DATE: June 7, 2007
SUBJECT: SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION DATA ACCESS
DISTRIBUTION: County Directors of Social Services
Medicaid/Work First/Special Assistance/Food Stamp Supervisors/Staff
Child Care Supervisor/Staff
Energy Program Supervisor/Staff
Recently, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) received from the Social Security Administration (SSA), a draft of the data contract for SDX/BENDEX/SVES/SOLQ that will be effective July 1, 2007. The SSA has clarified for DHHS that the State Agency is only authorized to use information obtained via SOLQ for the purpose of administering the Medicaid, Special Assistance, TANF (includes Child Care), and Food Stamp programs pursuant to section 1137(b) of the Social Security Act. Neither state nor county department of social services staff may utilize the data from SOLQ for any other purpose or program. The SSA has directed North Carolina DHHS to ensure we are compliant with this contractual agreement by July 1, 2007.
In order to become compliant with the SSA data use agreement, changes must be made to the OLV access types of “County LIEAP Worker” and “County Social Supervisor”. The changes will be made as indicated below and are effective Friday, June 29, 2007.
The “County LIEAP Worker” access type, in OLV currently allows access to SOLQ, SDX, and BENDEX. Due to the recent SSA clarification, access to SOLQ will be removed from this access type, therefore, any county staff whose only access type is “County LIEAP Worker” will no longer have access to SOLQ through OLV and SCC4CICS. If the county contracts with another agency to determine eligibility for LIEAP, county security officers must ensure the contractors do NOT have access to SOLQ through OLV and SCC4CICS. Access to SDX and BENDEX is still allowed for the purpose of determining eligibility for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program.
County department of social services staff that determine eligibility for Medicaid, Special Assistance, TANF (includes Child Care), and/or Food Stamps will continue to have access to SOLQ; however, they must NOT utilize SOLQ for any other program or any other purpose. For example, if county staff determine eligibility for Food Stamps and also for LIEAP, they must NOT utilize SOLQ to determine eligibility for LIEAP applicants. They are authorized to use the SOLQ for Food Stamp program eligibility only.
In the Online Verification (OLV) system, there is another access type named “County Social Supervisor” that currently allows access to SOLQ, SDX, and BENDEX. Due to the recent SSA clarification, access to SOLQ, SDX, and BENDEX will be removed from this role. Therefore, any county staff whose only access type is “County Social Supervisor” will no longer have access to SOLQ, SDX, or BENDEX through OLV and SCC4CICS.
Before proposing this change, Division of Medical Assistance staff obtained the names of a sample number (59) of county staff in various counties who have the access type “County Social Supervisor”. These counties were contacted to obtain information regarding the job duties of county staff with this access type. Based on the 29 responses received, a majority of county staff with this access type were not using the SSA data and had no valid reason to have the access. Of the county staff that were using the data, only one had an SSA approved reason for the use of the data. That person determined eligibility for child care and should have been assigned access type “County Child Care Worker” in OLV. For example, if county staff determines eligibility for Child Care in addition to other services, they may only utilize SOLQ to determine eligibility for Child Care applicants. They are NOT authorized to use the SOLQ OLV and SCC4CICS for other services.
As stated previously, effective Friday, June 29, 2007, the State will take action to remove SOLQ in OLV and SCC4CICS from the access type of “County LIEAP Worker” and SDX, BENDEX and SOLQ from the access type “County Social Supervisor”.
Once the OLV roles are updated, if any county staff member who determines eligibility for Medicaid, Special Assistance, TANF (includes Child Care), and/or Food Stamps, is unable to access SOLQ, or any county staff member who determines eligibility for Low Income Energy Assistance (LIEAP) is unable to access SDX and/or BENDEX, please have your county security officer contact Candes Smith, Income Eligibility Verification System (IEVS) Coordinator, Division of Medical Assistance, (919) 855-4000, to discuss the proper OLV role assignment for that individual.
County security officers must review the Social Security Agreement and SOLQ Amendment with all county DSS staff and any contractors (on and off site) that access SSA data. These documents and the appendices can be found on-line at http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dma/, click on County Links, and click on Medicaid Training Resources. The four resources for the SSA contract guidelines are listed as: SDX-BENDEX-SVES Agreement, SOLQ Amendment, Appendix A and Appendix C. Security officers must also ensure that a Department of Health and Human Services Memorandum of Understanding agreement is on file for each staff person that utilizes DHHS and/or SSA systems.
County security officers should contact the DHHS Customer Support Center at (919) 855-3200 (option 2) if they find any staff member(s) that has access to SOLQ and does not determine eligibility for the Medicaid, TANF, Food Stamps, Special Assistance, and/or Child Care programs.
The SSA will visit North Carolina in July to ensure DHHS compliance with the terms of the contract. Any unauthorized use or disclosure of information or violation of any provisions of the SOLQ amendment by the State Agency and/or its contractors/agents constitutes a breach of the terms of the primary agreement and may result in immediate termination of SOLQ arrangements by SSA.
If you have any questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact Candes Smith, IEVS Coordinator, Division of Medical Assistance, at (919) 855-4000.
Mark Benton, Director
Division of Medical Assistance
Sherry Bradsher, Director
Division of Social Services
Dennis Streets, Director
Division of Aging and Adult Services
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.