Notice of Solicitation of Public and Federal Agency Comments for Collaboration on Evaluating the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) Standard for Coding Functional Capability in Federal Programs
We are seeking information and comments from other Federal agencies' regarding their intention to use the WHO ICF \1\ as a standard for coding functional capacity with broad potential for application to the business processes of other Federal agencies and researchers throughout the world. We invite other interested Federal agencies involved in disability monitoring to collaborate with us to evaluate an ICF-based standard for coding functional capacity in Federal disability programs. We also invite interested public and private parties to comment on appropriate Federal direction on capturing data on functioning.
Rate for Assessment on Direct Payment of Fees to Representatives in 2013
We are announcing that the assessment percentage rate under sections 206(d) and 1631(d)(2)(C) of the Social Security Act (Act), 42 U.S.C. 406(d) and 1383(d)(2)(C), is 6.3 percent for 2013.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (Social Security Administration (SSA)/Office of Personnel Management (OPM))-Match Number 1307
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 OPM.
Rescission of Social Security Acquiescence Ruling 05-1(9)
In accordance with 20 CFR 402.35(b)(2), 404.985(e)(1) and 416.1485(e)(1), the Commissioner of Social Security gives notice of the rescission of Social Security Acquiescence Ruling (AR) 05-1(9).
Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2013
Under title II of the Social Security Act (Act), there will be a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits effective December 2012. As a result of this increase, the following items will increase for 2013: (1) The maximum Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) monthly benefit amounts for 2013 under title XVI of the Act will be $710 for an eligible individual, $1,066 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $356 for an essential person; (2) The special benefit amount under title VIII of the Act for certain World War II veterans will be $532.50 for 2013; (3) The student earned income exclusion under title XVI of the Act will be $1,730 per month in 2013, but not more than $6,960 for all of 2013; (4) The dollar fee limit for services performed as a representative payee will be $39 per month ($76 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 2013; and (5) The dollar limit on the administrative cost assessment charged to attorneys representing claimants will be $88 in 2013. The national average wage index for 2011 is $42,979.61. This index affects the following amounts: (1) The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) contribution and benefit base will be $113,700 for remuneration paid in 2013 and self-employment income earned in taxable years beginning in 2013; (2) The monthly exempt amounts under the OASDI retirement earnings test for taxable years ending in calendar year 2013 will be $1,260 for years prior to the year in which a person attains his or her Normal Retirement Age (NRA; defined later in this Notice) and $3,340 for the year in which a person attains his or her NRA; (3) The dollar amounts (``bend points;'' defined later in this Notice) used in the primary insurance amount (PIA) benefit formula for workers who become eligible for benefits, or who die before becoming eligible, in 2013 will be $791 and $4,768; (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 2013 will be $1,011, $1,459, and $1,903; (5) The amount of taxable earnings a person must have to be credited with a quarter of coverage in 2013 will be $1,160; (6) The ``old-law'' contribution and benefit base under title II of the Act will be $84,300 for 2013; (7) The monthly amount deemed to constitute substantial gainful activity for statutorily blind individuals in 2013 will be $1,740, and the corresponding amount for non-blind disabled persons will be $1,040; (8) The earnings threshold establishing a month as a part of a trial work period will be $750 for 2013; and (9) Coverage thresholds for 2013 will be $1,800 for domestic workers and $1,600 for election officials and election workers.
Social Security Ruling (SSR), 12-1p; Title II: Determining Whether Work Performed in Self-Employment by Persons Who Are Blind Is Substantial Gainful Activity and Treatment of Income Resulting From the Randolph-Sheppard Act and Similar Programs
We are giving notice of SSR 12-1p. This SSR explains our policy for evaluating whether work performed by self-employed persons who are blind is substantial gainful activity (SGA) under the disability program in title II of the Social Security Act (Act). In addition, this ruling clarifies that we do not count the income resulting from the Randolph-Sheppard Act and similar programs as earnings when we determine whether blind persons are engaging in SGA.
