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SSA Form 3288-A Guide to Information Release

If you’re trying to provide detailed information or information about yourself contained in your Social Security records to a third party, you may need to complete SSA Form 3288. This in-depth article will walk you through:

  • What SSA Form 3288 is used for
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to complete the form
  • Important information contained in the form that you should be aware of
  • Commonly asked questions about SSA Form 3288

Let’s start with what the form can be used for.

What is the SSA Form 3288 used for?

SSA Form 3288-Consent For Release of Information is used to give the Social Security Administration consent to release specific information or records about yourself, a minor child, or legally incompetent adult to another individual or organization.

For example, if you need to release your medical records to your doctor or insurance company, a signed SSA-3288 would authorize the release of medical records from Social Security Administration to that provider.

Two exceptions

According to the form’s instructions, there are two major exceptions to using Form 3288 to release records:

You cannot use the form to release a minor’s medical records. If you are the legal guardian or adoptive parent of a minor child, you may only use Form 3288 to release the minor’s non-medical records. If you need to release medical records of a minor child, then you should make an in-person request at your local Social Security office or call the toll-free number: (800) 772-1213.

You cannot use the form to release detailed earnings history. If you are trying to obtain records of earnings related to your work history or employment history, you are encouraged to complete and mail Form SSA-7050-F. You can obtain the latest version of the form from your local SSA office or through the SSA’s website.

What do I need to know about SSA Form 3288?

Before completing the form, there are a couple of things the SSA wants you to know.

You must complete all required fields.

The form contains an asterisk next to each required field. However, the SSA will not release the requested information unless each of the required fields is completed.

No ‘blanket requests’ for the entire file allowed

Form 3288 is intended as a consent form to authorize the release of specifically requested personal information. Since the SSA is still responsible for protecting your sensitive information, blanket requests will not be honored.

Federal regulations apply

There are two sections that you will always see on SSA forms, based upon federal laws that apply.

Privacy Act Information

As part of the Social Security Act, this form authorizes information collection at the request of the applicant. The Privacy Act authorizes certain routine uses of information, such as:

  • Helping determine eligibility for Social Security benefits
  • Helping determine eligibility for similar programs provided by federal, state, or local government agencies
  • To comply with federal laws as applicable
  • To facilitate statistical research as needed to ensure the integrity of Social Security programs
SSA Form 3288 Privacy Act Statement

The other federal law that applies is the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

The most important part of this section is the time estimate. The SSA estimates that it should take the average person about 3 minutes to complete this form.

SSA Form 3288 Paperwork Reduction Act statement

How do I complete SSA Form 3288?

The SSA’s website contains step by step instructions on how to complete this form. However, we’ll break this down right here.

Let’s start at the top.

Below is the top of the form, where you will provide the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Name and address of the person or organization whom you are authorizing to receive this information
  • Reasons for releasing this information

If you are completing this form on behalf of a minor child, please enter the name, date of birth, and Social Security number of the person whose information you’re releasing.

Please note that the SSA may charge a fee to release information for non-program purposes. Please note that the entire section has an asterisk, noting required fields.

Consent for release of information

What information are you trying to release?

This section is where you select the information you authorize to be released. This can include:

  • SSN verification
  • Supplemental Security Income payment amounts
  • Current Social Security Benefit amount
  • Amount of your monthly disability benefits
  • Medicare eligibility information
What information are you trying to release?
The SSA expects you to clearly mark what information you’re trying to release

Signature field

The last thing you need to do is to sign in the signature field. But you should note that your signature indicates that this is accurate information to the best of your ability under penalty of perjury.

This field will also contain the date, address, and daytime telephone number of the person completing the form.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common questions that people have asked about Form SSA-3288.

Where do I send the completed SSA-3288?

Under the instructions, you are supposed to bring the completed form to your local Social Security office.

Can I send this form electronically?

The SSA website also states that you can send the completed form by mail, fax, or email. However, the form must contain a legible, physical signature.

Is there a copy available in Spanish?

Yes. You can download it here.