Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes a list of information collection packages requiring clearance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in compliance with Public Law (Pub. L.) 104-13, the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, effective October 1, 1995. This notice includes revisions and extensions of OMB-approved Information Collections and a new collection.
SSA is soliciting comments on the accuracy of the agency's burden estimate; the need for the information; its practical utility; ways to enhance its quality, utility, and clarity; and ways to minimize the burden on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Mail, email, or fax your comments and recommendations on the information collection(s) to the OMB Desk Officer and the SSA Reports Clearance Officer to the addresses or fax numbers listed below.
I. The information collection below is pending at SSA. SSA will submit it to OMB within 60 days from the date of this notice. Therefore, your comments would be most helpful if you submit them to SSA within 60 days from the date of this publication. Individuals can obtain copies of the collection instrument by calling the SSA Reports Clearance Officer at 410-965-3758 or by writing to the email address listed above.
1. Application for Search of Census Records for Proof of Age--20 CFR 404.716-0960--0097. SSA uses the information collected by the SSA-1535-U3 to provide the Census Bureau with sufficient identification information for an accurate search of census records for proof of age of an individual applying for Social Security benefits. When preferred evidence of age is not available and the available evidence is not convincing, SSA may request the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, to search its records in order to establish a claimant's date of birth. The Census Bureau uses the information from a completed, signed SSA-1535-U3 to bill SSA for the search. The respondents are applicants for Social Security benefits who need to establish their date of birth as a factor of entitlement.
2. Youth Transition Process Demonstration Evaluation Data Collection--0960-0687.
The purpose of the Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) project is to help young people with disabilities make the transition from school to work. While participating in the project, youth can continue to work and/or continue their education because SSA waives certain disability program rules and offers services to youth who are receiving disability benefits or have a high probability of receiving them. We are currently implementing YTD projects in eight sites across the country. The evaluation will produce empirical evidence on the effects of the waivers and project services including educational attainment, employment, earnings, and receipt of benefits by youth with disabilities, but also on the Social Security Trust Fund and federal income tax revenues. This project is authorized by Sections 1110 and 234 of the Social Security Act.
Given the importance of estimating YTD effects as accurately as possible, we will evaluate the project using rigorous analytic methods based on randomly assigning youth to a treatment or control group. We will conduct several data collections. These include (1) baseline interviews with youth and their parents or guardians prior to random assignment; (2) follow-up interviews at 12 and 36 months after random assignment; (3) interviews and/or roundtable discussions with local program administrators, program supervisors, and service delivery staff; and (4) focus groups of youths, their parents, and service providers. The respondents are youths with disabilities enrolled in the project; their parents or guardians; program staff; and service providers.
3. Workers' Compensation/Public Disability Questionnaire--20 CFR 404.408--0960-0247. Section 224 of the Social Security Act provides for the reduction of disability insurance benefits (DIB) when the combination of DIB and any workers' compensation (WC) and/or certain federal, state or local public disability benefits (PDB) exceeds 80% of the worker's pre-disability earnings. SSA uses Form SSA-546 to collect the data necessary to determine if the worker's receipt of WC/PDB payments will cause a reduction of DIB. The respondents are applicants for the Title II DIB.
4. Statement of Funds You Provided to Another and Statement of Funds You Received--20 CFR 416.1103(f)--0960-0481. Forms SSA-2854 and SSA-2855 collect information on an SSI beneficiary's allegations that he or she borrowed funds informally from non-commercial lender, e.g. a relative or friend. The borrower/beneficiary and the lender of the funds complete these statements. Forms SSA-2854 and SSA-2855 are required to determine whether the proceeds from the transaction are income to the borrower. If the transaction constitutes a bona fide loan, then the proceeds are not income to the borrower. Form SSA-2855 (Statement of Funds You Received) requests information from the SSI applicant/recipient by personal interview. Form SSA-2854 (Statement of Funds You Provided to Another) requests information by mail from the other party to the transaction. The respondents are SSI recipients who informally borrow money and those persons who lend the funds.
5. The Mental Health Treatment Study (MHTS)--0960-0726.
Because of advances in medical treatment, assistive devices, changes in the way we view those with disabilities, and legislation designed to assure access to employment, SSA is taking on an increasingly active role in assisting Social Security disability beneficiaries who want to return to work. As a result, SSA developed the MHTS under Section 234 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 434), which gives the Commissioner of Social Security the authority to carry out experiments and demonstration projects designed to determine the relative advantages and disadvantages of interventions that facilitate a beneficiary's return to work. Part of the agency's role involves finding ways to promote work and increase independence among disability beneficiaries.
