Subject: Information Disclosure
The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) has received inquiries related to the rules regarding fees and the waiver of fees when a claimant requests a copy of claim file material and the Privacy Act applies. In addition, the former Commissioner of Social Security emphasized in a memorandum dated July 29, 1991, that when the Social Security Administration (SSA) releases material from a claimant's claim file for health and safety reasons without the claimant's written consent, SSA must notify the claimant. Therefore, the Office of the Associate Commissioner asked affected OHA components to review applicable portions of HALLEX to ensure that HALLEX accurately reflects the policies of SSA.
We reorganized the material in I-1-403 to clarify its content.
We revised I-1-403 C. and D. to provide guidance on the Privacy Act and the fees, if any, for providing a copy of material to a claimant or a claimant's representative.
We clarified in I-1-403 E. and F. when a claimant's written consent is and is not required for SSA to disclose material about a claimant to a third party.
We added a NOTE to the sixth bullet of I-1-403 F. to explain the requirement in 20 CFR § 401.320 that SSA must send a notice of disclosure to a claimant if SSA discloses information from a claim file for a health or safety reason.
Remove from Chapter I-1-400:
I-1-403 A. cont., through I-1-403 C., dated June 30, 1994 (4 pages).
Insert in Chapter I-1-400:
I-1-403 A. cont., through I-1-403 H. 2., dated April 26, 1995 (6 pages).
Date: April 26, 1995