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Warren Calls for Review of Education Dept’s Potential Misuse of Social Security Data

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

 

Elizabeth Warren

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter calling for the Inspectors General review of Education Department’s potential misuse of its information exchange agreement with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Read the Letter Here

"I am troubled by the Department's potential misuse of federal earnings data acquired from SSA through an information exchange agreement in order to determine the amount of loan relief for defrauded students. There is no evidence of a new data exchange agreement between the Department and SSA for use in Borrower Defense determinations, nor has there been a revision to the Gainful Employment information exchange agreement,” said Warren.

The Investigation

The Department of Education plans to use federal earnings data produced from federal tax records to calculate limited relief for defrauded student borrowers under its Borrower Defense authority. The Department obtained these federal earnings data through an information exchange agreement with the SSA. But the information exchange agreement explicitly and exclusively allows the data to be used only for the Gainful Employment Rule, and makes no mention of using it for Borrower Defense purposes.

E-mails obtained by Senator Warren show that SSA staff have serious concerns about the legality of the Department's current plan for use of the data.

 

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