Monitoring Reviews for Certain Representative Payees
We are requesting information from the public regarding how we should conduct periodic onsite reviews of certain representative payees under Titles II, VIII, and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act) and how we can improve the representative payee program. We are seeking this information to decide whether and how we should make any changes to the representative payee program to further protect our beneficiaries from misuse of their benefits by representative payees.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended: Proposed New Routine Use and Updated Retention and Disposal
Pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, we are issuing public notice of our intent to add a new routine use to, and update the retention and disposal schedule of, an existing system of records entitled: Representative Disqualification, Suspension and Non- Recognition Information File, (60-0219). This system was last published in the Federal Register, 75 FR 25904 (May 10, 2010). The new routine use will allow broader disclosure to a bar disciplinary authority, court, or administrative tribunal before the agency imposes sanctions against a representative. The Office of General Counsel will use this new routine use to disclose records regarding the agency's investigation of an attorney, as well as records regarding non- attorneys misrepresenting themselves as attorneys, and non-attorneys continuing to practice despite non-recognition, suspension, or disqualification by the agency. The new routine use will allow for broader disclosure of representative misconduct to promote the integrity of our programs. The update to the retention and disposal section is based on the agency's specific records schedules. The new routine use and update to the retention and disposal section are described below.
Revisions to Direct Fee Payment Rules
We are adopting, with two revisions, our interim final rules that implemented amendments to the Social Security Act (Act) made by the Social Security Disability Applicants' Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010 (PRA). The interim final rules made permanent the direct fee payment rules for eligible non-attorney representatives under titles II and XVI of the Act and for attorney representatives under title XVI of the Act. They also revised some of our eligibility policies for non-attorney representatives under titles II and XVI of the Act. Based on public comment and subsequent inquiries, we are revising our rules to clarify that an eligible non- attorney representative's liability insurance policy must include malpractice coverage. We are also reaffirming that a business entity legally permitted to provide the required insurance in the States in which the non-attorney representative conducts business must underwrite the policies.
Extension of Expiration Dates for Several Body System Listings
We are extending the expiration dates of the following body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations: Growth Impairment, Musculoskeletal System, Respiratory System, Cardiovascular System, Digestive System, Hematological Disorders, Skin Disorders, Neurological, and Mental Disorders. We are making no other revisions to these body systems in this final rule. This extension will ensure that we continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.