to a number of individuals; and

  • Is arranged so that information about a particular individual can be retrieved by name, SSN, or other personal identifier.

Tax return informationInformation taken from a tax return filed with IRS.
NOTE: “Returns filed with IRS” include forms W-2, which employers submit to SSA, since SSA forwards the forms to IRS after extracting the wage information.
EXAMPLE: Information taken from SSA"s posted earnings records, such as wages and self-employment income, name and address of employer, dates of employment, and the fact that earnings are or are not posted for a given period (but not information alleged on an SSA application form or other paper that is not a tax return).
Wage informationIncludes:
  • Information about both wages and self- employment income as defined in title II of the Social Security Act, and

  • The name, address and employer identification number of an employer reporting wages for Social Security purposes.

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GN 03301.002 - Confidentiality and Disclosure - Acronyms and Special Terms - 09/08/2010
Batch run: 09/08/2010