HI 00825.125 Disclosure of Information
In the preparation of replies to requests for information, all personnel should be
governed by the applicable basic instructions contained in GN 03300.000ff. Additional
information, if necessary, may be secured by referring to sections 205., 1102., and
1106., of the Social Security Act, to Regulation No. 1, and the Privacy Act of 1974.
Ascertain, if possible, the relationship of the inquirer to the worker or beneficiary
to determine whether the information may be disclosed or the request honored. (Follow
the guides in GN 03300.000ff. If the information may not be furnished, advise the
correspondent to that effect. In addition, if the information can be furnished directly
to the worker, prepare such letter and advise the worker that he or she may show the
letter to the correspondent if he or she desires. If a determination cannot be made
as to the permissibility of disclosure on a particular request, refer the request,
with the claims folder, to the I&E Staff.
Section 1106. of the Social Security Act provides that there shall be no disclosure
of information except as prescribed by regulations. These restrictions are necessary
because we have repeatedly given pledges to the public that information furnished
us will be kept confidential, and will be used only in the administration of our various
programs. Some wage earners and claimants would be reluctant to provide us with the
accurate information we need if they believed it would be used for other purposes.
In addition, the administration burden resulting from unrestricted disclosures would
impair our efficiency in carrying out the basic purpose of our programs. Also, we
do not always have the complete and accurate information requested. In those cases
where information was denied by the DO or PSC and the person insists that his or her
request be considered at a higher level, refer the matter to OURV through proper channels.
Handcarry requests for information or material received citing the Freedom of Information
Act to the Inquiries and Expediting Staff immediately.
The Privacy Act (PA) of 1974 provides safeguards against an invasion of personal privacy.
The PA grants to an individual the right of access to most information pertaining
to him or her in a system of records; i.e., those records containing information about
the individual that is maintained and retrieved by name, SSN, or other identifier.
Disclosure of information concerning the individual must be made to the individual
upon request (or to the individual's authorized representative, legal guardian, etc.).
Personally identifiable information may not be disclosed to third parties except in
certain prescribed categories. The disclosure of information to any person will be
governed by the provisions in GN 03300.000ff. Generally, requests specifically citing
the PA or requesting access to records for which an accounting is required are handled
by the I&R Staff.