Extension of Effective Date for Temporary Pilot Program Setting the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge, 45451-45452 [2013-18143]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 145 / Monday, July 29, 2013 / Rules and Regulations VI. Document Availability 22. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission’s Home Page (http:// www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission’s Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426. 23. From the Commission’s Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field. 24. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission’s Web site during normal business hours from the Commission’s Online Support at (202) 502–6652 (toll free at 1–866–208–3676) or email at ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov, or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502–8371, TTY (202)502–8659. Email the Public Reference Room at public.referenceroom@ferc.gov. VII. Effective Date and Congressional Notification 25. These regulations are effective September 27, 2013. The Commission has determined, with the concurrence of the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, that this rule is not a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined in section 351 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. By the Commission. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2013–17813 Filed 7–26–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 20 CFR Parts 404 and 416 [Docket No. SSA–2013–0016] mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES RIN 0960–AH58 Extension of Effective Date for Temporary Pilot Program Setting the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge Social Security Administration. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are extending our pilot program that authorizes the agency to SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:11 Jul 26, 2013 Jkt 229001 set the time and place for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This final rule will extend the pilot program for 1 year. The extension of the pilot program continues our commitment to improve the efficiency of our hearing process and maintain a hearing process that results in accurate, high-quality decisions for claimants. The current pilot program will expire on August 9, 2013. In this final rule, we are extending the effective date to August 9, 2014. We are making no other substantive changes. DATES: This final rule is effective July 29, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rainbow Forbes, Social Security Administration, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3260, 703– 605–8100 for information about this final rule. For information on eligibility for filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1–800–772–1213 or TTY 1–800–325–0778, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Over the past several years, one of our highest priorities has been to improve the efficiency of our hearing process for the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) programs under title II of the Social Security Act (Act) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program under title XVI of the Act. We intended the pilot program we adopted in July 2010 (75 FR 39154), under which the agency, rather than the ALJ, may set the time and place of the hearing under certain circumstances, to be part of our efforts to improve the efficiency of the hearing process. Since that time, we continue to face significant challenges in dealing with the historically large number of hearing requests. Over the next several years, we anticipate that requests for hearings before ALJs will continue to remain high. Therefore, we must maintain programs and policies that can provide us with the flexibility we need to improve the efficiency of our hearing process. On November 10, 2008, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend our rules to allow the agency to set the time and place for a hearing before an ALJ. (73 FR 66564). At that time, we explained that we would continue to monitor ALJ productivity closely, and if hearings were not being scheduled in a prompt and professional manner, we would use all existing authorities to correct the situation. Although we expected limit use of the rule, we planned to monitor the success PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 45451 of the regulation to ensure that it did not produce unintended consequences. Following receipt of public comments, we issued a final rule on July 8, 2010. (75 FR 39154). Under the rule, the agency acquired the authority to set the time and place for a hearing before an ALJ. In the rule, we explained that we would implement our authority to set the time and place for a hearing before an ALJ as a temporary pilot program. Therefore, we included in sections 404.936(h) and 416.1436(h) of the final rule a provision that the pilot program would end on August 9, 2013, unless we decided to either terminate the program earlier, or extend it beyond that date by publication of a final rule in the Federal Register. Explanation of Extension In establishing the final rule establishing the pilot program in 2010, we hoped to determine whether providing us with the authority to set the time and place of the hearing would allow us to better manage the number of hearings held and keep our hearing process as efficient as possible. During the 3 year pilot program, we tracked ALJ productivity closely. In situations where hearings were not being promptly scheduled, we worked with ALJs to correct these situations. To date, our efforts to work with our ALJs to correct situations in which we may have otherwise had to exercise the authority provided for in these rules has been successful. As a result, we have not been required to exercise our authority to schedule hearings. Nevertheless, we believe that we should continue the authority for the pilot program in order to provide us with the flexibility we need to manage the hearing process appropriately. We consider the pilot program a potentially important component in our overall effort to reduce hearing backlogs. By extending the pilot program an additional year, we will continue to monitor the productivity of ALJs and to work with our ALJs to address any concerns regarding our hearing process. Accordingly, we are extending our authority to set the time and place for a hearing before an ALJ for another year, until August 9, 2014. As before, we are reserving the authority to end the program earlier, or to extend it by publishing a final rule in the Federal Register. Regulatory Procedures Justification for Issuing Final Rule Without Notice and Comment We follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rulemaking E:\FR\FM\29JYR1.SGM 29JYR1 45452 