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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; as Amended; Alterations to Existing Systems of Records

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Social Security Administration.

ACTION:

Notice of minor non-substantive changes to existing systems of records.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12)), we are issuing public notice of our intent to amend the following existing systems of records to allow disclosure of personally identifiable information to consumer reporting agencies in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(e):

  • Master Beneficiary Record, 60-0090,
  • Recovery of Overpayment, Accounting and Reporting, 60-0094; and
  • Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits, 60-0103.

We also are modifying the language in the notice entitled, Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits to: (1) More accurately describe the records maintained in this system of records, and (2) clarify language in routine use numbered 19 for this system of records. We invite public comments on these proposals.

DATES:

These changes are effective immediately on February 21, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Interested individuals may comment on this publication by writing to the SSA Privacy Officer, Social Security Administration, 3-A-6 Operations Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401. All comments received will be available for public inspection at the above address.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Pamela McLaughlin, Social Insurance Specialist, Social Security Administration, 3-C-2 Operations Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401, telephone (410) 965-3677.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Disclosure to Consumer Reporting Agencies

The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12)) permits Federal agencies to disclose certain information to consumer reporting agencies in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(e) without the consents of the individuals to whom the information pertains. The purpose of this disclosure is provide an incentive for individuals to pay the outstanding debts they owe to the Federal government by including information about these debts in the Start Printed Page 11080records relating to those persons maintained by consumer reporting agencies. This is a practice commonly used by the private sector. We are permitted by sections 204(f), 808(e) and 1631(b)(4) of the Social Security Act (the Act) (42 U.S.C. 404(f), 1008(e) and 1383(b)(4)) to disclose to consumer reporting agencies under 31 U.S.C. 3711 information on certain delinquent benefit overpayments that occur under title II, title VIII (special benefits for certain veterans of World War II) and title XVI of the Act, respectively.

In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(e) and requirements of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), we are publishing this notice in the Federal Register (FR) that we may disclose information from the above-mentioned systems of records to consumer reporting agencies. The information disclosed will be limited to that which is needed to establish the identity of the individual debtor, the amount, status, and history of the debt, and the agency or program under which the debt arose.

We have added the following statement after the routine uses section of each of the notices of the above-mentioned systems of records:

Disclosure to Consumer Reporting Agencies: Disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12) may be made to consumer reporting agencies as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(f)) or the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (31 U.S.C. 3701, et. Seq.) as amended. The disclosure will be made in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(e) when authorized by sections 204(f), 808(e), or 1631(b)(4) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 404(f), 1008(e) or 1383(b)(4)). The purpose of this disclosure is to aid in the collection of outstanding debts owed to the Federal government, typically, to provide an incentive for debtors to repay delinquent Federal government debts by making these debts part of their credit records. The information to be disclosed is limited to the individual's name, address, SSN, and other information necessary to establish the individual's identity, the amount, status, and history of the debt and the agency or program under which the debt arose.

II. Clarifying Amendment to the Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits System of Records

A. Clarification of Description of Categories of Records Maintained

We have amended the categories of records section of the Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits to more accurately describe the types of information maintained in the system of records. This amendment is a clarification, not the addition of new types of information in the system. This section of the notice of the system of records states that records concerning “. . . payment amounts, including overpayment amounts and the date and amount of advance payments; . . .”

We are clarifying this description as follows (see italicized language): “* * * payment amounts, including the date and amount of advance payments; overpayment amounts, including identifying characteristics of each overpayment (e.g., name, SSN and address of the individual(s) involved, recovery efforts made and the date of each action, and planned future actions); * * *”

B. Clarification of Routine Use Numbered 19 Applicable to the Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits System of Records

The routine use numbered 19 for the Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits provides for disclosure of information from the system to other Federal, State and local government agencies to assist those agencies in administering their programs as well as to assist SSA in administering its programs. We are making a clarifying amendment to this routine use to cite examples of SSA programs for which disclosure may be made under the routine use. The amended routine use provides that disclosure may be made (the clarifying language is italicized):

19. To Federal, State or local agencies (or agents on their behalf) for administering cash or non-cash income maintenance or health maintenance programs (including programs under the Social Security Act). Such disclosures include, but are not limited to, release of information to:

(a) The Department of Veterans Affairs upon request for determining eligibility for, or amount of, DVA benefits or verifying other information with respect thereto;

(b) The Railroad Retirement Board for administering the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act;

(c) State agencies to determine eligibility for Medicaid;

(d) State agencies to locate potentially eligible individuals and to make determinations of eligibility for the food stamp program;

(e) State agencies to administer energy assistance to low income groups under programs for which the States are responsible;

(f) Department of State and its agents to assist SSA in administering the Social Security Act in foreign countries, the American Institute on Taiwan and its agents to assist in administering the Social Security Act in Taiwan, the VA, Philippines Regional Office and its agents to assist in administering the Social Security in the Philippines, and the Department of Interior and its agents to assist in administering the Social Security Act in the Northern Mariana Islands; and

(g) Federal, State, or local agencies to assist SSA in administering its programs such as the Supplemental Security Income and Special Veterans Benefits programs.

