Requesting a Data Exchange

Requesting An Electronic Data Exchange With SSA

If you wish to enter into a data exchange with SSA, we need specific information to determine if we can approve your request.

You must provide:

  • what information you are requesting and why,
  • what legal authority supports your request, 
  • the anticipated volume and frequency of your request,
  • what security measures you have in place to protect the data you receive from us, and 
  • if you currently have, or previously had, a data exchange agreement with SSA.

All disclosures from SSA must be in accordance with the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, section 1106 of the Social Security Act, and SSA’s disclosure regulations.  Additional legal authority may also control how and when SSA may disclose certain data maintained by the agency.  We review all requests for information to determine whether SSA has applicable legal authority for the disclosure requested.

Because of this legal framework, when a federal, state or local agency requests data from us, we must ensure that the purpose of the request is compatible with the administration of our own programs.  Compatibility is established when the federal, state or local agency asks for data to assist in the administration of programs under the Social Security Act or other federal, state, and local health and income maintenance programs.

In addition, data security is an essential factor in evaluating data exchange requests.  The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requires us to enforce security requirements when exchanging information. We meet this requirement by ensuring that outside entities comply with our Information System Security Guidelines.  These guidelines also serve as the framework for the ongoing compliance reviews we conduct with our information exchange partners.

Finally, reimbursement for developing and maintaining the exchange is generally required. 

If your Federal, State, or local agency, tribal organization or private entity is interested in entering into a data exchange agreement with SSA for programmatic or research data, complete the data exchange request form (SSA-157) and email it to

If you are interested in requesting the full file of death information, refer to Requesting SSA's Death Information.

If you are interested in requesting vital status data for epidemiological research, refer to the information and instructions for our Service to Epidemiological Researchers to Provide Vital Status Data on Subjects of Health Research.

All others, email us at  Provide as much detailed information as possible, to include; contact information (i.e., name, address, email, and phone number), description and purpose of your data exchange request.

A Data Exchange Liaison will respond to your email as soon as possible.


The timeframe to establish an exchange with SSA can vary significantly depending upon the nature of your request and SSA priorities. Some exchanges are routine while others may require additional time to be approved and implemented. During the review and implementation stages, we will keep you apprised of the status of your request.