Social Security Claims Data Exchange Announcement
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is pleased to announce that, in 2008; the agency will develop and implement a Beta test of a web service which will allow the submission of Initial-level claims, including Disability applications and Adult Disability Reports, from companies who assist the public with filing for benefits. In 2008, SSA plans to develop the web service to initially collect data on the Internet Social Security Benefit Application and Disability Report. Note that when a third party submits an application, SSA must contact the claimant before it is considered valid. In the initial phase, organizations will be able to submit claims data in bulk and receive a confirmation of receipt of the submitted data. In subsequent phases, the systems interface will also include the ability for organizations to check on the status of previously submitted claims information. SSA would like to extend an invitation to companies who assist individuals with their Social Security benefit applications, to participate in this web service claims data exchange Beta test. The Beta test is structured to use the ``consolidator'' model, where the participating company serves as a conduit to receive claims data from their client base and electronically transfer the data to SSA. After the initial disability claims data collection effort in 2008 is evaluated, SSA will add functional capabilities in future years to collect data on electronic appeal forms and integrated claims applications. This multi-year initiative will provide a comprehensive systems interface for companies to send claims data (including Title II Retirement and Spouse application data, disability data, and medical evidence) to SSA on behalf of their clients. The envisioned long-range solution beyond 2008 is a web service that will facilitate the collection of data through the entire life-cycle of Internet applications, including Title II and Title XVI initial claims and appeals.
Compassionate Allowances for Rare Diseases; Office of the Commissioner, Hearing
We are considering ways to quickly identify diseases and other serious medical conditions that obviously meet the definition of disability under the Social Security Act (the Act) and can be identified with minimal objective medical information. At present, we are calling this method ``Compassionate Allowances.'' We plan to hold four public hearings over the next year. The purpose of this first hearing is to obtain your views about the advisability and possible methods of identifying and implementing compassionate allowances for children and adults with rare diseases. We will address other kinds of medical conditions in later hearings.
Supplementary Agreement on Social Security Between the United States and Sweden; Entry Into Force
The Commissioner of Social Security gives notice that on November 1, 2007, a supplementary agreement will enter into force which amends the Social Security agreement between the United States (U.S.) and Sweden that has been in effect since January 1, 1987. The supplementary agreement, which was signed on June 24, 2004, was concluded pursuant to section 233 of the Social Security Act. When the original agreement was concluded, Sweden had a two-tier Social Security system that consisted of an earnings-related, defined- benefit program and a residence-based, flat-rate benefit program. Recent Swedish legislation restructured the system. People born after 1953 are now covered by a program consisting of three components. The new Swedish system includes an earnings-related, defined-contribution benefit program administered by the government, a program of individual investment accounts, and a guaranteed minimum pension payable if income-based pensions and certain other income fall below specified levels. The primary purpose of the supplementary agreement is to conform the Swedish benefit provisions of the original agreement to Sweden's new Social Security system. The supplementary agreement also changes the provision that authorizes SSA to take into account Swedish periods of coverage in determining eligibility for U.S. Totalization benefits so that it refers to periods under the new Swedish pension program rather than the old program. The new Swedish Social Security law allows people to qualify for most benefits with very little coverage credit. It is not expected, therefore, that many people will need to have their U.S. and Swedish coverage credits totalized to become eligible for most Swedish benefits. The supplementary agreement provides that U.S. Social Security benefits will not be counted in applying pension offsets that normally reduce the amount of Swedish disability benefits. Thus, the supplementary agreement will provide U.S. workers enhanced disability benefit protection under the Swedish system at little, if any, additional cost to the U.S. Social Security system. In addition to the changes in the U.S. and Swedish benefit provisions, the supplementary agreement updates several other provisions to take account of amendments to both U.S. and Swedish laws and to conform the wording of the agreement to the more recent Totalization agreements concluded by the United States. Other changes in the agreement are merely clarifications to reflect the manner in which the agreement is currently applied. Individuals who wish to obtain copies of the supplementary agreement or want general information about its provisions may visit the Social Security Administration's Web site at http:// www.socialsecurity.gov/international or may write to the Social Security Administration, Office of International Programs, Post Office Box 17741, Baltimore, Maryland 21235.