BASIC (09-08)

DI 23510.015 Disclosure of Information from Records of Deceased Individuals

A. Introduction

The following guides apply to requests for information from the records of deceased individuals. For additional information refer to GN 03000.000 Disclosure/Confidentiality of Information.

B. Unrestricted disclosure

Information may be provided to anyone, without restriction, concerning the fact of an individual’s death, and the place of death or burial.

C. Restricted disclosure

You may disclose any other information with the following exceptions:

  1. When the record contains information that specifically pertains to one or more individuals in addition to the decedent, you may disclose it only if:

    • The other individual(s) is deceased;

    • Disclosure of information pertaining to the other individual(s) would otherwise be permitted; or

    • Information pertaining to the other individual(s) has been segregated from the information pertaining to the decedent, and is deleted from the record prior to disclosure.

  2. You may disclose information pertaining to the decedent that would permit the recipient to ascertain information about a living individual only if the disclosure of the information about the living individual is requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or permitted by the Privacy Act (PA).

  3. You may disclose tax return information only to the administrator, executor, or trustee of the decedent's estate if the requester provides proof that he or she bears such a relationship to the estate.

  4. Handle records of deceased individuals that pertain to treatment for alcoholism and/or drug abuse in the following manner:

    1. Make disclosures required by Federal or State laws involving the collection of death or other vital statistics without consent.

    2. Disclose information from the record of a deceased individual that concerns treatment for substance abuse only with consent of an executor, administrator, or other personal representative. If there is no appointment of a personal representative, such consent may be given by the spouse of the deceased or, if none, by any responsible member of the decedent's family.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0423510015
DI 23510.015 - Disclosure of Information from Records of Deceased Individuals - 09/08/2008
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:09/08/2008