Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 45. Department For The Blind And Vision Impaired
Chapter 51. Regulations Governing Provision of Services in Vocational Rehabilitation

22VAC45-51-20. Protection, use, and release of personal information (34 CFR 361.38).

A. General provisions. DBVI shall safeguard the confidentiality of all personal information, including photographs and lists of names to ensure that:

1. Current and stored personal information is protected;

2. All applicants and eligible individuals and, as appropriate, those individuals' representatives, service providers, cooperating agencies, and interested persons are informed through appropriate modes of communication of the confidentiality of personal information and the conditions for accessing and releasing this information;

3. All applicants or their representatives are informed about DBVI's need to collect personal information and the policies governing its use including:

a. The purposes for which DBVI intends to use or release the information;

b. An explanation of whether providing requested information is mandatory or voluntary and the effects of not providing requested information;

c. Identification of those situations in which DBVI requires or does not require the informed written consent of the individual before information may be released; and

d. Identification of other agencies to which information is routinely released; and

4. An explanation of DBVI policies and procedures affecting personal information shall be provided to each individual in that individual's native language or through the appropriate mode of communication.

B. All personal information in the possession of DBVI shall be used only for the purposes directly connected with the administration of the DBVI vocational rehabilitation program. Information containing identifiable personal information shall not be shared with advisory or other bodies that do not have official responsibility for the administration of the program. In the administration of the program, DBVI may obtain personal information from service providers and cooperating agencies under assurances that the information shall not be further disclosed except as described in subsection A of this section.

C. Release to applicants and eligible individuals.

1. When requested in writing, DBVI shall make all requested information in that individual's record of vocational rehabilitation services accessible to and shall release the information to the individual or the individual's representative promptly.

2. Medical, psychological, or other information that DBVI determines may be harmful to the individual shall not be released directly to the individual but shall be provided to the individual through a third party chosen by the individual, which may include an advocate, family member, or medical or mental health professional. If a representative has been appointed by a court to represent the individual, the information shall be released to the court-appointed representative.

3. Personal information obtained by DBVI from another agency or organization may be released only by, or under conditions established by, the other agency or organization.

D. Release for audit, evaluation, and research. DBVI may release personal information to an organization, agency, or individual engaged in audit, evaluation, or research only for purposes directly connected with the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program, or for purposes that would significantly improve the quality of life for applicants and eligible individuals and only if the organization, agency, or individual assures that:

1. The information shall be used only for the purposes for which it is being provided;

2. The information shall be released only to persons officially connected with the audit, evaluation, or research;

3. The information shall not be released to the involved individual;

4. The information shall be managed in a manner to safeguard confidentiality; and

5. The final product shall not reveal any identifying personal information without the informed written consent of the involved individual or the individual's representative.

E. Release to other programs or authorities.

1. Upon written consent of the individual or, if appropriate, the individual's representative, DBVI shall release personal information to another agency or organization for its program purposes only to the extent that the information shall be released to the involved individual or the individual's representative and only to the extent that the other agency or organization demonstrates that the information is necessary for its program.

2. Medical or psychological information that DBVI determines may be harmful to the individual shall be released if the other agency or organization assures DBVI that the information shall be used only for the purpose for which it is being provided and that it shall not be further released to the individual.

F. DBVI shall release any personal information required by federal and state laws or regulations.

G. DBVI shall release personal information in response to investigations in connection with law enforcement, fraud, or abuse, unless expressly prohibited by federal or state laws or regulations, and in response to an order issued by a judge, magistrate, or other authorized judicial officer.

H. DBVI shall also release personal information in order to protect the individual or others if the individual poses a threat to his safety or to the safety of others.

I. DBVI shall release to the Governor or his designee a complete and certified copy of the case record including transcripts of a fair hearing decision for the purpose of the Governor's review of an impartial hearing officer's final decision when one of the parties to a fair hearing requests a review.

Statutory Authority

§ 51.5-66 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 2, eff. October 19, 2016.

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