Extension of Effective Date for Temporary Pilot Program Setting the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge
We are extending for one year our pilot program that authorizes the agency to set the time and place for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Extending of the pilot program continues our commitment to improve the efficiency of our hearing process and to maintain a hearing process that results in accurate, high-quality decisions for claimants. The current pilot program will expire on August 10, 2015. In this final rule, we are extending the effective date to August 12, 2016. We are making no other substantive changes.
Sixty-Month Period of Employment Requirement for Government Pension Offset Exemption
This final rule adopts, with clarifying changes, the proposed rule we previously published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2007. This final rule revises our Government Pension Offset (GPO) regulations to reflect changes to the Social Security Act (``Act'') made by section 9007 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987) and section 418 of the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (SSPA). These regulations explain how and when we will reduce the Social Security spouse's benefit for some people who receive Federal, State, or local government pensions if Social Security did not cover their government work.
Extension of Sunset Date for Attorney Advisor Program
We are extending for 2 years our rule authorizing attorney advisors to conduct certain prehearing procedures and to issue fully favorable decisions. The current rule will expire on August 7, 2015. In this final rule, we are extending the sunset date to August 4, 2017. We are making no other substantive changes.
Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
We are revising the criteria in parts A and B of the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases) under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). These revisions reflect our adjudicative experience, advances in medical knowledge, recommendations from medical experts we consulted, and public comments we received in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (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.
Request for Information on Early Intervention Strategies for Serving Individuals With Disabilities
The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235), provided us with money under section 1110 of the Social Security Act to begin the design, development, and implementation of an early intervention demonstration to test innovative strategies aimed at helping people with disabilities remain in the workforce. The President's FY 2016 Budget requested additional funds to support a complete demonstration project. In order to inform the development of that demonstration, this request for information (RFI) seeks recommendations on targeted design features related to improving employment and earnings outcomes for people with disabilities, specifically individuals with mental impairments. The input we receive will inform and complement ongoing interagency deliberations about the best use of funds for an initial demonstration project relevant to future policy discussions for the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.
Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Hematological Disorders
We are revising the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate cases involving hematological disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). These revisions reflect our adjudicative experience, advances in medical knowledge, diagnosis, and treatment, and public comments we received in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
Public Availability of Social Security Administration Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 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 2014 Service Contract inventory. This inventory provides information on FY 2014 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.
Revised Listings for Growth Disorders and Weight Loss in Children
This rule adopts, with one change, the rule for evaluating growth disorders in children we proposed in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published in the Federal Register on May 22, 2013. Several body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) contain listings for children based on impairment of linear growth or weight loss. We are replacing those listings with new listings for low birth weight (LBW) and failure to thrive; a new listing for genitourinary impairments; and revised listings for growth failure in combination with a respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, or immune system disorder. These revisions reflect our program experience, advances in medical knowledge, and comments we received from medical experts and the public.
Social Security Ruling, SSR 15-1p; Titles II and XVI: Evaluating Cases Involving Interstitial Cystitis (IC); Correction
The Social Security Administration published a document in the Federal Register of March 18, 2015, in FR Doc. 2015-05680, on page 14217, in the first column, in section ``D,'' in the second sentence, delete ``and dimethyl sulfoxide''.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (IRS))-Match Number 1305
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 IRS.
Submission of Evidence in Disability Claims
We are clarifying our regulations to require you to inform us about or submit all evidence known to you that relates to your disability claim, subject to two exceptions for certain privileged communications. This requirement includes the duty to submit all evidence that relates to your disability claim received from any source in its entirety, unless you previously submitted the same evidence to us or we instruct you otherwise. We are also requiring your representative to help you obtain the information or evidence that we require you to submit under our regulations. These modifications to our regulations will better describe your duty to submit all evidence that relates to your disability claim and enable us to have more complete case records on which to make more accurate disability determinations and decisions.
Social Security Ruling, SSR 15-1p; Titles II and XVI: Evaluating Cases Involving Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
We are providing notice of SSR 15-1p. This SSR provides guidance on how we develop evidence to establish that a person has a medically determinable impairment of interstitial cystitis (IC), and how we evaluate IC in disability claims and continuing disability reviews under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act.
Social Security Number Card Applications
We propose to revise our regulations to allow applicants for a Social Security number (SSN) card to apply by completing a prescribed application and submitting the required evidence, rather than completing a paper Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. We also propose to remove the word ``documentary'' from our description of certain evidence requirements. These changes would provide flexibility in the ways in which the public may request SSN cards and allow us, in the future, to implement an online SSN replacement card application system, which we are currently developing. In addition, we propose to replace ``Immigration and Naturalization Service'' with ``Department of Homeland Security'' to reflect that agency's reorganization.
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.
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.
Rate for Assessment on Direct Payment of Fees to Representatives in 2015
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 2015.
Federal Awarding Agency Regulatory Implementation of Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
This joint interim final rule implements for all Federal award-making agencies the final guidance Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on December 26, 2013. This rule is necessary in order to incorporate into regulation and thus bring into effect the Uniform Guidance as required by OMB. Implementation of this guidance will reduce administrative burden and risk of waste, fraud, and abuse for the approximately $600 billion per year awarded in Federal financial assistance. The result will be more Federal dollars reprogrammed to support the mission, new entities able to compete and win awards, and ultimately a stronger framework to provide key services to American citizens and support the basic research that underpins the United States economy.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Department of Homeland Security (DHS))-Match Number 1010
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 DHS.
Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Genitourinary Disorders; Correction
This document corrects a misspelling in the regulatory language of our final rulemaking published in the Federal Register on Friday, October 10, 2014, titled Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Genitourinary Disorders.
Charging Standard Administrative Fees for Nonprogram-Related Information Requests for Detailed Social Security Earnings
On November 8, 2013,\1\ we announced in the Federal Register a new administrative fee we charge to the public for detailed yearly Social Security earnings information. We charge administrative fees to recover our full costs when we provide information and related services for nonprogram purposes. We are announcing an update to the previously published fee for detailed yearly Social Security earning information.
Cost-of-Living Increases and Other Determinations for 2015; Correction
The Social Security Administration published a document in the Federal Register of October 29, 2014, concerning the cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits effective December 31, 2014. The new document specifies the effective date of the 1.7 percent cost-of- living increase in Social Security benefits.
Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Railroad Retirement Board (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.