Conduct a Social Welfare Records Search
Even though the laws in the Untied States allow its citizens to access and view many records, there are a few instances when the access to the records is denied. This is particularly true for certain categories that consist of confidential records. The contents of these records are protected by specific federal as well as sate legislations. The access to these categories of records is either restricted or is strictly prohibited.
The confidential records include information about the social welfare records, education records, medical records, income tax records, military records as well as the criminal records. In addition to the federal statutes, each state also has their own definition of what constitutes private or/ and confidential information for that specific state.
The reason behind keeping these records confidential is to safeguard the identity as well as protect the personal information such as the health history, the social security number, financial information as well as the contact details of a particular individual. The information contained in these confidential records is only disclosed under special circumstances.
Social Welfare Records
In general the personal details including information about the medical records as well as the social security information is kept confidential. But the agencies involved in social service require submitting a list containing the names of the individuals that receive benefits along with the details of their social security numbers to the tax authorities (IRS).
The federal government in the United States maintains a system of “computer matching” program that assists the various agencies to access and go through the computerized data, compare the records and then verify the compliance or eligibility with regards to the benefit programs.
This computer program also assists the concerned agencies to collect the unpaid child support or the debts owed to the government. This system is also available at the state level.
When you apply for any benefits- social or welfare you will be informed about the system of the program. However no individual is denied social or welfare benefits only on the basis of the information acquired through the system of the matching program.
The Department of Family Services in each of the states in the United States also maintains the records of the details about any type of welfare or social benefits received by its citizens. These records are updated on a regular basis. The information available on the social and welfare records including the amount or the type of benefits is kept confidential.
As these benefits are results of the direct calculation of the personal assets and information about income, the information contained in them is only revealed to the individual who is the subject of the record or to those individuals authorized by the subject of the record. Without a court order or the release forms other individuals are legally not permitted to have access the information contained in your social welfare record. In addition the state as well as the federal statutes are expanded and updated continually to safeguard your privacy and protect these details to prevent the chances of any fraud or cases of an identity theft. But you may have to divulge the details of your social welfare record when you apply for a loan or a credit approval from a financial institution.
Under the provision of the Freedom of Information Act, individuals have the right:
• To access their own records which are held by the Department of Family Services
• To amend and rectify the information contained in your record if the information is incorrect, incomplete or misleading.
• To inquire and acquire information about the specific rules, guidelines or even amendments to the policies of the department that have a direct affect on you.
But you will not be able view the details of records that are exempt under the Freedom of Information Act such as the information dealing with security and law enforcement, information pertaining to another individual, details of the government meetings and other issues that are confidential and are commercially sensitive.
You can request to acquire access to the other individual’s social welfare records which contain non- personal details such as the information on any procedures, guidelines, policy formulations which are used by the Department of the Family Services to determine the entitlement to payment. If you receive any form of social welfare benefits you also have the right to view the guidelines used by the personnel that made the decision regarding your claim.
For additional information on the social welfare records you may find these resources useful: http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/infoaccessap.cfm or