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The Social Security Administration (SSA) collects medical records when making disability determinations for both title II (Disability Insurance) and title XVI (Supplemental Security Income, SSI) of the Social Security Act. Is SSA a covered entity (e.g., a health plan)?


The Social Security Administration (SSA) is not a covered entity. The collection of individually identifiable health information is not a factor in determining whether an entity is a covered entity. Covered entities are defined in HIPAA; they are

  1. health plans,
  2. health care clearinghouses, and
  3. health care providers that transmit any health information in electronic form in connection with a transaction covered in the HIPAA Transactions Rule.

SSA meets none of these criteria as defined at 45 CFR 160.103 (GPO).


Created 12/20/02



Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on July 26, 2013