A claimant may, without appointing a representative, specifically consent to SSA's
disclosure of his/her records to an individual or organization. The policy governing
disclosure of records with consent (see GN 03305.025) provides that a claimant may specifically consent to the disclosure of his/ her
Social Security records to a legal aid group or private law firm as an entity, or
to any individual member of the entity, whether or not the claimant has appointed
any individual in the entity to act as his/her representative by completing a SSA-3288.
If the claimant consents to SSA's disclosure of his/her records to an entity, and
that entity subsequently proposes to take any action (e.g., to file a claim or pursue
an appeal) on behalf of the claimant, the claimant must appoint a specific individual
or individuals in the entity as representative(s) (see GN 03910.020B.3. and GN 03910.040). Only the appointed representative(s) has the authority to act on behalf of the
claimant as provided in 1. above, whether or not the claimant consented to disclosure
of records to other individuals in the entity.
An appointed representative does not have the authority to disclose the claimant's
records to another party without the claimant's specific consent on the SSA-3288 (for
policy see GN 03305.006, for the exhibit see GN 03305.999).
Under existing disclosure policy, SSA cannot disclose information to an attorney who
represents a claimant at the court level, unless the claimant specifically consents
on a Form SSA-3288. If the claimant also appoints the court level attorney for representation
on matters before SSA, the Form SSA-1696-U4 or an equivalent writing permits us to