Start Signature

Dated: February 14, 2001.

Darrell Blevins,

SSA Privacy Officer.

End Signature

60-0090

System name:

Master Beneficiary Record, Social Security Administration, Office of Systems Requirements.

Security classification:

None.

System location:

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

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System:

All Social Security beneficiaries who are or were entitled to receive Retirement and Survivors Insurance (RSI), or Disability Insurance (DI) benefits, including individuals who have received a RSI or DI payment since November 1978 even if their payment is not part of an ongoing award of benefits; individuals (non-claimants) on whose earnings records former spouses apply for RSI or DI benefits; persons who are only enrolled in the Hospital or Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) programs; and claimants whose benefits have been denied or disallowed.

The system also contains short references to records for persons entitled to supplemental security income payments, black lung benefits or railroad retirement board benefits.

Categories of Records in the System:

The Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) contains information about each claimant who has applied for RSI or DI benefits, or to be enrolled in the Hospital or SMI programs; a record of the amount of Federal tax withheld on Start Printed Page 11081benefits paid to nonresident aliens; and the aggregate amount of benefit payments, repayments and reductions with respect to an individual in a calendar year. A record is maintained under each individual's Social Security number (SSN). However, if the individual has filed on another person's SSN, only a short “pointer” record is maintained. Personal and general data about the claim is maintained under the SSN of that claim. Data about the claimant can be accessed using the claimant's SSN or the SSN on which benefits have been awarded or claimed (claim account number (can)).

There are three types of data in each CAN:

Account data: This includes the primary insurance amount, insured status of the SSN holder (if no monthly benefits are payable), data relating to the computation (use of military service credits, railroad retirement credits, or coverage credits earned under the Social Security system of a foreign country when the claim is based on a totalization agreement), and, if only survivor's benefits have been paid, identifying data about the SSN holder (full name, date of birth, date of death and verification of date of death).

Payment data: This includes the payee's name and address, data about a financial institution (if benefits are sent directly to the institution for deposit), the monthly payment amount, the amount and date of a one-time payment of past due benefits, and, where appropriate, a scheduled future payment.

Beneficiary data: This includes personal information (name, date of birth, sex, date of filing, relationship to the SSN holder, other SSN's, benefit amount and payment status), and, if applicable, information about a representative payee, data about disability entitlement, worker's compensation offset data, estimates and report of earnings, or student entitlement information.

Authority for Maintenance of the System:

Sections 202-205, 223, 226, 228, 1818, 1836, and 1840 of the Social Security Act (the Act).

Purposes(s):

Data in this system are used by a broad range of Social Security employees for responding to inquiries, generating follow-ups on beneficiary reporting events, computer exception processing, statistical studies, conversion of benefits, and generating records for the Department of the Treasury to pay the correct benefit amount.

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. However, disclosure of any information constituting “returns or return information” within the scope of the Internal Revenue Code will not be disclosed unless disclosure is authorized by that statute.

(1) To applicants or claimants, prospective applicants or claimants (other than the data subject), their authorized representatives or representative payees to the extent necessary to pursue Social Security claims and to representative payees, when the information pertains to individuals for whom they serve as representative payees, for the purpose of assisting SSA in administering its representative payment responsibilities under the Act and assisting the representative payees in performing their duties as payees, including receiving and accounting for benefits for individuals for whom they serve as payees.

(2) To third party contacts (e.g., employers and private pension plan) in situations where the party to be contacted has, or is expected to have, information relating to the individual's capability to manage his/her affairs or his/her eligibility for, or entitlement to, benefits under the Social Security program when:

(a) The individual is unable to provide information being sought. An individual is considered to be unable to provide certain types of information when:

(i) He/she is incapable or of questionable mental capability;

(ii) He/she cannot read or write;

(iii) He/she cannot afford the cost of obtaining the information;

(iv) He/she has a hearing impairment, and is contacting SSA by telephone through a telecommunications relay system operator;

(v) A language barrier exists; or

(vi) The custodian of the information will not, as a matter of policy, provide it to the individual; or

(b) The data are needed to establish the validity of evidence or to verify the accuracy of information presented by the individual, and it concerns one or more of the following:

(i) His/her eligibility for benefits under the Social Security program;

(ii) The amount of his/her benefit payment; or

(iii) Any case in which the evidence is being reviewed as a result of suspected fraud, concern for program integrity, quality appraisal, or evaluation and measurement activities.

(3) To third party contacts that may have information relevant to SSA's establishment or verification of information provided by representative payees or payee applicants.

