§ 401.40. How to get your own records.

(a) Your right to notification and access. Subject to the provisions governing medical records in § 401.55, you may ask for notification of or access to any record about yourself that is in an SSA system of records. If you are a minor, you may get information about yourself under the same rules as for an adult. Under the Privacy Act, if you are the parent or guardian of a minor, or the legal guardian of someone who has been declared legally incompetent, and you are acting on his or her behalf, you may ask for information about that individual. You may be accompanied by another individual of your choice when you request access to a record in person, provided that you affirmatively authorize the presence of such other individual during any discussion of a record to which you are requesting access.

(b) Identifying the records. At the time of your request, you must specify which systems of records you wish to have searched and the records to which you wish to have access. You may also request copies of all or any such records. Also, we may ask you to provide sufficient particulars to enable us to distinguish between records on individuals with the same name. The necessary particulars are set forth in the notices of systems of records which are published in the Federal Register.

(c) Requesting notification or access. To request notification of or access to a record, you may visit your local social security office or write to the manager of the SSA system of records. The name and address of the manager of the system is part of the notice of systems of records. Every local social security office keeps a copy of the Federal Register containing that notice. That office can also help you get access to your record. You do not need to use any special form to ask for a record about you in our files, but your request must give enough identifying information about the record you want to enable us to find your particular record. This identifying information should include the system of records in which the record is located and the name and social security number (or other identifier) under which the record is filed. We do not honor requests for all records, all information, or similar blanket requests. Before granting notification of or access to a record, we may, if you are making your request in person, require you to put your request in writing if you have not already done so.