BASIC (09-05)

GN 03312.015 Law Enforcement Requests from Federal Agencies Involving Non-Violent Crimes

A. Policy - General

1. Income-Maintenance and Health-Maintenance Programs

a. Non-Tax Return Information

Relevant non-tax return information may be disclosed to a Federal agency when requested in connection with fraud or other criminal activity in an income-maintenance or health maintenance program administered by the agency when the requested information concerns eligibility, benefit amounts, or other of benefit status in a Social Security program and is relevant to determining the same matters in the income-maintenance or health maintenance program (e.g., Railroad Retirement Board pension and unemployment compensation programs and the Department of Veterans Affairs compensation and benefit programs).

The requester must furnish a minimum of the number holder's SSN and name, or the name along with sufficient identifying information to enable SSA to locate an SSN (see GN 03312.040B.). Do not disclose a name if the requester furnishes only an SSN.

b. Tax Return Information

Tax return information may be disclosed only as discussed in GN 03320.015.

2. Welfare Fraud on Native American Territories

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has jurisdiction over investigation and prosecution of welfare fraud on Native American territories. State officials do not have jurisdiction in these cases. Only relevant non-tax return information may be disclosed (see GN 03313.070A.4.).

3. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

SSA is required to provide information to DHS, USCIS as follows:

  • 8 U.S.C. § 1360(b) (Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)) requires SSA to disclose information concerning the identity and location of aliens in the United States to DHS, USCIS upon receipt of a request.

  • 8 U.S.C. § 1360(c)(2) (INA) requires SSA to disclose the name and address of the alien, the name and address of the person reporting the earnings, and the amount of earnings, of an aliens having earnings posted to an SSN issued for non-work purposes after January 1, 1997.

See GN 03313.095.

4. Department of Justice (DOJ)

United States attorneys and the FBI, DOJ, may be given:

  • any relevant information (including tax return information) relating to a violation of the Social Security Act (see GN 03316.015A.1.),

  • relevant non-tax return information relating to individuals who have been indicted for or convicted of a serious crime (see GN 03312.005A.), and

  • relevant non-tax return information when requested by DOJ for the purpose of identifying, locating, or taking appropriate action against suspected Nazi war criminals in the United States (see GN 03313.070A.6.). These requests should be referred to the Office of Public Disclosure (OPD) Office of the General Counsel (OGC).

NOTE: Field offices should refer all requests from U.S. attorneys to the regional office (RO) through the regional Privacy Act Coordinator (PAC) if there are any questions concerning the appropriateness of a disclosure. As necessary, the RO or regional PAC should consult with OPD, OGC. Central office components should consult with the OPD, OGC.

5. United States Postal Service (USPS)

The U.S. Postal Service may be given non-tax return information in connection with the alleged theft, forgery or unlawful negotiation of Social Security benefit and Medicare payment checks. See GN 03316.050 and GN 03313.065.

6. National Security Situations

National security situations involve threats on the life of the President and other dignitaries, acts of terrorism, and other similar criminal activity. Requests involving national security situations should be referred to OPD, OGC. See GN 03312.050 and GN 03312.060.

B. Procedure

Components receiving law enforcement requests should follow any specific procedures di