Identification Number:
GN 03340 TN 11
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:Office of the General Counsel
Title:Access to SSA Records
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part GN – General
Chapter 033 – Disclosure/Confidentiality of Information
Subchapter 40 – Access to SSA Records
Transmittal No. 11, 09/09/2020

Audience

PSC: CA, CS, DE, DEC, DS, ICDS, IES, ISRA, PETE, RECONR, SCPS, TSA, TST;
OCO-OEIO: BIES, BTE, CR, CTE, EIE, FCR, FDE, LC, PETL, RECONE, RECONR, RECOVR;
OCO-ODO: BET, BTE, CCE, CR, CST, CTE, CTE TE, DE, DEC, DS, DSE, PAS, PETE, PETL, RCOVTA, RECONE, RECOVR;
OEO: DOSPA, OSSPA, WBDOCPA;
ODD-DDS: DHU;
FO/TSC: CS, CS TII, CS TXVI, CSR, CTE, FR, OS, RR, TA, TSC-CSR;

Originating Component

OPD

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

This is a Quick Action Transmittal. These revisions do not change or introduce new policy or procedure.

Summary of Changes

GN 03340.020 Access Rights of a Minor

Subsection B We are clarifying existing policy that a minor over the age of 12 may be able to understand information in his or her records, while a minor under the age of 12 may not.

GN 03340.020 Access Rights of a Minor

A. Definition of a minor

Minors have their own access rights under the Privacy Act. We consider a minor child to be an individual under age 18. A minor can exercise the right of access on his or her own behalf under the Privacy Act. Parental consent is not necessary to comply with an access request by a minor.

B. Procedure for processing access requests for minors

If a minor makes an access request, provide the requested records after verifying the minor’s identity and determining the minor is capable of making the request and is able to understand the information. The reviewing SSA employee should make the decision to accept a minor’s access request based on his or her own judgment that the child is capable of understanding the information that they are requesting.

Use age 12 as a baseline for determining when a child is old enough to access their own records. Consider these types of disclosures on a case-by-case basis. A child under 12 years old may not be mature enough to understand the information in their records, while a child over 12 may be able to understand the information. For questions concerning a minor’s right to access their own records, please contact the Office of Privacy and Disclosure.


GN 03340 TN 11 - Access to SSA Records - 9/09/2020