GN 03316.999 Exhibits - Disclosure Without Consent to Administer SSA Programs and Other Miscellaneous Disclosures
Exhibit 1 – Information Pertaining to Non-Federal Workers
A. Important Privacy/Security Message To All Non-Federal Workers In The Social Security Administration
IMPORTANT PRIVACY/SECURITY MESSAGE TO ALL
NON-FEDERAL WORKERS IN THE
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
As a non-Federal worker in the Social Security Administration (SSA) you are bound by the same rules and laws that apply to other SSA employees concerning the privacy of personal information in SSA files. Protecting the privacy of records is an obligation that SSA takes very seriously, and SSA issues reminders to its employees about this obligation regularly.
This document explains what those rules and laws are and how they apply to you as a non-Federal worker. Your manager or supervisor will review this document with you so you will be aware of your responsibilities to safeguard the information in SSA records and the penalties for unauthorized use or disclosure of information from those records.
After your manager or supervisor has discussed this document with you, you will be asked to sign the document certifying that you:
understand that, as a non-Federal worker, you are subject to the same criminal and administrative penalties that would apply to Federal workers who violate Federal laws that govern the use and disclosure of personal information in SSA’s files.
Criminal and Administrative Penalties
Non-Federal workers who, without proper authorization, willfully and knowingly disclose, by sale or otherwise, personally identifiable information about an individual from SSA records, will have their work experience program terminated and may be prosecuted under Federal criminal law. Maximum criminal penalties for such acts can include a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 5 years.
Also, any non-Federal worker who, with intent to deceive, falsely represents for any purpose that a Social Security number (SSN) is his or her number or the number of another individual, or who discloses or uses the SSN of any person in violation of the laws of the United States, is guilty of a felony. This is punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years and/or fines of up to $250,000. SSA will vigorously pursue the maximum penalties in these cases and terminate the work experience program of any worker convicted of this felony.
Examples of Inappropriate Use of Disclosure of Information
You must ensure that the confidentiality of SSA information in SSA records is protected in all of your day-to-day work. This includes performing all of your assigned duties.
You must not use SSA records to:
Establish or create false records;
Obtain, review or use personal information about a member of the public when you do not need or use such information in your Social Security work;
Obtain, review or release information about anyone for non-work purposes, including celebrities, sports figures, friends, relatives, coworkers, or yourself;
Assist friends in filing income tax returns; or
Locate or release individuals’ addresses for non-program purposes (such as planning class reunions).
Also, you must never disclose the contents of a beneficiary’s record to a third party without express written permission from the beneficiary or unless allowed by Agency instructions. These instructions provide additional limitations on disclosure by telephone.
Assisting Family Members with Social Security Business and Reviewing Your Own Social Security Record
As a non-Federal worker at SSA you may be asked by family members to help them with SSA-related business or to get information about them from SSA records. You should generally refer relatives who are beneficiaries to their local field office or SSA’s 800 number for help and information. If you want to assist a member of your immediate family (your parents, spouse or children), you may do so by being with them when they call our 800 number (1-800-772-1213). The family member should give the Teleservice Representative (TSR) information to establish his or her identity, and then explain that you will be assisting with the call. You may then discuss business with the TSR and get any information you may need to help the member of your family.
If you receive a request for earnings information from a relative who is not receiving Social Security benefits, have your relative complete and sign the Request for Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement, Form SSA-7004-SM. This form is readily available at any SSA office and by calling the 800 number.
For any other requests related to family members, your manager or supervisor can obtain information or authorize other SSA employees to do so. If there is any uncertainty regarding whether the information should be made available to you, your manager or supervisor will consult with a privacy coordinator.
You should follow the same procedures when you need to obtain information from your own Social Security record.
The SSA Systems Security Officer (SSASSO) is responsible for ensuring the security of SSA records in the systems environment. This includes establishing state-of-the-art safeguards to protect against unauthorized use and disclosure of SSA information. The SSASSO is also responsible for ensuring that systems security breaches are investigated and appropriate action is taken.
If You Need Further Information
A summary of the statutes, regulations and SSA instructions regarding privacy is in POMS, Part 02, Chapter 33. If you have questions that are not answered in POMS, refer them to your manager or supervisor. If you have any security questions concerning the use of SSA’s systems, refer them to your manager or supervisor as well.
You should report any concerns or observations of suspected abuse to your manager or supervisor. If you prefer, you may report anonymously through the Office of Inspector General Hotline at 1-800-368-5779.
B. Certification Of Non-Federal Worker
CERTIFICATION OF NON-FEDERAL WORKER
I certify that I have been informed about the rules concerning the privacy, disclosure, and security of personal information in SSA files, and have received a copy of instructions entitled, “Important Privacy/Security Message To All Non-Federal Workers In The Social Security Administration.” Also, I understand that I am bound by the same criminal and administrative penalties that apply to SSA employees for willfully and knowingly violating the Federal laws that govern the use and disclosure of such information.
(Your manager or supervisor will give you the original certified copy of this document, and will keep a signed copy to attach to your work experience agreement.)