Plans for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) Management Information System, Social Security Administration, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Office of Public Service and Operations Support

Effective Date: January 11, 2006

(71 F.R. 1867)



System name:

    Plans for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) Management Information System, Social Security Administration, Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Office of Public Service and Operations Support.

Security classification:


System Location:

            Social Security Administration

          Deputy Commissioner for Operations

          Office of Public Service and Operations Support

          6401 Security Boulevard

          Baltimore, Maryland 21235

    In addition, Plans for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) documents may be temporarily transferred to other locations within the Social Security Administration (SSA). Contact the system manager to inquire about these addresses.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    This system maintains information on disabled and blind individuals who are Supplemental Security Income applicants or recipients and who have submitted plans for achieving self-support under sections 1612(b)(4)(A), 1612(b)(4)(B), and 1613(a)(4) of the Social Security Act.

Categories of records in the system:

    This system contains the beneficiary's name; Social Security number (SSN); disability diagnosis; occupational objective; information as to whether the individual's plan was developed by a third party and, if so, the identity of the third party; if the PASS was disapproved, terminated or suspended, the basis for that action; information relating to his or her earnings and employment at the beginning and end of the PASS; the nature and costs of those goods and services which the individual has purchased or proposes to purchase under his or her plan; information about goods and services actually purchased with respect to an approved plan; and information about plans that were not approved (e.g., the basis for denial of approval of a plan).

Authority for maintenance of the system:

    Sections 1602, 1612(b)(4)(A), 1612(b)(4)(B), and 1613(a)(4) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1382, 1382a, 1382b).


    SSA uses the information in the system for workload control, program evaluation purposes and to help determine the number and types of individuals that are successfully returning to work as a result of the PASS.

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 defined as ``returns or return information'' under 26 U.S.C. 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code will not be disclosed unless authorized by a statute, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or IRS regulations.

    1. To third-party contacts when the party to be contacted has, or is expected to have, information relating to the individual's PASS, when:

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

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

    (ii) He or she cannot read or write;

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

    (iv) He or 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 in connection with his or her PASS; or SSA is reviewing the information as a result of suspected abuse or fraud, concern for program integrity, quality appraisal, or evaluation and measurement activities.

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

    3. To the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, for the purpose of auditing the Social Security Administration's compliance with the safeguard provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

    4. 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 or her behalf.

    5. To a contractor or another Federal agency, 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 SSA function relating to this system of records.

    6. 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.

    7. 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 or her official capacity, or

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

    (d) The United States or any agency thereof (when 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 the tribunal, is relevant and necessary to the litigation, provided, however, that each case, SSA determines that such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.

    8. 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.

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


    Records in this system are stored in magnetic media (e.g., computer hard drives) and on paper. Paper printouts of these data are made when required for study. The system also contains photocopies of benefit application forms, keyed application forms, and other claims documentation, when relevant to the PASS system.


    Records are retrieved from the system by the name or SSN of the individual who submitted the PASS.


    Safeguards for automated data have been established in accordance with the Systems Security Program Handbook. This includes maintaining computer disk packs or other magnetic fields with personal identifiers in secured storage areas accessible only to authorized personnel. SSA employees having access to the computerized records and employees of any contractor who may be utilized to develop and maintain the software for the automated system will be notified of criminal sanctions for unauthorized disclosure of information about individuals. Also, contracts, if any, will contain language that delineates the conditions under which contractors will have access to data in the system and the safeguards that must be employed to protect the data.

    Paper documents are stored either in lockable file cabinets within locked rooms or in otherwise secured areas. Access to these records is restricted to those employees who require them to perform their assigned duties. Access for additional information relating to SSA data security measures.

Retention and disposal:

    Computerized records are maintained for a period of six years and three months after the end of the fiscal year in which final adjudication was made. Paper records produced for purposes of studies will be destroyed upon completion of the study. Photocopies of forms and documentation will be destroyed upon approval or denial of the PASS. Original copies of the forms and documentation are maintained in the Claims Folder System, 60-0089. Means of disposal are appropriate to the storage medium (e.g., erasure of disks, shredding of paper records, or transfer to another system of records).

System manager(s) and address(es):

            Associate Commissioner

          Office of Public Service and Operations Support

          Social Security Administration

          6401 Security Boulevard

          Baltimore, Maryland 21235

Notification procedures:

    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 SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c)).

Record access procedures:

    Same as Notification procedures. Individuals requesting access to their records should also reasonably describe the records they are seeking. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c)).

Contesting record procedures:

    Same as Notification procedures. Individuals contesting the contents of a record in the system should also reasonably describe 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 untimely, incomplete, inaccurate, or irrelevant. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.65(a)).

Record source categories:

    Information in this system is obtained from other SSA systems of records such as the Claims Folder System, 60-0089 and the Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits, 60-0103, from information provided by the beneficiary, and from investigations conducted by SSA employees relating to beneficiaries' PASS activity.

System exemptions from certain provisions of the Privacy Act: