Agreement on Social Security Between the United States and Iceland; Entry Into Force
We are giving notice that an agreement coordinating the United States (U.S.) and Icelandic social security programs will go into force effective on March 1, 2019. The Agreement with Iceland, which was signed on September 27, 2016, is similar to U.S. social security agreements already in force with 29 other countriesAustralia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea (South), Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. Section 233 of the Social Security Act authorizes agreements of this type.
Prohibiting Persons With Certain Criminal Convictions From Serving as Representative Payees
We are finalizing our proposed regulations on conducting background checks to prohibit persons convicted of certain crimes from serving as representative payees under the Social Security Act (Act), as required by the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018.
Privacy Act of 1974; Matching Program
In accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act, as amended, this notice announces a new matching program with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). This matching agreement sets forth the terms, conditions, and safeguards under which OPM will provide SSA with civil service benefit and payment data. This disclosure will provide SSA with information necessary to verify an individual's self-certification of eligibility for the Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs program (Extra Help). It will also enable SSA to identify individuals who may qualify for Extra Help as part of its Medicare outreach efforts.
Privacy Act of 1974; Matching Program
In accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act, as amended, this notice announces a new matching program with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The agreement between SSA and OPM sets forth the terms, conditions, and safeguards under which OPM will disclose civil service benefit and payment data to SSA. SSA is legally required to offset specific benefits by a percentage of civil service benefits received (Spousal and Survivors benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, and Retirement and Disability Insurance Benefits are offset by a percentage of the recipients own Federal Government pension benefits). SSA administers the Old Age, Survivors, Disability Insurance (OASDI), SSI, and Special Veterans' Benefits (SVB) programs. SSA will use the match results under this agreement to meet its civil service benefit offset obligations. Appendices A, B, C, and D of this agreement contain specific information on the matching programs that SSA will conduct under this agreement. SSA's Office of the Chief Actuary (OCA) will also use OPM's data for statistical and research purposes in tracking the size of, and impact on, subpopulations of government annuitants affected by the Government Pension Offset (GPO), the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), and in cost estimates of proposals to change the two provisions.
Removing Inability To Communicate in English as an Education Category
We propose to eliminate the education category ``inability to communicate in English'' when we evaluate disability claims for adults under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). Changes in the national workforce since we added this category to our rules in 1978 demonstrate that this education category is no longer a reliable indicator of an individual's educational attainment or the vocational impact of an individual's education. The proposed revisions reflect research and data related to English language proficiency, work, and education; expansion of the international reach of our disability programs; and audit findings by our Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The proposed revisions would help us better assess the vocational impact of education in the disability determination process.