(4) To a Social Security beneficiary/claimant when a claim is filed by another individual on the same record which is adverse to the beneficiary, but only information concerning the facts relevant to the interests of each party in a claim e.g.:

(a) An award of benefits to a new claimant precludes an award to a prior claimant; or

(b) An award of benefits to a new claimant will reduce the benefit payments to the individual(s) on the roll;

(5) To the Department of the Treasury for:

(a) Collecting Social Security taxes or as otherwise pertinent to tax and benefit payment provisions of the Act (including SSN verification services);

(b) Investigating the alleged theft, forgery, or unlawful negotiation of Social Security checks;

(c) Determining the Federal tax liability on Social Security benefits pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 6050F, as amended by Public Law 98-21. The information disclosed will consist of the following:

(i) The aggregate amount of Social Security benefits paid with respect to any individual during any calendar year;

(ii) The aggregate amount of Social Security benefits repaid by such individual during such calendar year;

(iii) The aggregate reductions under section 224 of the Act in benefits which would otherwise have been paid to such individual during the calendar year on account of amounts received under a worker's compensation act; and

(iv) The name and address of such individual;

(d) Depositing the tax withheld on benefits paid to nonresident aliens in the Treasury (Social Security Trust Funds) pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 871, as amended by P.L. 98-21.

(6) To the United States Postal Service for investigating the alleged theft or forgery of Social Security checks.

(7) To the Department of Justice (DOJ) for:

(a) Investigating and prosecuting violations of the Act to which criminal penalties attach;

(b) Representing the Commissioner of Social Security; and

(c) Investigating issues of fraud by agency officers or employees, or violation of civil rights. Start Printed Page 11082

(8) To the Department of State for administering the Act in foreign countries through services and facilities of that agency.

(9) To the American Institute of Taiwan for administering the Act in Taiwan through services and facilities of that agency.

(10) To the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Philippines Regional Office, for administering the Act in the Philippines through the services and facilities of that agency.

(11) To the Department of Interior for administering the Act in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands through services and facilities of that agency.

(12) To the Social Security agency of a foreign country, to carry out the purpose of an international Social Security agreement entered into between the United States and the other country, pursuant to section 233 of the Act.

(13) To the Office of the President for the purpose of responding to an individual pursuant to an inquiry received from that individual or from a third party on his/her behalf.

(14) To the Department of Education for determining eligibility of applicants for basic educational opportunity grants.

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

(16) To the Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Analysis, for studying the effects of income taxes and taxes on earnings.

(17) To the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), for the study of the relationship of civil service annuities to minimum Social Security benefits, and the effects on the Social Security trust fund.

(18) To State Social Security Administrators for administering agreements pursuant to section 218 of the Act.

(19) To the Department of Energy for its epidemiological research study of the long-term effects of low-level radiation exposure, as permitted by SSA Regulations 20 CFR 401.150(c).

(20) To contractors under contract to SSA (or under contract to another agency with funds provided by SSA) for the performance of research and statistical activities directly relating to this system of records.

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

(22) To the Department of Labor for conducting statistical studies of the relationship of private pensions and Social Security benefits to prior earnings.

(23) In response to legal process or interrogatories relating to the enforcement of an individual's child support or alimony obligations, as required by sections 459 and 461 of the Act.

(24) To Federal, State, or local agencies (or agents on their behalf) for administering income maintenance or health maintenance programs (including programs under the Act). Such disclosures include, but are not limited to, release of information to:

(a) RRB for administering provisions of the Railroad Retirement Act relating to railroad employment; for administering the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act and for administering provisions of the Social Security Act relating to railroad employment;

(b) DVA for administering 38 U.S.C. 1312, and upon request, for determining eligibility for, or amount of, veterans benefits or verifying other information with respect thereto pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 5106;

(c) State welfare departments for administering sections 205(c)(2)(B)(i)(II) and 402(a)(25) of the Act requiring information about assigned SSN's for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program purposes and for determining a recipient's eligibility under the TANF program; and

(d) State agencies for administering the Medicaid program.

(25) Upon request, information on the identity and location of aliens may be disclosed to the Department of Justice (DOJ) (Criminal Division, Office of Special Investigations) for the purpose of detecting, investigating and, where appropriate, taking legal action against suspected Nazi war criminals in the United States.

(26) To third party contacts such as private collection agencies and credit reporting agencies under contract with SSA and State motor vehicle agencies for the purpose of their assisting SSA in recovering overpayments.

(27) Information may be disclosed to contractors and other Federal agencies, as necessary, for the purpose of assisting SSA in the efficient administration of its programs. We contemplate disclosing information under the 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.

(28) Non-tax return information which is not restricted from disclosure by Federal law may be disclosed to General Services Administration (GSA) and 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.

(29) Information may be disclosed to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the purpose of making direct deposit/electronic funds transfer of Social Security benefits to foreign-resident beneficiaries.

