National Disability Determination Services (NDDS) File, Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Determinations

Effective Date: January 11, 2006

(71 F.R. 1810)

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION NOTICE OF SYSTEM OF RECORDS REQUIRED BY THE PRIVACY ACT OF 1974

SYSTEM NUMBER: 60-0044

System name:

National Disability Determination Services (NDDS) File, Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Determinations.

Security classification:

    None.

System Location:

    Each State Disability Determination Services (DDS) office and the Federal Disability Determination Service (FDDS) (contact the system manager at the address below or access http://www.socialsecurity.gov/foia/bluebook/app_b.htm for the name and address of each State DDS and the FDDS).

Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    Claimants for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Black Lung (BL) benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments alleging a disability for which the DDS processes claims.

Categories of records in the system:

    Name and Social Security number (SSN) of wage earner, claimant's name and address, date of birth, diagnosis, beginning and ending dates of disability, basis for determination, work history information, educational level, reexamination date (if applicable), date of application, names and titles of persons making or reviewing the determination and certain administrative data. Also included could be data relative to the location of the file and the status of the claim, copies of medical reports, and data relating to the evaluation and measurement of the effectiveness of claims policies.

Authority for maintenance of the system:

    5 U.S.C. 301, 30 U.S.C. 923(b), and sections 221 and 1633 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 421 and 1383b).

Purpose(s):

    The records are used primarily for processing Social Security Title II disability (DI), Title XVI SSI disability, and BL claims, for detection and correction of deficiencies and problems involved in this processing, and for case control purposes.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

    Disclosure may be for routine uses as indicated below:

    1. To State vocational rehabilitation agencies or the appropriate State agency (or agencies providing services to disabled children) for the consideration of rehabilitation services per sections 222 and 1615 of the Social Security Act.

    2. To State audit agencies utilizing this information for verifying proper expenditure of Federal funds by the State in support of the DDS.

    3. To the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) for information requested for purposes of determining eligibility for or amount of veterans benefits, or verifying other information with respect thereto in accordance with 38 U.S.C. 5106.

    4. To a congressional office in response to an inquiry from that office made at the request of the subject of a record.

    5. To a party named in an order, process, or interrogatory, in accordance with section 459 of the Social Security Act if a designee of the Agency is served with any such order, process, or interrogatory with respect to an individual's child support or alimony payment

obligations.

    6. To the Department of Justice (DOJ), a court or other tribunal, or another party before such tribunal when:

    (a) The Social Security Administration (SSA), or any component thereof; or

    (b) Any SSA employee in his/her official capacity; or

    (c) Any SSA employee in his/her individual capacity where DOJ (or SSA where it is authorized to do so) has agreed to represent the employee; or

    (d) The United States or any agency thereof where SSA determines that the litigation is likely to affect the operations of SSA or any of its components, is a party to the litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and SSA determines that the use of such records by DOJ, a court or other tribunal or another party before such tribunal, is relevant and necessary to the litigation, provided, however, that in each case, SSA determines that such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.

    7. To contractors and other Federal agencies, as necessary, for the purpose of assisting the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the efficient administration of its programs. We will disclose information under this routine use only in situations in which SSA may enter into a contractual or similar agreement with a third party to assist in accomplishing an agency function relating to this system of records.

    8. To the General Services Administration and the National Archives Records Administration (NARA) under 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906, as amended by the NARA Act of 1984, information which is not restricted from disclosure by Federal law for the use of those agencies in conducting records management studies.

    9. To student volunteers, individuals working under a personal services contract, and other workers who technically do not have the status of Federal employees, when they are performing work for the Social Security Administration (SSA), as authorized by law, and they need access to personally identifiable information in SSA records in order to perform their assigned Agency functions.

    10. To the Secretary of Health and Human Services or to any State, the Commissioner shall disclose any record or information requested in writing by the Secretary for the purpose of administering any program administered by the Secretary, if records or information of such type were so disclosed under applicable rules, regulations and procedures in effect before the date of enactment of the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994.

