When you are unable to work because of a disability, you may not know how to make ends meet. There can be financial concerns about how to pay for your most basic needs. In order to ensure that people have the ability to meet their basic financial obligations, the Social Security disability program will pay benefits to certain disabled individuals. These benefits are often accrued following years in the workplace.
However, in order to get these benefits, you must apply. Through this application process, you reveal important information about yourself, your work history and your medical condition to the Social Security Administration. This information may not be something you want shared with the entire world. Sharing this information with a governmental entity can raise questions about the privacy of your information.
The SSA says that your information will be protected by the Privacy Act. This federal law protects medical evidence and other personal information that is used to make a Social Security disability ruling. In other words, evidence submitted to the SSA for the purposes of making an SSD determination is not public information. However, the law does allow for an authorized representative to examine the information that has been submitted to the SSA.
The Freedom of Information Act also allows people to examine certain aspects of the SSA. These include the procedures, policies and certain files of the governmental organization. This includes final opinions issued about SSD cases. However, the SSA will examine these reports prior to release. If the information included in a report is likely to adversely affect an individual, then it will not be released to anyone but an authorized representative.
Disabled individuals likely have many concerns when it comes to SSA benefits and procedures. By consulting with an attorney, people can get specific legal advice about the process and how it will affect them.