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

(a) 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 litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and SSA determines that the use of such records by DOJ, the court or other 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.

Wage and other information which are subject to the disclosure provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) (26 U.S.C. 6103) will not be disclosed under this routine use unless disclosure is expressly permitted by the IRC.

(31) To the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) for use in its program studies of, and development of enhancements for, State vocational rehabilitation programs. These are programs to which applicants or beneficiaries under titles II and or XVI of the Act may be referred. Data released to RSA will not include any personally identifying information (such as names or SSNs).

(32) Addresses of beneficiaries who are obligated on loans held by the Secretary of Education or a loan made in accordance with 20 U.S.C. 1071, et. seq. (the Robert T. Stafford Federal Student Loan Program) may be disclosed to the Department of Education as authorized by section 489A of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

(33) To student volunteers and other workers, who technically do not have Start Printed Page 11083the status of Federal employees, when they are performing work for SSA as authorized by law, and they need access to personally identifiable information in SSA records in order to perform their assigned Agency functions.

(34) To Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and private security contractors, as appropriate, information necessary:

(a) To enable them to protect the safety of SSA employees and customers, the security of the SSA workplace and the operation of SSA facilities, or

(b) To assist investigations or prosecutions with respect to activities that affect such safety and security or activities that disrupt the operation of SSA facilities.

(35) Corrections to information that resulted in erroneous inclusion of individuals in the Death Master File (DMF) may be disclosed to recipients of erroneous DMF information.

(36) Information as to whether an individual is alive or deceased may be disclosed pursuant to section 1106(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1306(d)), upon request, for purposes of an epidemiological or similar research project, provided that:

(a) SSA determines in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, that the research may reasonably be expected to contribute to a national health interest; and

(b) The requester agrees to reimburse SSA for the costs of providing the information; and

(c) The requester agrees to comply with any safeguards and limitations specified by SSA regarding rerelease or redisclosure of the information.

Disclosure to Consumer Reporting Agencies:

Disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12) may be made to consumer reporting agencies as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(f)) or the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (31 U.S.C. 3701, et seq.) as amended. The disclosure will be made in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(e) when authorized by sections 204(f), 808(e), or 1631(b)(4) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 404(f), 1008(e) or 1383(b)(4)). The purpose of this disclosure is to aid in the collection of outstanding debts owed to the Federal government, typically, to provide an incentive for debtors to repay delinquent Federal government debts by making these debts part of their credit records. The information to be disclosed is limited to the individual's name, address, SSN, and other information necessary to establish the individual's identity, the amount, status, and history of the debt and the agency or program under which the debt arose.

Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining and Disposing of Records in the System:

Storage:

Records are stored in magnetic media (e.g., magnetic tape and magnetic disk) and in microform and paper form.

Retrievability:

Records in this system are indexed and retrieved by SSN.

Safeguards:

Safeguards for automated records have been established in accordance with the Systems Security Handbook. All magnetic tapes and disks are within an enclosure attended by security guards. Anyone entering or leaving this enclosure must have special badges which are issued only to authorized personnel. All microform and paper files are accessible only by authorized personnel and are locked after working hours.

For computerized records, electronically transmitted between SSA's central office and field office locations (including organizations administering SSA programs under contractual agreements), safeguards include a lock/unlock password system, exclusive use of leased telephone lines, a terminal oriented transaction matrix, and an audit trail.

Retention and Disposal:

Primary data storage is on magnetic disk. A new version of the disk file is generated each month based on changes to the beneficiary's record (adjustment in benefit amount, termination, or new entitlements). The prior version is written to tape and retained for 90 days in SSA's main data processing facility and is then sent to a secured storage facility for indefinite retention.

Selected records also are retained on magnetic disk for on-line query purposes. The query files are updated monthly and retained indefinitely. Microform records are disposed of by shredding or the application of heat after periodic replacement of a complete file.

Paper records are usually destroyed after use, by shredding, except where needed for documentation of the claims folder. (See the notice for the Claims Folders System, 60-0089 for retention periods and method of disposal for these records).

System Manager and Address:

Director, Office of Systems Requirements, Division of Payment Processes, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235.

Notification Procedure:

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. Also, requesters should reasonably specify the record contents they are seeking. These Start Printed Page 11084procedures 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:

Data for the MBR come primarily from the Claims Folders System (60-0089) and/or is furnished by the claimant/beneficiary at the time of filing for benefits, via the application form and necessary proofs, and during the period of entitlement when notices of events such as changes of address, work, marriage, are given to SSA by the beneficiary; and from States regarding Hospital Insurance third party premium payment/buy-in cases.

Systems Exempted from Certain Provisions of the Privacy Act:

None.

60-0094

System Name:

Recovery of Overpayments, Accounting and Reporting, Social Security Administration, Office of Systems Requirements.

Security Classification:

None.

System Location:

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

PSCs (See Appendix A for PSC address information).

Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Operations, 1500 Woodlawn Drive, Baltimore, MD 21241

Lists of overpaid individuals, which are produced by this computer system, are maintained at each of SSA's field offices. (See Appendix F to this publication for address and telephone information.)

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System:

Social Security beneficiaries who may have received an overpayment of benefits; persons holding conserved (accumulated) funds received on behalf of a Social Security beneficiary; and persons who received Social Security payments on behalf of a beneficiary and are suspected to have misused those payments.

Categories of Records in the System:

Identifying characteristics of each overpayment or instance of misused or conserved funds (e.g., name, SSN and address of the individual(s) involved, recovery efforts made and the date of each action, and planned future actions).

Authority for Maintenance of the System:

Section 204(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 404(a)).

Purpose(s):

The users of this system are employees of the Social Security field offices, as well as selected personnel of SSA's Program Service Centers (PSC) and the Office of Disability Operations (ODO). The data are used to maintain control of overpayments and misused or conserved funds from the time of discovery to the final resolution and for the proper adjustments of payment and refund amounts. Data adjustment produce accounting and statistical reports at specified intervals.

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. However, disclosure of any information constituting “returns or return information” within the scope of the Internal Revenue Code will not be disclosed unless disclosure is authorized by that statute.

(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 the Office of the President for the purpose of responding to an individual pursuant to an inquiry received from that individual or a third party on his/her behalf.

(3) To third party contacts such as private collection agencies and credit reporting agencies under contract with SSA and State motor vehicle agencies for the purpose of their assisting SSA in recovering overpayments.

(4) Information may be disclosed to contractors and other Federal agencies, as necessary, for the purpose of assisting SSA in the efficient administration of its programs. We contemplate disclosing information under this routine use only in situations in which SSA may enter a contractual or similar agreement with a third party to assist in accomplishing an agency function relating to this system of records.

(5) 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.

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

(a) 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 litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and SSA determines that the use of such records by DOJ, the court or other 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.

Wage and other information which are subject to the disclosure provisions of the IRC (26 U.S.C. 6103) will not be disclosed under this routine use unless disclosure is expressly permitted by the IRC.

(7) To student volunteers and other workers, who technically do not have the status of Federal employees, when they are performing work for SSA as authorized by law, and they need access to personally identifiable information in SSA records in order to perform their assigned Agency functions.

Disclosure to Consumer Reporting Agencies:

Disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12) may be made to consumer reporting agencies as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(f)) or the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (31 U.S.C. 3701, et seq.) as amended. The disclosure will be made in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(e) when authorized by sections 204(f), 808(e), or 1631(b)(4) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 404(f), 1008(e) or 1383(b)(4)). The purpose of this Start Printed Page 11085disclosure is to aid in the collection of outstanding debts owed to the Federal government, typically, to provide an incentive for debtors to repay delinquent Federal government debts by making these debts part of their credit records. The information to be disclosed is limited to the individual's name, address, SSN, and other information necessary to establish the individual's identity, the amount, status, and history of the debt and the agency or program under which the debt arose.

Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining and Disposing of Records in the System:

Storage:

Records are maintained in magnetic cartridges, microfiche and paper form.

Retrievability:

Records are retrieved by SSN.

Safeguards:

System security for automated records has been established in accordance with the Systems Security Handbook. This includes maintaining automated records in a secured building, the SSA National Computer Center, and limiting access to the building to employees who have a need to enter in the performance of their official duties. Paper and other non-ADP records are protected through standard security measures (e.g., maintenance of the records in buildings which are manned by armed guards). (See Appendix G for additional information relating to safeguards SSA employs to protect personal information.)

Retention and Disposal:

Magnetic cartridges are updated daily and retained for 75 days. The magnetic cartridges produced in the last operation of the month is retained in security storage for a period of 75 days, after which the tapes are erased and returned to stock. The microfiche records are updated monthly, retained for 3 years after the month they are produced, and then destroyed by application of heat.

System manager(s) and Address:

Director, Office of Systems Requirements, Division of Payment Processes, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235.

Notification Procedure:

An individual can determine if this system contains a record about him/her by contacting the appropriate processing office (e.g., PSC, ODO or the most convenient Social Security field office). (See Appendices A and F to this publication for address information), 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. Also, requesters should reasonably specify the record contents they are seeking. 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:

The information for the computer files is received directly from beneficiaries, from Social Security field offices, and as the result of earnings enforcement operations. The paper listings are updated as a result of the computer operations.

Systems exempted from certain provisions of the Privacy Act:

None.

60-0103

System Name:

Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits, Social Security Administration, Office of Systems Requirements.

Security Classification:

None.

