Continuous Work History Sample (Statistics), SSA/ORES

Effective Date: August 1, 2000 
(65 F.R. 46997)


System number: 60-0159

System name: 

Continuous Work History Sample (Statistics), SSA/ORES

Security classification: 


System location: 

Social Security Administration 
Office of Systems Operations 
6401 Security Boulevard 
Baltimore, MD 21235

Categories of individuals covered by the system: 

A sample of persons with Social Security numbers (SSNs) issued through the cutoff date of the file. 

Categories of records in the system: 

Demographic characteristics; employer information; type of work information; earnings information; self‑employment information; insured status information; benefit status; mortality information; and geography and industry information.

Authority for maintenance of the system: 

Sections 1110 and 1115 of the Social Security Act.


This system provides a sample overview of Social Security programs.  With identifiers, the system is used by ORES staff and other authorized SSA research staff in statistical research and analysis and research of SSA programs, workloads, and Treasury revenue estimates for policy development.  The system has been an important resource for SSA planning and evaluation, and for summary data used in health research in HCFA and Public Health Service.

Its wide scope and coverage of the income structure of the United States make the data from the system useful to many agencies, including the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analyses, as a fundamental source of data.

Statistical tables and analyses of earnings data are prepared for various government requesters and for publication.

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

Disclosure may be made for routine uses as indicated below: 

1.     To the Bureau of Census when it performs as a collecting agent or data processor for research and statistical purposes directly related to this system of records.

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

3.     To a Federal or State agency (or its agent) lawfully charged with the administration of a Federal or State unemployment compensation law or contribution or tax levied in connection therewith, for the purpose of such administration but solely for use in compiling statistics to be used in aggregated or anonymous forms.

4.     Non-tax return information which is not restricted from disclosure by Federal law may be disclosed to the General Services Administration (GSA) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for the purpose of conducting records management studies with respect to their duties and responsibilities under 44 U.S.C. § 2904 and § 2906, as amended by NARA Act of 1984.

5.  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:


Data are stored in magnetic media, microfilm and in paper form.


Data in the file are indexed and retrieved by SSN. 


Safeguards are established in accordance with the Systems Security Handbook.  Employees having access to records have been notified of criminal sanctions for unauthorized disclosure of information about individuals. Magnetic tapes or other files with personal identifiers are retained in secured storage areas accessible only to authorized personnel.  Microdata files prepared for purposes of research and analysis are purged of personal identifiers and are subject to procedural safeguards to assure anonymity.  (See Appendix G for additional information relating to safeguards SSA employs to protect personal information.)

Retention and disposal: 

This is a longitudinal sample.  Records with identifiers will be retained as long as needed to permit addition of future earnings and other SSA program data for individuals in sample.  When no longer needed, the tape records are erased and returned to stock.

System manager(s) and address: 

Social Security Administration 
Associate Commissioner 
Office of Research 
Evaluation and Statistics 
6401 Security Boulevard 
Baltimore, Maryland 21235

Notification procedure: 

This system contains limited data selected for statistical analysis. Individuals inquiring about their records in SSA programs should consult other SSA systems of records which contain more detailed information. 

An individual can determine if this system contains a record about him/her by writing to the systems 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, such as a voter registration card, credit card, etc.  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 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 SSA Regulations (20 CFR § 401.40).

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)).

Contesting record procedures: 

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

Record source categories: 

Records are derived from other SSA systems (e.g., the Master Files of SSN Holders (60‑0058), Earnings Recording and Self‑Employment Income System (60‑0059) and the Master Beneficiary Record (60‑0090)); quarterly earnings items file; and IRS name and address file.

Systems exempted from certain provisions of the Privacy Act: