Administrative Review Process for Adjudicating Initial Disability Claims
The Social Security Administration is committed to providing the type of service the American people expect and deserve. In light of the significant growth in disability claims, the increased complexity of those claims, and the younger age of beneficiaries in recent years, the need to make substantial changes in our disability determination process has become urgent. We propose to amend our administrative review process for benefit claims you file under title II of the Social Security Act (Act) based on disability, and for applications you file for supplemental security income (SSI) payments based on disability or blindness under title XVI of the Act. We expect that the changes we are proposing will improve the accuracy, consistency, and timeliness of decision making throughout the disability determination process.
Update to Divided State Retirement Systems Coverage Group List and Technical Coverage Corrections Required by the Social Security Protection Act of 2004
We are issuing these final rules to reflect in our regulations four self-implementing provisions in the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (SSPA). One provision adds two States (Kentucky and Louisiana) to a list of States that are permitted to divide public employee retirement systems based on whether the State and/or local employees in positions under the systems want Social Security and/or Medicare coverage or not. The other three provisions make technical corrections to the Social Security Act (the Act) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) regarding various Social Security coverage issues.
Demonstration Project on Direct Payment of Fees to Non-Attorney Representatives
This notice provides information about the continuing education requirement that non-attorney representatives must satisfy to participate in the 5-year demonstration project on direct payment of fees to non-attorneys under section 303 of the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (SSPA). The notice also announces that we have lowered the liability insurance requirements for participants and determined that applicants will be given an opportunity to correct defects in their applications to participate in the demonstration project, in certain circumstances; to protest a denial of their applications for any reason; and, where warranted, to have their paid application fee refunded or applied to satisfy the fee requirement for a subsequent application. The notice also clarifies the requirement regarding experience in representing claimants before SSA.
Technical Revisions to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Regulations on Income and Resources
We are amending our SSI regulations by making technical revisions to our rules on income and resources based on the Social Security Protection Act (SSPA) of 2004 and several other statutory changes. These technical revisions update lists of exclusions from income and resources under the SSI program and make additional technical corrections.
Rules for Helping Blind and Disabled Individuals Achieve Self-Support
We are proposing to amend our regulations to implement section 203 of the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994. Section 203 of this law amended section 1633 of the Social Security Act to require us to establish by regulations criteria for time limits and other criteria related to plans to achieve self-support (PASS). The law requires that the time limits take into account the length of time that a person needs to achieve his or her employment goal, within a reasonable period, and other factors as determined by the Commissioner to be appropriate. A PASS allows some people who receive or are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits to set aside part of their income and/or resources to meet an employment goal. The income and/or resources set aside under a PASS will not be counted in determining the amount of the person's SSI payment or his or her eligibility.
Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Genitourinary Impairments
We are revising the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (the listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving genitourinary impairments. We apply these criteria when you claim benefits based on disability under title II and title XVI of the Social Security Act (the Act). The revisions reflect advances in medical knowledge, treatment, and methods of evaluating genitourinary impairments.