System Location:

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

Records also may be located in the Social Security Administration (SSA) Regional and field offices (individuals should consult their local telephone directories for address information).

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System:

This file contains a record for each individual who has applied for supplemental security income (SSI) payments, including individuals who have requested an advance payment; SSI recipients who have been overpaid; and ineligible persons associated with an SSI recipient. This file also covers those individuals who have applied for and who are entitled to the Special Veterans Benefits (SVB) under title VIII of the Social Security Act. (This file does not cover applicants who do not have a Social Security number (SSN).)

Categories of Records in the System:

This file contains data regarding SSI eligibility; citizenship; residence; Medicaid eligibility; eligibility for other benefits; alcoholism or drug addiction data, if applicable (disclosure of this information may be restricted by 21 U.S.C. 1175 and 42 U.S.C. 290dd-3 and ee-3); income data; resources; payment amounts, including the date and amount of advance payments; overpayment Start Printed Page 11086amounts, including identifying characteristics of each overpayment (e.g., name, SSN, address of the individual(s) involved, recovery efforts made and the date of each action and planned future actions); and date and amount of advance payments; living arrangements; case folder location data; appellate decisions, if applicable; SSN used to identify a particular individual, if applicable; information about representative payees, if applicable; and a history of changes to any of the persons who have applied for SSI payments. For eligible individuals, the file contains basic identifying information, income and resources (if any) and, in conversion cases, the State welfare number.

This File Also Contains Information About Applicants for SVB.

The information maintained in this system of records is collected from the applicants for title VIII SVB, and other systems of records maintained by SSA. The information maintained includes a data element indicating this is a title VIII SVB claim. It will also include: identifying information such as the applicant's name, Social Security number (SSN) and date of birth (DOB); telephone number (if any); foreign and domestic addresses; the applicant's sex; income data, payment amounts (including overpayment amounts); and other information provided by the applicant relative to his or her entitlement for SVB.

If the beneficiary has a representative payee, this system of records includes data about the representative payee such as the payee's SSN; employer identification number, if applicable; and mailing address.

Authority for Maintenance of the System:

Sections 1602, 1611, 1612, 1613, 1614, 1615, 1616, 1631, 1633, 1634 of title XVI and title VIII of the Social Security Act (the Act).

Purpose(s):

SSI records begin in Social Security field offices where an individual or couple files an application for SSI payments. SVB records begin in Social Security field offices and Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO) where an individual files an application for SVB payments. The SSI and SVB applications contain data which may be used to prove the identity of the applicant, to determine his/her eligibility for SSI or SVB payments and, in cases where eligibility is determined, to compute the amount of the payment. Information from the application, in addition to data used internally to control and process SSI and SVB cases, is used to create the Supplemental Security Income Record (SSR). The SSR also is used as a means of providing a historical record of all activity on a particular individual's or couple's record.

In addition, statistical data are derived from the SSR for actuarial and management information purposes.

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. However, disclosure of any information constituting “returns or return information” within the scope of the Internal Revenue Code will not be disclosed unless disclosure is authorized by that statute.

(1) To the Department of the Treasury to prepare SSI, Energy Assistance, and SVB checks to be sent to claimants or beneficiaries.

(2) To the States to establish the minimum income level for computation of State supplements.

(3) To the following Federal and State agencies to prepare information for verification of benefit eligibility under section 1631(e) of the Act: Bureau of Indian Affairs; Office of Personnel Management; Department of Agriculture; Department of Labor; Immigration and Naturalization Service; Internal Revenue Service; Railroad Retirement Board; State Pension Funds; State Welfare Offices; State Worker's Compensation; Department of Defense; United States Coast Guard; and Department of Veterans Affairs.

(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 the appropriate State agencies (or other agencies providing services to disabled children) to identify title XVI eligibles under the age of 16 for the consideration of rehabilitation services in accordance with section 1615 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 1382d.

(6) To contractors under contract to SSA or under contract to another agency with funds provided by SSA for the performance of research and statistical activities directly relating to this system of records.

(7) To State audit agencies for auditing State supplementation payments and Medicaid eligibility consideration.

(8) To State agencies to effect and report the fact of Medicaid eligibility of title XVI recipients in the jurisdiction of those States which have elected Federal determinations of Medicaid eligibility of title XVI eligibles and to assist the States in administering the Medicaid program.

(9) To State agencies to identify title XVI eligibles in the jurisdiction of those States which have not elected Federal determinations of Medicaid eligibility in order to assist those States in establishing and maintaining Medicaid rolls and in administering the Medicaid program.

(10) To State agencies to enable those agencies which have elected Federal administration of their supplementation programs to monitor changes in applicant/recipient income, special needs, and circumstances.

(11) To State agencies to enable those agencies which have elected to administer their own supplementation programs to identify SSI eligibles in order to determine the amount of their monthly supplementary payments.

(12) To State agencies to enable them to assist in the effective and efficient administration of the SSI program.

(13) To State agencies to enable those which have an agreement with SSA to carry out their functions with respect to Interim Assistance Reimbursement pursuant to section 1631(g) of the Act.

(14) To State agencies to enable them to locate potentially eligible individuals and to make eligibility determinations for extensions of social services under the provisions of title XX of the Act.

(15) To State agencies to assist them in determining initial and continuing eligibility in their income maintenance programs and for investigation and prosecution of conduct subject to criminal sanctions under these programs.

(16) To the United States Postal Service for investigating the alleged theft, forgery or unlawful negotiation of SSI and SVB checks.

(17) To the Department of the Treasury for investigating the alleged theft, forgery or unlawful negotiation of SSI and SVB checks.

(18) To the Department of Education for determining the eligibility of applicants for Basic Educational Opportunity Grants.

(19) To Federal, State or local agencies (or agents on their behalf) for administering cash or non-cash income maintenance or health maintenance programs (including programs under the Act). Such disclosures include, but are not limited to, release of information to:

(a) The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) upon request for determining eligibility for, or amount of, DVA benefits or verifying other information with respect thereto in accordance with 38 U.S.C. 5106;

(b) The RRB for administering the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act; Start Printed Page 11087

(c) State agencies to determine eligibility for Medicaid;

(d) State agencies to locate potentially eligible individuals and to make determinations of eligibility for the food stamp program;

(e) State agencies to administer energy assistance to low income groups under programs for which the States are responsible; and

(f) Department of State and its agents to assist SSA in administering the Social Security Act in foreign countries, the American Institute on Taiwan and its agents to assist in administering the Social Security Act in Taiwan, the VA, Philippines Regional Office and its agents to assist in administering the Social Security Act in the Philippines, and the Department of Interior and its agents to assist in administering the Social Security Act in the Northern Mariana Islands.

(g) Federal, State, or local agencies to assist SSA in administering its programs such as the Supplemental Security Income and Special Veterans Benefits program.

(20) To IRS, Department of the Treasury, as necessary, for the purpose of auditing SSA's compliance with safeguard provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) of 1986, as amended.

(21) To the Office of the President for the purpose of responding to an individual pursuant to an inquiry received from that individual or a third party on his/her behalf.

(22) Upon request, information on the identity and location of aliens may be disclosed to the DOJ (Criminal Division, Office of Special Investigations) for the purpose of detecting, investigating and, where necessary, taking legal action against suspected Nazi war criminals in the United States.

(23) To third party contacts such as private collection agencies and credit reporting agencies under contract with SSA and State motor vehicle agencies for the purpose of their assisting SSA in recovering overpayments.

(24) Information may be disclosed to contractors and other Federal agencies, as necessary, for the purpose of assisting SSA in the efficient administration of its programs. We contemplate disclosing information under this routine use only in situations in which SSA may enter a contractual or similar agreement with a third party to assist in accomplishing an agency function relating to this system of records.

(25) Non-tax return information which is not restricted from disclosure by Federal law may be disclosed to General Services Administration (GSA) and 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.

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

(a) 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 litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and SSA determines that the use of such records by DOJ, the court, or other 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.

Wage and other information which are subject to the disclosure provisions of the IRC (26 U.S.C. 6103) will not be disclosed under this routine use unless disclosure is expressly permitted by the IRC.

(27) To representative payees, when the information pertains to individuals for whom they serve as representative payees, for the purpose of assisting SSA in administering its representative payment responsibilities under the Act and assisting the representative payees in performing their duties as payees, including receiving and accounting for benefits for individuals for whom they serve as payees.

(28) To third party contacts (e.g., employers and private pension plans) in situations where the party to be contacted has, or is expected to have, information relating to the individual's capability to manage his/her affairs or his/her eligibility for, or entitlement to, benefits under the Social Security program when:

(a) The individual is unable to provide information being sought. An individual is considered to be unable to provide certain types of information when:

(i) He/she is incapable or of questionable mental capability;

(ii) He/she cannot read or write;

(iii) He/she cannot afford the cost of obtaining the information;

(iv) He/she has a hearing impairment, and is contacting SSA by telephone through a telecommunications relay system operator;

(v) A language barrier exists; or

(vi) The custodian of the information will not, as a matter of policy, provide it to the individual; or

(b) The data are needed to establish the validity of evidence or to verify the accuracy of information presented by the individual, and it concerns one or more of the following:

(i) His/her eligibility for benefits under the Social Security program;

(ii) The amount of his/her benefit payment; or

(iii) Any case in which the evidence is being reviewed as a result of suspected fraud, concern for program integrity, quality appraisal, or evaluation and measurement activities.

(29) To Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) for use in its program studies of, and development of enhancements for, State vocational rehabilitation programs. These are programs to which applicants or beneficiaries under titles II and or XVI of the Act may be referred. Data released to RSA will not include any personally identifying information (such as names or SSNs).

(30) Addresses of beneficiaries who are obligated on loans held by the Secretary of Education or a loan made in accordance with 20 U.S.C. 1071, et. seq. (the Robert T. Stafford Student Loan Program) may be disclosed to the Department of Education as authorized by section 489A of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

(31) To student volunteers and other workers, who technically do not have the status of Federal employees, when they are performing work for SSA as authorized by law, and they need access to personally identifiable information in SSA records in order to perform their assigned Agency functions.

(32) To Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and private security contractors, as appropriate, if information is necessary:

(a) To enable them to protect the safety of SSA employees and customers, the security of the SSA workplace and the operation of SSA facilities, or

(b) To assist investigations or prosecutions with respect to activities that affect such safety and security or activities that disrupt the operation of SSA facilities.

(33) Corrections to information that resulted in erroneous inclusion of individuals in the Death Master File (DMF) may be disclosed to recipients of erroneous DMF information. Start Printed Page 11088

(34) Information as to whether an individual is alive or deceased may be disclosed pursuant to section 1106(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1306(d)), upon request, for purposes of an epidemiological or similar research project, provided that:

(a) SSA determines in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, that the research may reasonably be expected to contribute to a national health interest; and

(b) The requester agrees to reimburse SSA for the costs of providing the information; and

(c) The requester agrees to comply with any safeguards and limitations specified by SSA regarding rerelease or redisclosure of the information.

Disclosure to Consumer Reporting Agencies:

Disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12) may be made to consumer reporting agencies as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(f)) or the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (31 U.S.C. 3701, et seq.) as amended. The disclosure will be made in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(e) when authorized by sections 204(f), 808(e), or 1631(b)(4) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 404(f), 1008(e) or 1383(b)(4)). The purpose of this disclosure is to aid in the collection of outstanding debts owed to the Federal government, typically, to provide an incentive for debtors to repay delinquent Federal government debts by making these debts part of their credit records. The information to be disclosed is limited to the individual's name, address, SSN, and other information necessary to establish the individual's identity, the amount, status, and history of the debt and the agency or program under which the debt arose.

Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining and Disposing of Records in the System:

Storage:

Records are maintained in magnetic media (e.g., magnetic tape) and in microform and microfiche form.

Retrievability:

Records are indexed and retrieved by SSN.

Safeguards:

System security for automated records has been established in accordance with the Systems Security Handbook. This includes maintaining all magnetic tapes and magnetic disks within an enclosure attended by security guards. Anyone entering or leaving that enclosure must have special badges which are only issued to authorized personnel. All authorized personnel having access to the magnetic records are subject to the penalties of the Privacy Act. The microfiche are stored in locked cabinets, and are accessible to employees only on a need-to-know basis. All SSR State Data Exchange records are protected in accordance with agreements between SSA and the respective States regarding confidentiality, use, and redisclosure.

Retention and Disposal:

Original input transaction tapes received which contain initial claims and posteligibility actions are retained indefinitely although these are processed as received and incorporated into processing tapes which are updated to the master SSR tape file on a monthly basis. All magnetic tapes appropriate to SSI information furnished to specified Federal, State, and local agencies for verification of eligibility for benefits and under section 1631(e) are retained, in accordance with the PA accounting requirements, for at least 5 years or the life of the record, whichever is longer.

System Manager(s) and Address:

Director, Division of Supplemental Security Income Systems, Office of Systems Requirements, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235.

Notification Procedure:

An individual can determine if this system contains a record about him/her by writing to or visiting any Social Security field office and providing his or her name and SSN. (Individuals should consult their local telephone directories for Social Security office address and telephone information.) Applicants for SVB who reside in the Philippines should contact VARO, Philippines. (Furnishing the SSN is voluntary, but it will make searching for an individual's record easier and prevent delay.)

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. An individual who requests notification of, or access to, a medical record shall, at the time he or she makes the request, designate in writing a responsible representative who will be willing to review the record and inform the subject individual of its contents at the representative's discretion. A parent or guardian who requests notification of, or access to, a minor's medical record shall at the time he or she makes the request designate a physician or other health professional (other than a family member) who will be willing to review the record and inform the parent or guardian of its contents at the physician's or health professional's discretion. 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 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 Start Printed Page 11089procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.65(a)).

Record Source Categories:

Data contained in the SSR are obtained for the most part from the applicant for SSI and SVB payments and are derived from the Claims Folders System (60-0089) and the Modernized Supplemental Security Income Claims System. The States and other Federal agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs also provide data affecting the SSR.

Systems Exempted From Certain Provisions of the Privacy Act:

None.

End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 01-4235 Filed 2-20-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4915-00-P