This notice is given under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Privacy Act of 1974. The Privacy Act requires that the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) tell you the following whenever we ask you for information:
- The law which allows us to ask for the information;
- whether that law requires you to give us that information and what, if anything, might happen to you if you do not give it to us;
- the reason why the information is requested; and
- the persons, organizations, and agencies to which we may release the information without your permission.
The RRB's authority for requesting this information is Section 7(b) of the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) of 1974. Providing us with this information is voluntary on your part. However, if you fail to provide us with the requested information, we may be unable to pay you any benefits. The RRB needs this information to determine whether or not you are eligible to receive such benefits, and, if so, the amount your are entitled to receive. If your annuity application is approved and we begin to pay you benefits, information that we may request from you in the future will be used to determine whether you are entitled to continue to receive such benefits.
Although the information we request is almost never used for any purpose other than the payment of benefits under the Railroad Retirement Act, the RRB does have the authority to release information to the indicated individuals, organizations, and/or agencies listed below without your approval:
- An attorney, the Office of the President, a Congressional office, a labor union or the Department of State's embassy or consular office if they allege to be representing you at your request.
- Other people who are receiving benefits based on the same railroad retirement account as you are, if the information affects their payments from the RRB.
- A person who will receive benefits on your behalf if the RRB decided that some medical condition keeps you from receiving your own benefits; information may also be released in determining whether such a medical condition exists and who is suitable to receive such benefits for you.
- People or organizations who are working for the RRB, such information may include medical records.
- The U.S. Treasury Department or U.S. Postal Service to issue payments and to investigate lost, forged, or stolen checks.
- Your last employer to make sure that you are eligible to receive railroad retirement benefits and you continue to receive any available medical benefits, and any railroad industry employer (or its insurance company) to make sure that you can receive any private retirement or insurance benefits which may be offered by the employer.
- The Social Security Administration, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Office of Personnel Management, Department of Veterans Affairs, or Federal, State, or local welfare or public aid agencies to determine if you can receive benefits for these organizations and if any previous benefits were paid incorrectly.
- The Internal Revenue Service or state and local taxing authorities for figuring your taxes and for use in audits.
- Your last address and the name of your last employer may be released to the Department of Health and Human Services to be used in the Parent Locator Service.
- The General Accounting Office for audits and collecting overpayments owed to the RRB or the Social Security Administration.
- The U.S. Department of Labor as required by the Federal Coal Mine and Safety Act.
- Information can be released, in certain cases, for law enforcement purposes and for court proceedings.
- Information about the determination and recovery of an overpayment made to you may be released to any other person from whom any portion of the overpayment is being recovered.
- Your name and address may be released to a Member of Congress to inform you about current or proposed legislation which could affect the railroad retirement system.
- Professional Standard Review Organizations and State Licensing Boards when services provided by physicians or practitioners suggest unethical or unprofessional conduct.