2017 ORS 411.320¹
Disclosure and use of records limited to purposes connected to administration of public assistance programs
  • contents as privileged communication
  • exceptions

(1) For the protection of applicants for and recipients of public assistance, except as otherwise provided in this section, the Department of Human Services may not disclose or use the contents of any public assistance records, files, papers or communications for purposes other than those directly connected with the administration of the public assistance programs or necessary to assist public assistance applicants and recipients in accessing and receiving other governmental or private nonprofit services, and these records, files, papers and communications are considered confidential subject to the rules of the department. In any judicial or administrative proceeding, except proceedings directly connected with the administration of public assistance or child support enforcement laws, their contents are considered privileged communications.

(2) Nothing in this section prohibits the disclosure or use of contents of records, files, papers or communications for purposes directly connected with the establishment and enforcement of support obligations pursuant to the Title IV-D program.

(3) Nothing in this section prohibits the disclosure of the address, Social Security number and photograph of any applicant or recipient to a law enforcement officer at the request of the officer. To receive information pursuant to this section, the officer must furnish the agency the name of the applicant or recipient and advise that the applicant or recipient:

(a) Is fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody or confinement after conviction for a felony;

(b) Is violating a condition of probation or parole; or

(c) Has information that is necessary for the officer to conduct the official duties of the officer and the location or apprehension of the applicant or recipient is within such official duties.

(4) Nothing in this section prohibits disclosure of information between the department and the Oregon Health Authority for the purpose of administering public assistance programs. [1953 c.500 §5; 1971 c.779 §17; 1995 c.609 §8; 1997 c.581 §7; 2001 c.900 §88a; 2011 c.720 §100]

Notes of Decisions

In view of the confidential nature of the juvenile casework file, the trial court should have gone through the file and made available pertinent parts of it for de­fense (opposing) counsel to use in cross-examina­tion. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. La Mar, 7 Or App 132, 490 P2d 191 (1971)

Since this sec­tion makes public assistance records confidential to protect recipients from exploita­tion by third parties, recipients themselves are not within class of per­sons to whom disclosure is forbidden. Stivahtis v. Juras, 13 Or App 519, 511 P2d 421 (1973)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Use of division’s client records by an­oth­er depart­mental division, (1974) Vol 37, p 186

Chapter 411

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Public Welfare Division records showing cost of medical services to welfare recipients as public records, (1972) Vol 35, p 1143

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 411—Public Assistance and Medical Assistance, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors411.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 411, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano411.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.