Social Security Acquiescence Ruling (AR) 12-1(8); Correction; Petersen v. Astrue, 633 F.3d 633 (8th Cir. 2011): Whether a National Guard Technician Who Worked in Noncovered Employment is Exempt From the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)-Title II of the Social Security Act
The Social Security Administration published a document in the Federal Register of August 27, 2012, in FR Doc. 2012-21065, in the first column, correct the ``title'' to read: Social Security Acquiescence Ruling (AR) 12-1(8); Petersen v. Astrue, 633 F.3d 633 (8th Cir. 2011); Whether a National Guard Technician Who Worked in Noncovered Employment is Exempt From the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)Title II of the Social Security Act. Also, in the second column, correct the heading to read: Acquiescence Ruling 12-1(8)
Charging Standard Administrative Fees for Nonprogram-Related Information
We are announcing the standardized administrative fees we will charge to recover our full cost of providing information and related services for nonprogram purposes we provide to the public. Previously, the fees we charged for nonprogram information requests were not standardized. Standard fee implementation will ensure fees are consistent and that we collect the full cost of supplying our information when a request is for a purpose not directly related to our administration of a program under the Social Security Act (Act). We expect the implementation of standard fees across all field offices will allow us to provide consistent service to members of the public who request information from us for nonprogram-related purposes.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE))-Match Number 1306
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 OCSE.
Service Delivery Plan
We are requesting public input as we develop our Service Delivery Plan (SDP). We recently completed our Agency Strategic Plan (ASP) for 2013-2016. The ASP identifies four goals: (1) Deliver quality disability decisions and services; (2) provide quality service to the public; (3) preserve the public's trust in our programs; and (4) strengthen our workforce and infrastructure. Consistent with these goals, our SDP will outline how we plan to provide our services over the next four years and beyond.
Social Security Ruling, SSR 12-2p; Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Fibromyalgia
In accordance with 20 CFR 402.35(b)(1), the Commissioner of Social Security gives notice of Social Security Ruling, SSR 12-2p. This ruling provides guidance on how we develop evidence to establish that a person has a medically determinable impairment of fibromyalgia, and how we evaluate fibromyalgia in disability claims and continuing disability reviews under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act.
Regulations Regarding Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts to Medicare Beneficiaries' Prescription Drug Coverage Premiums
This final rule adopts, without change, the interim final rule with request for comments we published in the Federal Register on December 7, 2010, at 75 FR 75884. The interim final rule contained the rules that we apply to determine the income-related monthly adjustment amount for Medicare prescription drug coverage (also known as Medicare Part D) premiums. This new subpart implemented changes made to the Social Security Act (Act) by the Affordable Care Act. The interim final rule allowed us to implement the provisions of the Affordable Care Act related to the income-related monthly adjustment amount for Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums when they went into effect on January 1, 2011.
Expedited Vocational Assessment Under the Sequential Evaluation Process
We are revising our rules to give adjudicators the discretion to proceed to the fifth step of the sequential evaluation process for assessing disability when we have insufficient information about a claimant's past relevant work history to make the findings required for step 4. If an adjudicator finds at step 5 that a claimant may be unable to adjust to other work existing in the national economy, the adjudicator will return to the fourth step to develop the claimant's work history and make a finding about whether the claimant can perform his or her past relevant work. We expect that this new expedited process will not disadvantage any claimant or change the ultimate conclusion about whether a claimant is disabled, but it will promote administrative efficiency and help us make more timely disability determinations and decisions.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Railroad Retirement Board (SSA/RRB))-Match Number 1308
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 RRB.
Notice of Meeting of the Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel
The Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel (Panel) is a discretionary Panel, established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, as amended. The Panel provides independent advice and recommendations to us on the creation of an occupational information system for use in our disability programs and for our adjudicative needs. Meeting Information
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.
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 system listings 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.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS))-Match Number 1094
In accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act, as amended, this notice announces a new computer matching program that we will conduct with CMS.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE))-Match Number 1074
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 OCSE.