Notice on Penalty Inflation Adjustments for Civil Monetary Penalties
The Social Security Administration is providing notice of its adjusted maximum civil monetary penalties. These amounts are effective beginning January 15, 2017. These figures represent an annual adjustment for inflation. The updated figures and notification are required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act).\1\
Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007
These final rules implement provisions of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (NIAA) that require Federal agencies to provide relevant records to the Attorney General for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Under these final rules, we will identify, on a prospective basis, individuals who receive Disability Insurance benefits under title II of the Social Security Act (Act) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments under title XVI of the Act and who also meet certain other criteria, including an award of benefits based on a finding that the individual's mental impairment meets or medically equals the requirements of section 12.00 of the Listing of Impairments (Listings) and receipt of benefits through a representative payee. We will provide pertinent information about these individuals to the Attorney General on not less than a quarterly basis. As required by the NIAA, at the commencement of the adjudication process we will also notify individuals, both orally and in writing, of their possible Federal prohibition on possessing or receiving firearms, the consequences of such prohibition, the criminal penalties for violating the Gun Control Act, and the availability of relief from the prohibition on the receipt or possession of firearms imposed by Federal law. Finally, we also establish a program that permits individuals to request relief from the Federal firearms prohibitions based on our adjudication. These changes will allow us to fulfill responsibilities that we have under the NIAA.
Ensuring Program Uniformity at the Hearing and Appeals Council Levels of the Administrative Review Process
We are revising our rules so that more of our procedures at the hearing and Appeals Council levels of our administrative review process are consistent nationwide. We anticipate that these nationally consistent procedures will enable us to administer our disability programs more efficiently and better serve the public.
Request for Information on Strategies for Improving Work Outcomes for Individuals With Musculoskeletal Disabilities
On Monday, September 19, 2016, we published in the Federal Register a notice requesting information regarding Request for Information (RFI) on Strategies for Improving Work Outcomes for Individuals with Musculoskeletal Disabilities and solicited public comments. We provided a 60-day comment period ending on November 18, 2016. We are reopening the comment period for 30 days.
Privacy Act of 1974; Proposed New System of Records
In accordance with the Privacy Act we are issuing public notice of our intent to establish a new system of records entitled, Anti-Harassment & Hostile Work Environment Case Tracking and Records System (60-0380), hereinafter referred to as the Anti-Harassment System. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires agencies to implement anti-harassment policies and procedures separate from the Equal Employment Opportunity process. As a result of implementing those policies and procedures, SSA is creating the Anti- Harassment System, which will capture and house information regarding allegations of workplace harassment filed by SSA employees, including SSA contractors, alleging harassment by another SSA employee or SSA contractor. The Anti-Harassment System supports our efforts to prevent harassment from occurring, to stop it before it becomes severe or pervasive, and to conduct prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations into allegations of harassment, thus supporting our obligation to maintain a work environment free from discrimination, including harassment.
Anti-Harassment and Hostile Work Environment Case Tracking and Records System
The Social Security Administration (SSA) separately published, in today's Federal Register, notice of a new system of records, entitled Anti-Harassment & Hostile Work Environment Case Tracking and Records System. Because this system will contain some investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes, the SSA proposes to exempt those records within this new system of records from specific provisions of the Privacy Act.
Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Mental Disorders; Correction
We published a document in the Federal Register revising our rules on September 26, 2016. That document inadvertently included incorrect amendatory instructions to appendix 1 to subpart P of 20 CFR part 404, removing section 114.00I and redesignating section 114.00J as section 114.00I. This document corrects the final regulation by removing that amendatory instruction.
Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection and for Evaluating Functional Limitations in Immune System Disorders
We are revising the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). We also are revising the introductory text of the listings that we use to evaluate functional limitations resulting from immune system disorders. The revisions reflect our program experience, advances in medical knowledge, our adjudicative experience, recommendations from a commissioned report, and comments from medical experts and the public.