Supplemental Security Income Studies, Surveys, Records and Extracts (Statistics), SSA/ORS

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

System number: 60-0203

System name:  

        Supplemental Security Income Studies, Surveys, Records and Extracts (Statistics), SSA/ORS.

Security classification:  

        None.

System location:

          Social Security Administration 
          Office of Systems Operations 
          6401 Security Boulevard 
          Baltimore, MD  21235
 
      Associate Commissioner 
        Office of Research 
          Evaluation and Statistics 
          Social Security Administration 
          6401 Security Boulevard 
          Baltimore, MD 21235
 
          Bureau of the Census 
          Washington, D.C.  20233

Contractor sites: 

        Addresses may be obtained by writing to the system manager at the address below.

Categories of individuals covered by the system: 

          Sample groups and SSI population subsets of persons and families receiving or potentially eligible to receive welfare assistance under the SSI and related Federal/State welfare programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, General Assistance, Emergency Assistance and Food Stamps and Low‑Income Energy Assistance; samples of specially selected subsets of persons from the above programs; other persons or families, regardless of SSI or poverty status, for use within the same system of records for comparison purposes with persons or families in the above categories; Federal/State personnel responsible for the administration of SSI and related welfare programs.

Categories of records in the system: 

          Basic demographic characteristics; medical and disability information; socioeconomic information; living conditions; attitudes; earnings and employment history; benefits; use of medical and rehabilitative services; participation in and benefits received under SSI and related Federal/State welfare programs.

Authority for maintenance of the system: 

          Section 1110 of the Social Security Act; 13 U.S.C. § 182 for Census participation.

Purpose(s): 

          The purpose of this system is to collect data by extraction from program records (including records compiled at the State level) and surveys which may be augmented with program information.

        Basic data on SSI recipients and others are maintained by ORES and analyzed and published for program planning and evaluation purposes.  Such statistical information is used in the budget process for legislative change and as a basis for studying the effectiveness of the SSI and related welfare programs in meeting the needs of the target population served. 

        Currently, access to micro-data files with identifiers comprised of data from this system is limited to researchers and statisticians authorized by ORES within SSA.  Other components of DHHS receive summary data or micro-data without identifiers.

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

        2.     To a contractor under contract to SSA, or under contract to another agency for the performance of research and statistical activities directly related to this system of records.

        3.     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.

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

Storage: 

          Data may be stored in paper form (e.g., hard copy questionnaires, computer printouts), and in magnetic media (e.g., magnetic tape and disc).

Retrievability: 

          Records are indexed and retrieved by SSN.

Safeguards: 

          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.  Micro-data files prepared for purposes of research and analysis are purged of personal identifiers and are subject to physical, technical and procedural safeguards to assure anonymity.  (See Appendix G for additional information relating to safeguards SSA employs to protect personal information.) 

Retention and disposal: 

          Hardcopy questionnaires will be destroyed when survey reports are completed.  Records with identifiers will be held in secure storage areas and will be disposed of as soon as they are determined to be no longer needed for SSA analysis.  Means of disposal are appropriate to the storage medium; e.g., erasure of tapes, shredding of printouts, etc.

System manager(s) and address: 

  Associate Commissioner 
          Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics 
          Social Security Administration 
          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.  Except in transitory stages of preparation, files at SSA which are based on Census samples do not have personal identifiers, and cannot be located on an individual basis.  Records with identifiers maintained at the Bureau of Census are considered by Census to be exempt from access.   These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c).

Contesting record procedures: 

          Same as notification procedures.  Also, requesters should 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 incomplete, untimely, inaccurate or irrelevant.  These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.65(a)).

Record source categories:

          Records in this system are derived from other SSA systems; e.g., Earnings Record (60‑0059), Claims Folder System (60‑0089) (disability case folders), MBR (60‑0090) and Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits (60‑0103) (SSI applications); program records of other Federal/State welfare programs; and/or survey data collected by the Bureau of the Census or by a private organization under contract; the Health Insurance Master File and related files of HHS HCFA and other SSA administrative records; and case service reports of the vocational rehabilitation agencies.  Bureau of Census records may be used as a sampling frame. 

Systems exempted from certain provisions of the Privacy Act:   

        None.