Consent Based Social Security Number Verification (CBSV) Service
We provide limited fee-based Social Security number (SSN) verification service to private businesses and other requesters who obtain a valid, signed consent form from the Social Security number holder. We originally published a notice announcing the CBSV service in the Federal Register on August 10, 2007. Based on the consent forms, we verify the number holders' SSNs for the requesting party. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)), section 1106 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1306) and our regulation at 20 CFR 401.100, establish the legal authority for us to provide SSN verifications to third party requesters based on consent. The CBSV process provides the business community and other government entities with consent-based disclosures in high volume. We developed CBSV as a user-friendly, internet-based application with safeguards that will protect the public's information. In addition to the benefit of providing high volume, centralized SSN verification services to the business community in a secure manner, CBSV provides us with cost and workload management benefits. New Information: To use CBSV, interested parties must pay a one- time non-refundable enrollment fee of $5,000. Currently, users also pay a fee of $5.00 per transaction in advance of services. We agreed to calculate our costs periodically for providing CBSV services and adjust the fees as needed. We also agreed to notify our customers who currently use the service and allow them to cancel or continue using the service at the new transaction fee. Based on the most recent cost analysis, we will adjust the fiscal year 2012 fee to $1.05 per transaction. New customers will still be responsible for the one-time $5,000 enrollment fee.
Expedited Vocational Assessment Under the Sequential Evaluation Process
We propose to give adjudicators the discretion to proceed to the fifth step of the sequential evaluation process for assessing disability when we have insufficient information about a claimant's past relevant work history to make the findings required for step 4. If an adjudicator finds at step 5 that a claimant may be unable to adjust to other work existing in the national economy, the adjudicator would return to the fourth step to develop the claimant's work history and make a finding about whether the claimant can perform his or her past relevant work. This proposed new process would not disadvantage any claimant or change the ultimate conclusion about whether a claimant is disabled, but it would promote administrative efficiency and help us make more timely disability determinations and decisions.
Titles II and XVI: Documenting and Evaluating Disability in Young Adults
In accordance with 20 CFR 402.35(b)(1), the Commissioner of Social Security gives notice of Social Security Ruling, SSR-11-2p. This Ruling explains our policy on documenting and evaluating disability in young adults.
Requiring Use of Electronic Services by Certain Claimant Representatives
We are revising our rules to require that claimant representatives use our electronic services as they become available on matters for which the representatives request direct fee payment. In the future, we will publish a notice in the Federal Register when we require representatives who request direct fee payment on a matter to use our available electronic services. We are also adding the requirement to use our available electronic services on matters for which the representative requests direct fee payment as an affirmative duty in our representative conduct rules. These revisions reflect the increased use of technology in representatives' business practices. We expect that the use of electronic services will improve our efficiency by allowing us to manage our workloads more effectively. These rules do not require claimants to use our available electronic services directly; they only require their representatives to use the services on matters for which the representatives request direct fee payment.
Protecting the Public and Our Personnel to Ensure Operational Effectiveness
We are publishing the process we follow when we ban an individual from entering our field offices. Due to escalating reports of threats to our personnel and our customers in our offices, we are taking steps to increase the level of protection we provide. We expect that this rule will result in a safer environment for our personnel and members of the public who use our facilities, while ensuring that we continue to serve the American people with as little disruption to our operations as possible.