    11.  We may disclose information to appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, entities, and persons when (1) we suspect or confirm that the security or confidentiality of information in this system of records has been compromised; (2) we determine that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs of SSA that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) we determine that disclosing the information to such agencies, entities, and persons is necessary to assist in our efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm. SSA will use this routine use to respond only to those incidents involving an unintentional release of its records.

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining and disposing of records in the system:

Storage:

    Records are maintained in paper form, on magnetic tape or disc packs. The method of storage may vary from State to State and within the FDDS.

Retrievability:

    The records are filed by a combination of name and SSN depending on the DDS's preference.

Safeguards:

    Automated records are maintained in accordance with the Systems Security Handbook. The records are accessible only to DDS personnel and subject to the restrictions on disclosures under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(6), 21 U.S.C. 1175, and 42 U.S.C. 1306. Access http://www.socialsecurity.gov/foia/bluebook/app_g.htm for additional information relating to SSA data security measures.

Retention and disposal:

    May vary from State to State and within the FDDS according to the preference, but generally each office destroys its files over a period varying from 6 months to 36 months unless held in an inactive storage under security measures for a longer period.

System manager(s) and address(es):

            Social Security Administration

          Associate Commissioner

          Office of Disability Determinations

          6401 Security Boulevard

          Baltimore, Maryland 21235

Notification procedures:

    An individual can determine if this system contains a record about him/her by providing his/her name and SSN to the DDS Administrator, Disability Determination Services, c/o State in which he or she resides and/or information is likely to be maintained. Contact the system manager at the address below or access http://www.socialsecurity.gov/foia/bluebook/app_b.htm. (Furnishing the SSN is voluntary, but it will make searching for an individual's record easier and avoid delay.)

    An individual can determine if this system contains a record about him/her by writing to the system manager(s) at the above address and providing his/her name, SSN or other information that may be in the system of records that will identify him/her. An individual requesting notification of records in person should provide the same information, as well as provide an identity document, preferably with a photograph, such as a driver's license or some other means of identification. If an individual does not have any identification documents sufficient to establish his/her identity, the individual must certify in writing that he/she is the person claimed to be and that he/she understands that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense.

    If notification is requested by telephone, an individual must verify his/her identity by providing identifying information that parallels information in the record to which notification is being requested. If it is determined that the identifying information provided by telephone is insufficient, the individual will be required to submit a request in writing or in person. If an individual is requesting information by telephone on behalf of another individual, the subject individual must be connected with SSA and the requesting individual in the same phone call. SSA will establish the subject individual's identity (his/her name, SSN, address, date of birth and place of birth, along with one other piece of information, such as mother's maiden name) and ask for his/her consent in providing information to the requesting individual.

    If a request for notification is submitted by mail, an individual must include a notarized statement to SSA to verify his/her identity or must certify in the request that he/she is the person claimed to be and that he/she understands that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense. These procedures are in accordance with Social Security Administration (SSA) Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c)).

    An individual who requests access to his or her medical record must also name a representative in writing. The representative may be a physician, other health professional, or other responsible individual who would be willing to explain the contents of the medical record(s) before giving the entire medical record(s) to the individual. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c) and 401.55).

    A parent or guardian who requests notification of, or access to, a minor's medical record shall, at the time he/she makes the request, designate a physician or other health professional (other than a family member) who will be willing to explain the contents of the medical record(s) before giving the entire medical record(s) to the parent or guardian. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c) and 401.55).

Record access procedures:

    Same as Notification procedures. Requesters should also reasonably specify the record contents being sought. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c) and 401.55).

Contesting record procedures:

    Same as Notification procedures. Requesters should also reasonably identify the record, specify the information they are contesting and the corrective action sought, and the reasons for the correction, with supporting justification showing how the record is incomplete, untimely, inaccurate or irrelevant. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.65(a)).

Record source categories:

    The information to support factors of entitlement and/or continuing eligibility originates from claimants or those acting on their behalf, physicians, hospitals, and other appropriate sources. Also, information is received from control data that monitors the location and status of the claim.

Systems exempted from certain provisions of the Privacy Act:

    None.