Open Government: Use of Genetic Information in Documenting and Evaluating Disability
We will host an online open government comment forum about the use of genetic information in the disability determination process. The forum is open to all members of the public during the dates listed below.
Electronic Interim Assistance Reimbursement Program
We reimburse States that provide interim assistance to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants under our interim assistance reimbursement (IAR) program. We provide this reimbursement from the SSI recipient's initial retroactive SSI payment. On November 20, 2010, we began using an electronic Interim Assistance Reimbursement system (eIAR) to streamline the way we process reimbursements to the States. The eIAR process replaced our prior paper-based process with an electronic one, and greatly reduced our and the State's involvement in manually processing IAR cases. This electronic system did not change the amount of payments we make to States and SSI recipients. We propose to revise our rules about how we administer the IAR process to reflect the electronic process. We also made minor language changes and reorganized the sections for clarity.
Agency Proposed Business Process Vision Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
On November 5, 2010, we published a Federal Register notice requesting comments regarding our self-evaluation under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. We requested the public's ideas and suggestions on how we could best perform the self-evaluation. We received a limited number of comments from advocacy groups and individuals. On August 2, 2011, we published a second Federal Register notice announcing the two public forums we held in Falls Church, Virginia, where the public could provide us with comments in person or via telephone. The notice also requested written comments from those who preferred to communicate with us in writing. On October 24, 2011, we published a third Federal Register notice to extend the deadline to provide written comments. This Federal Register notice announces the modifications we propose to make to our business process based on our self-evaluation. A description of our business process vision under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is now available at www.socialsecurity.gov/ accessibility/section504. Our business process vision outlines the actions we are currently taking to implement many of the self- evaluation key findings and recommendations. Specifically, we are developing additional policies in this area to provide clear guidance to all SSA components. We developed and are continuing to develop electronic systems to capture information about the accommodations people tell us they need, and we trained and continue to train our employees about Section 504 and its requirements. Finally, we established a new organization, the Center for Section 504 Compliance, to oversee all of these efforts and manage the business process.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS))-Match Number 1076
In accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act, as amended, this notice announces a renewal of an existing computer matching program that we conduct with CMS.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Department of the Treasury (Fiscal Service))-Match Number 1038
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 with Fiscal Service.
Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Hematological Disorders
We propose to revise the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate cases involving hematological disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). The proposed revisions reflect advances in medical knowledge, our adjudicative experience, and information we received from medical experts and the public.
Cost-of-Living Increases and Other Determinations for 2014; Correction
The Social Security Administration published a document in the Federal Register of November 5, 2013, concerning the cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits effective December 2013. The document contains an incorrect number for the special minimum primary insurance amount (PIA) for 16 years of coverage.
Charging Standard Administrative Fees for Nonprogram-Related Information; Correction
The Social Security Administration published a document in the Federal Register of September 18, 2013, concerning a new fee for providing detailed and certified yearly Social Security earnings information for nonprogram-related purposes. The document contained unclear fee information and incorrect date for implementation.
Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowances
We are extending the expiration date of our rules that authorizes State agency disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations without the approval of a State agency medical or psychological consultant in claims that we consider under our quick disability determination (QDD) and compassionate allowance (CAL) processes. The current rules will expire on November 12, 2013. In this final rule, we are changing the November 12, 2013 expiration or ``sunset'' date to November 14, 2014, extending the authority for 1 year. We are making no other substantive changes, although we are making minor, nonsubstantive editorial changes to the rule for clarity.
Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2014
Under title II of the Social Security Act (Act), there will be a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits effective December 2013. As a result of this increase, the following items will increase for 2014: (1) The maximum Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) monthly benefit amounts for 2014 under title XVI of the Act will be $721 for an eligible individual, $1,082 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $361 for an essential person; (2) The special benefit amount under title VIII of the Act for certain World War II veterans will be $540.75 for 2014; (3) The student earned income exclusion under title XVI of the Act will be $1,750 per month in 2014, but not more than $7,060 for all of 2014; (4) The dollar fee limit for services performed as a representative payee will be $40 per month ($77 per month in the case of a beneficiary who is disabled and has an alcoholism or drug addiction condition that leaves him or her incapable of managing benefits) in 2014; and (5) The dollar limit on the administrative-cost fee assessment charged to an appointed representative such as an attorney, agent, or other person who represents claimants will be $89 beginning in December 2013. The national average wage index for 2012 is $44,321.67. This index affects the following amounts: (1) The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) contribution and benefit base will be $117,000 for remuneration paid in 2014 and self-employment income earned in taxable years beginning in 2014; (2) The monthly exempt amounts under the OASDI retirement earnings test for taxable years ending in calendar year 2014 will be $1,290 for beneficiaries who will attain their Normal Retirement Age (NRA) (defined below) after 2014 and $3,450 for those who attain NRA in 2014; (3) The dollar amounts (``bend points'') used in the primary insurance amount (PIA) benefit formula for workers who become eligible for benefits, or who die before becoming eligible, in 2014 will be $816 and $4,917; (4) The bend points used in the formula for computing maximum family benefits for workers who become eligible for benefits, or who die before becoming eligible, in 2014 will be $1,042, $1,505, and $1,962; (5) The amount of taxable earnings a person must have to be credited with a quarter of coverage in 2014 will be $1,200; (6) The ``old-law'' contribution and benefit base under title II of the Act will be $87,000 for 2014; (7) The monthly amount deemed to constitute substantial gainful activity (SGA) for statutorily blind individuals in 2014 will be $1,800, and the corresponding amount for non-blind disabled persons will be $1,070; (8) The earnings threshold establishing a month as a part of a trial work period will be $770 for 2014; and (9) Coverage thresholds for 2014 will be $1,900 for domestic workers and $1,600 for election officials and election workers.