TN 1 (09-91)

GN 03360.030 Releasing Personal Records

A. Policy - General

An individual's request for his/her record, or authorization by that person to release the record to a third party must be honored regardless of the workload imposed on the component that receives the request.

See GN 03340.000 for full information on granting an individual access to his/ her own records.

B. Policy - Jurisdiction Of Requests

Generally, the operational component that has the requested material should respond to the request. For example, if the request is for claims folder material and the folder is in ODIO, that component should provide the information. Likewise, if the request is for earnings information, OCRO is responsible for the reply. However, the component that receives the initial request may retain jurisdiction.

C. Policy - Deleting Personal Data From Records

1. Disclosure with Authorization

If an individual authorizes disclosure of personal information, we should generally assume that that person knows what is in the file. This is also true of the parent of a minor child or legal guardian who is acting on behalf of that person. In these cases, personal data do not have to be deleted from the file.

However, if embarrassment or harm could be caused by disclosing certain material in the file to a third party, consider discussing the material with the person authorizing release before disclosing the information.

Claims material relating to another person, such as a number holder's (NH) spouse or child, must be considered to be in a separate file, even though it is physicially located in the NH's claims folder.

EXAMPLE: Authorization by an NH to release information about himself would not apply to information relating to his wife.

2. Disclosure Without Authorization

Release of a record without authorization may be done under the exceptions of the PA and, in very limited circumstances, under the FOIA. The only personal information that should be released is that which is relevant to the issue at hand.

EXAMPLE: If an issue concerns only the NH, any personal data concerning other persons in the file should be deleted.

See GN 03316.015, GN 03316.110, GN 03316.115, GN 03316.120, GN 03316.125 concerning:

  • the NH's right to information and

  • disclosures to applicants, claimants, representative payees and their authorized representatives.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0203360030
GN 03360.030 - Releasing Personal Records - 05/11/2006
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:05/11/2006