Rules of Administrative Finality
We are requesting information from the public regarding whether and how we should change our rules of administrative finality. These rules govern when we can reopen and revise a determination or decision that has become final and is no longer subject to administrative or judicial review. We are requesting information about several possible ways to change various aspects of our administrative finality rules. We are interested in obtaining information about issues such as whether and how we should revise the rules that govern the timeframes in which we can reopen a determination or decision, and whether and how we should revise the rules that govern the diligent pursuit of an investigation. We are also interested in obtaining information about whether we should adopt rules that would address our ability to make prospective changes to the amount of an individual's benefits without making changes for months in which the individual has already received payment. We are requesting your comments on several questions that we address below.
Mailing of Tickets Under the Ticket To Work Program
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.
Extension of Sunset Date for Attorney Advisor Program
We are extending for 2 years our rule authorizing attorney advisors to conduct certain prehearing procedures and to issue fully favorable decisions. The current rule will expire on August 9, 2013. In this final rule, we are extending the sunset date to August 7, 2015. We are making no other substantive changes.
Extension of Effective Date for Temporary Pilot Program Setting the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge
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.
Modifications to the Disability Determination Procedures; Extension of Testing of Some Disability Redesign Features
We are announcing the extension of tests involving modifications to disability determination procedures authorized by 20 CFR 404.906 and 416.1406. These rules authorize us to test several modifications to the disability determination procedures for adjudicating claims for disability insurance benefits under title II of the Social Security Act (Act) and for supplemental security income payments based on disability under title XVI of the Act.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA)-Match Number 1014
In accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act, as amended, this notice announces a renewal of an existing computer matching program that we are currently conducting internally.
Privacy Act of 1974, As Amended: Proposed New Routine Use
In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) and (e)(11)) and our disclosure regulations (20 CFR Part 401), we are issuing public notice of our intent to publish a new routine use applicable to our systems of records entitled: Master Files of Social Security Number (SSN) Holders and SSN Applications, (60-0058) (the Enumeration System) Earnings Recording and Self-Employment Income System, (60- 0059) Master Beneficiary Record (MBR), (60-0090) Prisoner Update Processing System (PUPS), (60-0269) The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-152) (collectively, the ACA) requires the use of a single, streamlined application to determine eligibility for an Insurance Affordability Program (IAP), which includes: a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) through an Exchange, Advance Payments of the Premium Tax Credit (APTC), Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSR), Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Basic Health Program (BHP). As a part of the eligibility determination process, individuals may apply for an exemption from the individual responsibility requirement to maintain coverage (certification of exemption). The new routine use will enable SSA to disclose information to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to confirm the accuracy of attestations made by an individual to determine eligibility and entitlement to an IAP and identify individuals who qualify for certifications of exemption under the ACA. We discuss the routine use in detail in the Supplementary Information section below. We invite public comment on this proposal.