TN 5 (11-15)
GN 03305.006 Who May Not Consent
Under the Privacy Act, only individuals with access rights may consent to disclose the personal information maintained in our records (records retrieved by the name, SSN, or any other personal identifier unique to the individual). For more information about our policy for disclosing records, see GN 03305.002. The fact that a third party may have a business, family, or other relationship with the individual neither gives the third party access rights nor the right to provide consent.
A. Third party requesters who may not consent
The following are examples of third party requesters who may not consent to the disclosure of records on behalf of individuals:
An appointed representative (see GN 03305.025 for additional information);
A representative payee (except when the representative payee is also the parent or legal guardian);
A designated representative (a person selected to receive medical records);
A guardian ad litem (if not the individual’s legal guardian);
A stepparent (except when the stepparent is also the legal guardian);
A relative, friend, or other person who does not have legal guardianship; and
A third party who has power of attorney (except as described in GN 03305.003H.5.).
B. Guardian ad litem
A guardian ad litem is a non-professional volunteer or an attorney appointed by a court for a very specific purpose. Under the Privacy Act, a guardian ad litem is not a legal guardian and therefore cannot provide consent to disclose SSA records. However, if the guardian ad litem appointment equates to legal guardianship under a specific state law (GN 00502.300), we may be able to accept the consent document. Regional and FO components should consult with the Regional Chief Counsel’s office through the regional Privacy Coordinator for advice on handling consent documents presented by a guardian ad litem. Central Office components may consult with OPD.