BASIC (09-05)

GN 03312.035 Kinds of Information That May Be Disclosed for Law Enforcement Purposes

A. Policy - Non-Tax Return Information

Non-tax return information pertains to information in SSA records that relates to benefit entitlement or eligibility, benefit amounts, and other matters concerning benefit status in an SSA program. Non-tax return information includes:

  • benefit data (benefit amount, date of entitlement, date of termination or suspension),

  • dates of birth,

  • medical records,

  • health insurance data,

  • enumeration data, and

  • addresses

See GN 03325.002A.5., GN 03325.002D., GN 03325.003A.4., and GN 03325.003C. for further information concerning disclosure and verification of SSNs.

NOTE: Because of their sensitivity, these records must be identified as medical records when disclosed. Cover medical records with a completed Form SSA-1994 (Confidential Sheet for Transmittal of Medical Information). If an SSA-1994 is not available, make a cover sheet to identify the records as “Confidential - medical information.”

B. Policy - Social Security Numbers (SSN)

1. Disclosure of SSNs

SSA may only disclose or verify the SSN of the individual under investigation when SSA has determined that the SSN is relevant to an investigation or prosecution of:

  • criminal fraud or other abuse of a Social Security program, including misuse of the SSN;

  • criminal fraud or other abuse of an income-maintenance or health-maintenance program; or

  • in other situations in which SSA’s criteria for disclosing information are met (see GN 03312.001B.).

See GN 03325.002 for further instructions concerning disclosure of SSNs.

2. Verification of SSNs

SSA may verify an SSN when:

  • the law enforcement authority is investigating or prosecuting fraud or other criminal activity under statutes within their jurisdiction involving Social Security programs (this includes SSN misuse), (see GN 03312.010A.2. and GN 03316.005C.) and

  • in other situations in which SSA’s criteria for disclosing information are met and the SSN verification is relevant to the investigation or prosecution being pursued.

See GN 03325.003 for further instructions concerning verification of SSNs.

C. Policy - Tax Return Information

Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 6103) restricts SSA’s disclosure of tax return information to State agencies to situations specified in that law. See GN 03320.001D.1. for the definition of tax return information. Tax return information may be disclosed pursuant to a law enforcement request only if the disclosure is authorized in GN 03320.015.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0203312035
GN 03312.035 - Kinds of Information That May Be Disclosed for Law Enforcement Purposes - 09/05/2012
Batch run: 09/05/2012
Rev:09/05/2012