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.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Department of Labor (DOL))-Match Number 1015
In accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act, as amended, this notice announces a new computer matching program that we will conduct with DOL. Also published today in a separate notice in the Federal Register you will find an announcement of a renewal of an existing computer matching program (Match 1003).
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Department of Labor (DOL))-Match Number 1003
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 DOL. Also published today in a separate notice in the Federal Register, you will find an announcement of a new computer matching program (Match 1015).
Reinstate Index to Chapter III in 20 CFR
The Social Security Administration published a document in the Federal Register of March 27, 2012, about reinstating an Index to Chapter III in Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The document contains a misprinted Web site link.
Nonpayment of Benefits to Fugitive Felons and Probation or Parole Violators
We are withdrawing the proposed rules we published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2005.
Removal of Regulations on Black Lung Benefits
This final rule removes regulations on the Black Lung program from the Social Security Administration's (SSA) chapter of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The Black Lung Consolidation of Administrative Responsibility Act transferred the responsibility for administering Part B of the Black Lung benefits program from SSA to the Department of Labor (DOL), and we are removing the regulations in recognition of the fact that we are no longer responsible for administering any aspect of the Part B Black Lung program. DOL concurs with this final rule removing the regulations.
Reinstate Index to Chapter III in 20 CFR
At the request of the Office of the Federal Register, we are reinstating the finding aid ``Index to Chapter III'' in Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The finding aid contains a list of all Acquiescence Rulings published in the Federal Register from January 11, 1990 through April 1, 2012.
Requiring Electronic Filing of Select Appeals by Certain Claimant Representatives
We are revising the Notification of implementation of requirement we published on January 31, 2012 (77 FR 4653). We are clarifying the requirement that appointed representatives file certain appeals using our electronic systems in matters for which the representatives request direct fee payment. Specifically, we are clarifying that the electronic filing requirement includes both the submission of the forms we require to file the appeal request and the Disability ReportAppeal. This is the first service required under the regulation we published on September 12, 2011 (76 FR 56107), Requiring Use of Electronic Services.
Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Visual Disorders
We propose to revise and reorganize the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate cases involving visual disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). The proposed revisions reflect our program experience and address adjudicator questions we have received since we last revised these criteria in 2006. These proposed revisions reflect guidance we have issued in response to adjudicator questions and will ensure more timely adjudication of claims in which we evaluate visual impairments that involve a loss of visual acuity or loss of visual fields.
Requiring Electronic Filing of Select Appeals by Certain Claimant Representatives
We are announcing the requirement that appointed representatives file certain appeals using our electronic systems in matters for which the representatives request direct fee payment. This is the first service required under the regulation we published on September 12, 2011 (76 FR 56107), Requiring Use of Electronic Services.
Public Availability of Social Security Administration Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Service Contract Inventory
In accordance with Section 743 of Division C of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117), we are publishing this notice to advise the public of the availability of the FY 2011 Service Contract inventory. This inventory provides information on FY 2011 service contract actions over $25,000. We organized the information by function to show how we distribute contracted resources throughout the agency. We developed the inventory in accordance with guidance issued on November 5, 2010 by the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). OFPP's guidance is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/ procurement/memo/service-contract-inventories-guidance-110520 10.pdf. You can access the inventory and summary of the inventory on our homepage at the following link: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/sci.
Amendments to Regulations Regarding Eligibility for a Medicare Prescription Drug Subsidy
This final rule adopts, without change, the interim final rule with request for comments we published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2010. The interim final rule incorporated changes to the Medicare prescription drug coverage low-income subsidy (Extra Help) program made by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act) enacted in March 2010. Under our interpretation of section 3304 of the Affordable Care Act, if the death of a beneficiary's spouse would decrease or eliminate the subsidy provided by the Extra Help program, we will extend the effective period of eligibility for the most recent determination or redetermination until one year after the month following the month we are notified of the death of the spouse. The effective date of this provision was January 1, 2011. We also revised our regulations to incorporate changes made by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) which affect the way we account for income and resources when determining eligibility for the Extra Help program. The statute provides that we no longer count the value of any life insurance policy as a resource for Extra Help effective on and after January 1, 2010. As of that date, we also no longer count as income the help a beneficiary receives when someone else provides food and shelter, or pays household bills for food, mortgage, rent, electricity, water, property taxes, or heating fuel or gas. These revisions updated our rules to reflect these statutory changes.
Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel
Notice is hereby given that on January 6, 2012; our Commissioner renewed the Charter for the Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel (Panel). This discretionary Panel will provide independent advice and recommendations on plans and activities to create an occupational information system (OIS) tailored specifically for our disability programs and adjudicative needs. We require advice and recommendations on the use of occupational information in our disability programs and the research design of the OIS, including the development and testing of an OIS content model and taxonomy, work analysis instrumentation, sampling, and data collection and analysis. Membership includes professionals from academia, private sector, and public entities, (e.g., Department of Labor) with expertise in one or more of the following subject areas: (a) Occupational analysis, design and development of occupational classifications, instrument design, labor market economics, sampling, data collection and analyses; (b) disability evaluation, vocational rehabilitation, forensic vocational assessment, and physical or occupational therapy; (c) occupational or physical rehabilitation medicine, psychiatry, or psychology; and (d) disability claimant advocacy. The Panel will function solely as an advisory body and in compliance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The charter was filed with the appropriate congressional committees. For further information contact, Ms. Leola S. Brooks, Designated Federal Officer, Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard 3-E-26 Richard Ball Building, Baltimore, MD 21235-0001. Fax to (410) 597-0825, or Email to OIDAP@ssa.gov.
Supplemental Security Income and Homeless Individuals
We are requesting information from the public regarding the unique needs of homeless Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, particularly those who live in public emergency shelters for the homeless, in an effort to better understand and address their needs. The SSI program provides a minimum income level for aged, blind, or disabled persons who do not have income or resources above levels specified in the Social Security Act (Act).
Mailing of Tickets Under the Ticket to Work Program
The Social Security Act (Act) states that we may issue a Ticket to Work (Ticket) to disabled beneficiaries for participation in the Ticket to Work program (Ticket program). Under our current rules, however, we mail initial Ticket notices to all Ticket-eligible beneficiaries, regardless of whether they are likely to participate in the program, immediately after they begin receiving benefits. We are modifying our rules so that we may send a Ticket to eligible disabled beneficiaries. We will inform all newly eligible and current beneficiaries of the availability of the program via routine correspondence. In addition, we will conduct Ticket outreach to those disabled beneficiaries who are most likely to return to work. We will send a Ticket to any eligible disabled beneficiary upon request, regardless of whether we have identified the beneficiary through our outreach efforts. We expect this change will make the Ticket program more effective. This change does not affect Ticket eligibility requirements.
Rate for Assessment on Direct Payment Fees to Representatives in 2012
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 2012.