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 145 / Monday, July 29, 2013 / Rules and Regulations procedures specified in 5 U.S.C. 553 when developing regulations. Section 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5). Generally, the APA requires that an agency provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing a final rule. The APA provides exceptions to its notice and public comment procedures when an agency finds there is good cause for dispensing with such procedures because they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. We have determined that good cause exists for dispensing with the notice and public comment procedures for this rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). This final rule only extends the date on which the pilot program will no longer be effective. It makes no substantive changes to our rules. Our current regulations expressly provide that we may extend the expiration date of the pilot program by notice of a final rule in the Federal Register. Therefore, we have determined that opportunity for prior comment is unnecessary, and we are issuing this rule as a final rule. In addition, for the reasons cited above, we find good cause for dispensing with the 30-day delay in the effective date of this final rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). We are not making any substantive changes in our rules. Without an extension of the expiration date for the pilot program, we will not have the flexibility we need to ensure the efficiency of our hearing process. Therefore, we find it is in the public interest to make this final rule effective on the publication date. Executive Order 12866 as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563 We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and determined that this final rule does not meet the criteria for a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Regulatory Flexibility Act Paperwork Reduction Act This final rule does not create any new or affect any existing collections and, therefore, does not require OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act. 16:11 Jul 26, 2013 List of Subjects 20 CFR Part 404 Administrative practice and procedure; Blind; Disability benefits; Old-age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements; Social Security. 20 CFR Part 416 Administrative practice and procedure; Aged; Blind; Disability benefits; Public assistance programs; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements; Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Jkt 229001 Authority: Secs. 702(a)(5), 1631, and 1633 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1383, and 1383b); sec. 202, Pub. L. 108–203, 118 Stat. 509 (42 U.S.C. 902 note). 4. In § 416.1436, revise the second sentence in paragraph (h) to read as follows: ■ § 416.1436 Time and place for a hearing before an administrative law judge. * * * * * (h) Pilot program. * * * These provisions will no longer be effective on August 9, 2014, unless we terminate them earlier or extend them beyond that date by notice of a final rule in the Federal Register. [FR Doc. 2013–18143 Filed 7–26–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191–02–P SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Dated: July 23, 2013. Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. 20 CFR Part 411 For the reasons stated in the preamble, we are revising subpart J of Part 404 and subpart N of part 416 of title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below: RIN 0960–AH34 PART 404—FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950– ) ACTION: Subpart J—[Amended]. 1. The authority citation for subpart J of part 404 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: Secs. 201(j), 204(f), 205(a)–(b), (d)–(h), and (j), 221, 223(i), 225, and 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401(j), 404(f), 405(a)–(b), (d)–(h), and (j), 421, 423(i), 425, and 902(a)(5)); sec. 5, Pub. L. 97–455, 96 Stat. 2500 (42 U.S.C. 405 note); secs. 5, 6(c)– (e), and 15, Pub. L. 98–460, 98 Stat. 1802 (42 U.S.C. 421 note); sec. 202, Pub. L. 108–203, 118 Stat. 509 (42 U.S.C. 902 note). 2. In § 404.936, revise the second sentence in paragraph (h) to read as follows: ■ § 404.936 Time and place for a hearing before an administrative law judge. * We certify that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it affects individuals only. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require us to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis. VerDate Mar<15>2010 (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 96.001, Social Security— Disability Insurance; 96.002, Social Security—Retirement Insurance; 96.004, Social Security—Survivors Insurance; 96.006, Supplemental Security Income.) * * * * (h) Pilot program. * * * These provisions will no longer be effective on August 9, 2014, unless we terminate them earlier or extend them beyond that date by notice of a final rule in the Federal Register. PART 416—SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND DISABLED Subpart N—[Amended] 3. The authority citation for subpart N of part 416 continues to read as follows: ■ PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 [Docket No. SSA–2011–0034] Mailing of Tickets Under the Ticket To Work Program Social Security Administration. Final rule. AGENCY: This final rule adopts, without change, the interim final rule with request for comments we published in the Federal Register on January 12, 2012, at 77 FR 1862. The interim final rule modified our rules so that we may send a Ticket to Work (Ticket) to Ticket to Work program (Ticket program)-eligible disabled beneficiaries. Under our previous rules, we mailed initial Ticket notices to all Ticket-eligible beneficiaries immediately after they began receiving benefits, regardless of whether they were likely to participate in the program. This change did not affect Ticket eligibility requirements. DATES: The interim final rule with request for comments published on January 12, 2012 is confirmed as final effective July 29, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Green, Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Office of Employment Support Programs, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235–6401, (410) 965–9852. For information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1–800–772– 1213 or TTY 1–800–325–0778, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at www.socialsecurity.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Congress established the Ticket program in the SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29JYR1.SGM 29JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 145 (Monday, July 29, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 45451-45452]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-18143]


