Legal Aspects Manual

0130.005.05 Availability of Information

The worker must make every effort to protect the claimant’s right to confidentiality.

Case material should not be discussed outside the office except in performance of regular work of the agency. It should never be discussed where there is likelihood of the discussion being overheard. Refer to 0130.005.10 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act for additional restrictions on the use and disclosure of medical information.

  1. Case Records: The worker must explain to the claimant or household that the case record and all the information contained in it is available to:
    • The claimant;
    • The claimant’s representative who has been designated in writing by the claimant. Refer to 0130.005.10.40 Who May Exercise Privacy Rights and Personal Representatives for further requirements regarding who has access to protected health information;
    • Any employee of the Department of Social Services (DSS) who has responsibility for the case record or has an agency related reason for inspecting the case record;
    • County Welfare Commission Members as allowed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; and
    • Persons directly connected with the administration or enforcement of the provisions of the program. Example of Persons Connected with Administration and Enforcement of programs.

      In a Welfare Investigation Unit inquiry regarding fraud prosecution cases, the county office will assist WIU in obtaining necessary forms and information for the prosecutor. (See Section VI, Fraud and The Welfare Investigation Unit.)

    • Refer to 0130.005.10.10 Uses and Disclosures for the privacy restrictions on protected health information.
  2. Specific Information from Case Records: The worker must explain to the claimant or household that certain information contained in the case record may be shared. Refer to 0130.005.05.05 Obtaining Collateral Verification through 0130.005.05.20 Availability of Payrolls.