SSA received additional support for this study in February 2001, through President Bush's New Freedom Initiative--a comprehensive program whose primary goal is to promote the full participation of individuals with disabilities in all areas of society. The aim of the Initiative is to help Americans with disabilities by increasing their access to effective technologies, expanding educational opportunities, increasing the ability of Americans with disabilities to integrate into the workforce, and promoting increased access into daily community life. This initiative provided SSA with
The MHTS implemented a randomized trial study designed to evaluate the effect of the intervention on employment and functional outcomes for SSDI beneficiaries with a primary mental impairment of schizophrenia or affective disorder. SSA is currently implementing the MHTS in 22 demonstration sites across the United States, with one site having two locations. The study participants are SSDI beneficiaries with varying clinical and demographic characteristics, employment histories, and, sometimes, additional medical impairments. The study design has two arms: treatment (special services), and control (regular services) groups. SSA randomly assigned study participants to the treatment or control group. Each treatment or control recipient will participate for a total of 24 months following enrollment. The treatment intervention activities include the following: diagnostic psychiatric assessment, comprehensive medical assessment, systematic medication management, supporting employment, individualized clinical treatment, supplemental health insurance, coordination and payment of recipients' claims, as well as quality assurance mechanisms and adherence to treatment guidelines, with subsequent training to improve deficiencies as identified.
The comprehensive assessment of the MHTS outcomes will identify which, if any, of the interventions resulted in successful employment and functioning outcomes, and identify the characteristics of the interventions that contributed to the success. This information enables SSA to develop better ways to improve services to current and future recipients. SSA also uses this information to guide any potential changes to program rules to allow for better coordination among other federal and state programs.
6. Application for SSA Employee Testimony--20 CFR 403.100-155--0960-0619. SSA regulations at 20 CFR 403.100-155 establish policies and procedures whereby an individual, organization, or governmental entity may request official agency information, records, or testimony of an agency employee in a legal proceeding where the agency is not a party. The request, which must be in writing to the Commissioner, must fully set out the nature and relevance of the sought testimony. Respondents are individuals
7. Self-Employment/Corporate Officer Questionnaire--20 CFR 404.435(e), 404.446--0960-0487. SSA uses Form SSA-4184 to develop earnings and corroborate the claimant's allegations of retirement when the claimant is self-employed or a corporate officer. SSA uses the information to determine an individual's Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) benefit amount. The respondents are self-employed individuals or corporate officers who apply for OASDI benefits.
8. Claimant's Medication--20 CFR 404.1512, 416.912--0960-0289. In cases where a claimant is requesting a hearing after denial of his or her claim for Social Security benefits, SSA uses Form HA-4632 to request information from the claimant regarding the medications they are using. This information helps the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing the case to inquire fully into the medical treatment the claimant is receiving and the effect of medications on the claimant's medical impairments and functional capacity. Respondents are applicants for OASDI benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.
9. Request for Withdrawal of Application--20 CFR 404.640--0960-0015. Individuals complete Form SSA-521 to request withdrawal of an application for benefits. Individuals who wish to withdraw their applications for benefits complete this form. SSA uses the information from Form SSA-521 to process the request for withdrawal. The respondents are applicants for OASDI benefits.
10. Authorization for the Social Security Administration to Obtain Account Records from a Financial Institution and Request for Records (Medicare Low-Income Subsidy)--0960-0729. Under the aegis of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, Medicare beneficiaries can apply for a subsidy for the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) program. In some cases, SSA will need to verify the details of applicants' accounts at financial institutions to determine if they are eligible for the subsidy. Form SSA-4640 will give SSA the authority to contact financial institutions about applicants' accounts. Financial institutions will also use the form to verify the information requested by SSA. The respondents are applicants for the Medicare Part D program subsidy and financial institutions where applicants have accounts.
11. Request to Pay Civil Monetary Penalty by Installment Agreement--20 CFR 498--0960-NEW. SSA uses Form SSA-640 to obtain the information necessary to determine a repayment rate for individuals who have a civil monetary penalty imposed on them for various fraudulent conduct related to SSA-administered programs. SSA needs this financial information to ensure the repayment rate is in the best interest of both the individual and the agency. The respondents are recipients of Social Security benefits and non-entitled individuals who must pay a civil monetary penalty.
II. SSA has submitted the information collections listed below to OMB for clearance. Your comments on the information collections would be most useful if received by OMB and SSA within 30 days from the date of this publication. You can obtain a copy of the OMB clearance packages by calling the SSA Reports Clearance Officer at 410-965-3758, or by writing to the above listed address.
1. Report of New Information in Disability Cases--20 CFR 404.1588--0960-0071. SSA uses the information it collects on Form SSA-612 to ensure federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) payments are correct. It is essential beneficiaries notify SSA of any information that may affect their continuing entitlement to disability benefits. To facilitate and encourage timely reporting of such events, SSA furnishes beneficiaries a Form SSA-612. The beneficiary completes and returns the form to SSA when there is a change in his/her circumstances. When a beneficiary reports a change, SSA investigates any reported work activity or improvement in the beneficiary's condition, updates its records, and makes necessary payment changes. The respondents are recipients of federal OASDI benefits.