TN 1 (12-16)
GN 03313.020 Disclosure to the Department of Education (ED)
We provide general instructions for disclosing information from our systems of records to other Federal agencies and officials and a link to our systems of records and their applicable routine uses in GN 03313.001. If you receive a request from ED, contact your regional Privacy Act Coordinator.
A. Disclosure to administer the Pell Grant program
ED administers the Federal Pell Grant Program, a needs-based grants program available to low-income undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Federal Pell Grants are direct grants awarded through participating institutions to students with financial need.
In determining a student's eligibility for a grant, ED must consider all title II and title XVI payments made to the student and members of his or her household during the previous calendar year. ED’s Pell Grant Program meets our criteria for an income maintenance program. We have routine uses that allow us to disclose certain non-tax return information to ED for administration of the Pell Grant program.
B. Pell Grant requests received in Field Offices (FO)
ED may send the student a Pell Grant Verification Form for the student and his or her parents to complete. As part of this process, the student must obtain a statement from us of the title II and title XVI benefit amounts paid to the student and his or her household in the appropriate year. For detailed instructions for handling requests for information regarding Pell Grants, see GN 03340.060.
C. Disclosure for student loan purposes
Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 requires us to verify the Social Security Numbers (SSN) of student loan applicants and their parents for ED. Upon request, we may also provide citizenship status. Although ED student loan programs are not income maintenance programs, we provide SSN verifications to ED based on the statutory mandate to do so in 20 U.S.C. § 1091.
SSA has an electronic data exchange agreement with ED, under which SSA provides SSN verification and citizenship status of loan applicants and their parents.
We may also disclose the addresses of beneficiaries who are obligated on loans held by the Secretary of Education or a loan made in accordance with 20 U.S.C. § 1071 (the Robert T. Stafford Student Loan Program) to ED as authorized by Section 489A of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
D. Disclosures under the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Program
ED is now providing financial relief to individuals who are disabled and have a Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE) indicator on their disability record. Because the financial relief is directly related to the individual’s disability status, MINE disclosures meet the requirements of disclosures for health and income maintenance programs. We have a data exchange agreement with ED under which we disclose MINE indicators from eligible individuals’ records to ED. These individuals no longer have to provide proof to ED regarding their Social Security disability benefits. As a result of the established data exchange, ED is sending notices to individuals who are eligible for financial relief that advise them not to go to FOs to request a Benefits Planning Query.