§ 401.70. Appeals of refusals to correct records or refusals to allow access to records.

(a) General. This section describes how to appeal decisions made by SSA under the Privacy Act concerning your request for correction of or access to your records, those of your minor child, or those of a person for whom you are the legal guardian. We generally handle a denial of your request for information about another person under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (see part 402 of this chapter). To appeal a decision under this section, your request must be in writing.

(b) Appeal of refusal to correct or amend records. If we deny your request to correct an SSA record, you may request a review of that decision. As discussed in § 401.65(e), our letter denying your request will tell you to whom to write.

(1) We will review your request within 30 working days from the date of the receipt. However, for a good reason and with the approval of the Executive Director for the Office of Public Disclosure, this time limit may be extended up to an additional 30 days. In that case, we will notify you about the delay, the reason for it and the date when the review is expected to be completed.

(2) If, after review, we determine that the record should be corrected, we will do so. However, if we refuse to amend the record as you requested, we will inform you that—

(i) Your request has been refused and the reason for refusing;

(ii) The refusal is SSA's final decision; and

(iii) You have a right to seek court review of SSA's final decision.

(3) We will also inform you that you have a right to file a statement of disagreement with the decision. Your statement should include the reason you disagree. We will make your statement available to anyone to whom the record is subsequently disclosed, together with a statement of our reasons for refusing to amend the record. Also, we will provide a copy of your statement to individuals whom we are aware received the record previously.

(c) Appeals after denial of access. If, under the Privacy Act, we deny your request for access to your own record, those of your minor child or those of a person to whom you are the legal guardian, we will advise you in writing of the reason for that denial, the name and title or position of the person responsible for the decision and your right to appeal that decision. You may appeal the denial decision to the Executive Director for the Office of Public Disclosure, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, within 30 days after you receive notice denying all or part of your request, or, if later, within 30 days after you receive materials sent to you in partial compliance with your request.

(d) Filing your appeal. If you file an appeal, the Executive Director or his or her designee will review your request and any supporting information submitted and then send you a notice explaining the decision on your appeal. The time limit for making our decision after we receive your appeal is 30 working days. The Executive Director or his or her designee may extend this time limit up to 30 additional working days if one of the circumstances in 20 CFR 402.140 is met. We will notify you in writing of any extension, the reason for the extension and the date by which we will decide your appeal. The notice of the decision on your appeal will explain your right to have the matter reviewed in a Federal district court if you disagree with all or part of our decision.

[72 FR 20940, Apr. 27, 2007]