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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

20 CFR Parts 404 and 416

[Docket No. SSA-2013-0016]
RIN 0960-AH58


Extension of Effective Date for Temporary Pilot Program Setting 
the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge

AGENCY: Social Security Administration.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We are extending our pilot program that authorizes the agency 
to set the time and place for a hearing before an administrative law 
judge (ALJ). This final rule will extend the pilot program for 1 year. 
The extension of the pilot program continues our commitment to improve 
the efficiency of our hearing process and maintain a hearing process 
that results in accurate, high-quality decisions for claimants. The 
current pilot program will expire on August 9, 2013. In this final 
rule, we are extending the effective date to August 9, 2014. We are 
making no other substantive changes.

DATES: This final rule is effective July 29, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rainbow Forbes, Social Security 
Administration, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3260, 703-
605-8100 for information about this final rule. For information on 
eligibility for filing for benefits, call our national toll-free 
number, 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our Internet 
site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Over the past several years, one of our highest priorities has been 
to improve the efficiency of our hearing process for the Old Age, 
Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) programs under title II of 
the Social Security Act (Act) and the Supplemental Security Income 
(SSI) program under title XVI of the Act. We intended the pilot program 
we adopted in July 2010 (75 FR 39154), under which the agency, rather 
than the ALJ, may set the time and place of the hearing under certain 
circumstances, to be part of our efforts to improve the efficiency of 
the hearing process. Since that time, we continue to face significant 
challenges in dealing with the historically large number of hearing 
requests. Over the next several years, we anticipate that requests for 
hearings before ALJs will continue to remain high. Therefore, we must 
maintain programs and policies that can provide us with the flexibility 
we need to improve the efficiency of our hearing process.
    On November 10, 2008, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking 
to amend our rules to allow the agency to set the time and place for a 
hearing before an ALJ. (73 FR 66564). At that time, we explained that 
we would continue to monitor ALJ productivity closely, and if hearings 
were not being scheduled in a prompt and professional manner, we would 
use all existing authorities to correct the situation. Although we 
expected limit use of the rule, we planned to monitor the success of 
the regulation to ensure that it did not produce unintended 
consequences.
    Following receipt of public comments, we issued a final rule on 
July 8, 2010. (75 FR 39154). Under the rule, the agency acquired the 
authority to set the time and place for a hearing before an ALJ. In the 
rule, we explained that we would implement our authority to set the 
time and place for a hearing before an ALJ as a temporary pilot 
program. Therefore, we included in sections 404.936(h) and 416.1436(h) 
of the final rule a provision that the pilot program would end on 
August 9, 2013, unless we decided to either terminate the program 
earlier, or extend it beyond that date by publication of a final rule 
in the Federal Register.

Explanation of Extension

    In establishing the final rule establishing the pilot program in 
2010, we hoped to determine whether providing us with the authority to 
set the time and place of the hearing would allow us to better manage 
the number of hearings held and keep our hearing process as efficient 
as possible. During the 3 year pilot program, we tracked ALJ 
productivity closely. In situations where hearings were not being 
promptly scheduled, we worked with ALJs to correct these situations. To 
date, our efforts to work with our ALJs to correct situations in which 
we may have otherwise had to exercise the authority provided for in 
these rules has been successful. As a result, we have not been required 
to exercise our authority to schedule hearings. Nevertheless, we 
believe that we should continue the authority for the pilot program in 
order to provide us with the flexibility we need to manage the hearing 
process appropriately. We consider the pilot program a potentially 
important component in our overall effort to reduce hearing backlogs.
    By extending the pilot program an additional year, we will continue 
to monitor the productivity of ALJs and to work with our ALJs to 
address any concerns regarding our hearing process. Accordingly, we are 
extending our authority to set the time and place for a hearing before 
an ALJ for another year, until August 9, 2014. As before, we are 
reserving the authority to end the program earlier, or to extend it by 
publishing a final rule in the Federal Register.

Regulatory Procedures

Justification for Issuing Final Rule Without Notice and Comment

    We follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rulemaking

[[Page 45452]]

procedures specified in 5 U.S.C. 553 when developing regulations. 
Section 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5). 
Generally, the APA requires that an agency provide prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment before issuing a final rule. The APA 
provides exceptions to its notice and public comment procedures when an 
agency finds there is good cause for dispensing with such procedures 
because they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public 
interest. We have determined that good cause exists for dispensing with 
the notice and public comment procedures for this rule. 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B). This final rule only extends the date on which the pilot 
program will no longer be effective. It makes no substantive changes to 
our rules. Our current regulations expressly provide that we may extend 
the expiration date of the pilot program by notice of a final rule in 
the Federal Register. Therefore, we have determined that opportunity 
for prior comment is unnecessary, and we are issuing this rule as a 
final rule.
    In addition, for the reasons cited above, we find good cause for 
dispensing with the 30-day delay in the effective date of this final 
rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). We are not making any substantive changes in 
our rules. Without an extension of the expiration date for the pilot 
program, we will not have the flexibility we need to ensure the 
efficiency of our hearing process. Therefore, we find it is in the 
public interest to make this final rule effective on the publication 
date.

Executive Order 12866 as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

    We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 
determined that this final rule does not meet the criteria for a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as 
supplemented by Executive Order 13563.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that this final rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it 
affects individuals only. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as 
amended, does not require us to prepare a regulatory flexibility 
analysis.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule does not create any new or affect any existing 
collections and, therefore, does not require OMB approval under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 96.001, Social 
Security--Disability Insurance; 96.002, Social Security--Retirement 
Insurance; 96.004, Social Security--Survivors Insurance; 96.006, 
Supplemental Security Income.)

List of Subjects

20 CFR Part 404

    Administrative practice and procedure; Blind; Disability benefits; 
Old-age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance; Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements; Social Security.

20 CFR Part 416

    Administrative practice and procedure; Aged; Blind; Disability 
benefits; Public assistance programs; Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements; Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    Dated: July 23, 2013.
Carolyn W. Colvin,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, we are revising subpart J 
of Part 404 and subpart N of part 416 of title 20 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations as set forth below:

PART 404--FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE 
(1950- )

Subpart J--[Amended].

0
1. The authority citation for subpart J of part 404 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 201(j), 204(f), 205(a)-(b), (d)-(h), and (j), 
221, 223(i), 225, and 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 
U.S.C. 401(j), 404(f), 405(a)-(b), (d)-(h), and (j), 421, 423(i), 
425, and 902(a)(5)); sec. 5, Pub. L. 97-455, 96 Stat. 2500 (42 
U.S.C. 405 note); secs. 5, 6(c)-(e), and 15, Pub. L. 98-460, 98 
Stat. 1802 (42 U.S.C. 421 note); sec. 202, Pub. L. 108-203, 118 
Stat. 509 (42 U.S.C. 902 note).

0
2. In Sec.  404.936, revise the second sentence in paragraph (h) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  404.936  Time and place for a hearing before an administrative 
law judge.

* * * * *
    (h) Pilot program. * * * These provisions will no longer be 
effective on August 9, 2014, unless we terminate them earlier or extend 
them beyond that date by notice of a final rule in the Federal 
Register.

PART 416--SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND 
DISABLED

Subpart N--[Amended]

0
3. The authority citation for subpart N of part 416 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority:  Secs. 702(a)(5), 1631, and 1633 of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1383, and 1383b); sec. 202, Pub. 
L. 108-203, 118 Stat. 509 (42 U.S.C. 902 note).

0
4. In Sec.  416.1436, revise the second sentence in paragraph (h) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  416.1436  Time and place for a hearing before an administrative 
law judge.

* * * * *
    (h) Pilot program. * * * These provisions will no longer be 
effective on August 9, 2014, unless we terminate them earlier or extend 
them beyond that date by notice of a final rule in the Federal 
Register.
[FR Doc. 2013-18143 Filed 7-26-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4191-02-P