Vote Subject Matter: Social Welfare / Budget General Interest
Bill number: HR3236
Description: TO AGREE TO THE CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 3236, AMENDING THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT TO PROVIDE BETTER WORK INCENTIVES AND IMPROVED ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE DISABILITY INSURANCE PROGRAM. (MOTION PASSED)
Bill summary: (Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 96-944)
Social Security Disability Amendments of 1980 - =Title I: Provisions Relating to Disability Benefits Under OASDI Program= - Amends title II (Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) of the Social Security Act to reduce the maximum amount of monthly benefits payable under such title on the basis of wages and self-employment income to the smaller of: (1) 85 percent of an individual's average indexed monthly earnings; or (2) 150 percent of an
individual's primary insurance amount.
Amends the procedure for computing the primary insurance amount of an individual by stipulating that in determining the number of benefit computation years one year of low earnings shall be dropped for every five working years. Limits the maximum number of years which may be dropped to five.
Permits a disabled worker to drop out up to three additional years if there was a child under age three living with the worker and the worker had no earnings (as earnings are defined in the Act) in the dropped year or years.
Eliminates the requirement of consecutive months in the 24-month Medicare waiting period for railroad retirement disability beneficiaries, or old-age, survivors and disability insurance beneficiaries who are disabled, to be eligible for Medicare hospital care benefits.
Continues Medicare benefits for up to 24 months to an individual whose entitlement to disability benefits has ceased, whose trial work period has ended, whose impairment continues, and who would have been entitled to OASDI benefits had the individual been unable to engage in substantial gainful activity.
=Title II: Provisions Relating to Disability Benefits Under the SSI Program= - Permits disabled individuals eligible for benefits under title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) of the Act due to the medical severity of their disability, but who lose their eligibility because their earnings have demonstrated a capacity to be gainfully employed, to qualify for title XVI benefits and to be considered disabled under title XIX (Medicaid) and XX (Grants to States for Services) of the Act if such individual remains disabled due to the medical severity of the disability and continues to meet all other eligibility requirements, including income requirements, under title XVI. Permits such individuals, who would otherwise qualify for title XVI benefits except for their income, to be considered disabled for the purposes of titles XIX and XX if the termination of benefits under titles XIX and XX would seriously impair their ability to provide for themselves.
Authorizes the appropriation of funds for a pilot program to provide medical and social services to severely handicapped individuals whose earnings are above the level which ordinarily demonstrates an ability to engage in substantial gainful activity and who are not receiving SSI benefits but whose ability to continue employment would be significantly inhibited without the services and whose earnings are not sufficient to permit the individual to obtain the equivalent of the cash and other benefits that would be available under SSI, Medicaid, and title XVIII (Medicare) of the Act. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to report to Congress on the program.
Includes remuneration received for services performed in a sheltered workshop or work activities center as earned income, for the purposes of determining eligibility under title XVI based on income.
Lowers from 21 to 18 the age at which a parent's income ceases to be included in a child's income for purposes of determining eligibility for SSI benefits.
=Title III: Provisions Affecting Disability Recipients Under OASDI and SSI Programs; Administrative Provisions= - Amends title II and title XVI of the Act to permit OASDI and SSI benefits to be paid to individuals participating in approved vocational rehabilitation programs which will increase the likelihood that such individual may be permanently removed from the disability benefit rolls.
Excludes from the income of an individual, for the purpose of determining SSI and OASDI eligibility, the cost (to the individual) of attendant care services and medical devices necessary to enable a severely disabled individual to work.
Provides trial work periods for disabled widows and widowers. Provides, in the case of children, widows, and widowers, that the period of time to which such individuals are entitled to disability insurance benefit payments may extend to the third month following the end of an individual's "trial work period" if such individual is no longer disabled, or the 15th month following the end of such period of trial work is such individual is engaged in or is determined able to engage in substantial gainful activity. Provides that the "trial work period" for a disabled SSI recipient may extend to the earliest month following the end of an individual's "trial work period" if such individual is no longer disabled or the 15th month following the end of such period of trial work if such individual is engaged in or is determined able to engage in substantial gainful activity.
Permits any State which meets certain conditions and notifies the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in writing that it wishes to make disability determinations under title II of the Act to make such determinations. Directs the Secretary to issue regulations specifying performance standards and administrative requirements and procedures to be followed in making such disability determinations. Stipulates that the Secretary may only issue such regulations pursuant to law. Permits a State to cease making such disability determinations if it so notifies the Secretary. Directs the Secretary to review specified percentages of such determinations made by States so that at least 65 percent of all such determinations are reviewed after fiscal year 1982. Directs the Secretary to implement a program of reviewing decisions rendered by administrative law judges as a result of hearings concerning such determinations and to report to Congress on such program. Directs the Secretary to submit a plan to Congress on how he or she expects to make disability determinations in case a State agency fails to make such determinations in accordance with the regulations of the Secretary, or in case a State no longer wishes to make such determinations. Directs the Secretary when implementing such a plan to give preference to hiring State employees presently performing duties in the determination process.
Requires the Secretary to provide certain information on any unfavorable decision concerning the rights on any individual applying for OASDI or SSI benefits.
Limits the occasions on which a court may remand to the Secretary a case concerning eligibility for OASDI benefits for the taking of additional evidence to those cases in which it can be shown that there is new evidence which is material and that there was good cause for the failure to incorporate it into the record in a prior proceeding.
Requires the Secretary to submit to Congress a report recommending the establishment of appropriate time limitations governing decisions on claims for OASDI benefits.
Provides that any non-Federal hospital, clinic, laboratory, or other provider of medical services, or physician not in the employ of the Federal Government, which supplies medical evidence required by the Secretary for making title II disability determinations, shall be entitled to payment for the reasonable cost of providing such evidence.
Authorizes payment under titles II and XVI of the Act to pay travel expenses incident to medical examinations requested by the Secretary in connection with disability determinations under the OASDI and SSI programs. Authorizes payment of travel expenses under title II, XVI, and XVIII (Medicare) of the Act to individuals, parties, their representatives, and witnesses for travel to attend reconsideration interviews and proceedings before administrative law judges with respect to any determination under such titles.
Requires, in any case in which an individual is determined to be under a disability, unless such disability is found to be permanent, that the case be reviewed for the purposes of continuing eligibility at least once every three years.
Directs the Secretary to report to Congress as to the effects produced by titles I, II, and III of this Act.
=Title IV: Provisions Relating to AFDC and Child Support Programs= - Amends part A (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) of title IV of the Social Security Act to exempt an individual who works more than 30 hours a week from registering for manpower services, training, employment, and other employment-related activities as a condition of eligibility for aid under part A. Limits an individual's job search period to eight weeks annually.
Includes income received from a program of public service employment under the Work Incentive Program (part C, title IV) in determining an individual's needs under part A. Limits job referral's to those jobs meeting specified WIN regulations.
States that, in determining the amount of a State's expenditures under part A with respect to certain social and supportive services, the fair and reasonable value of goods and services furnished in kind from the State shall be included.
Amends part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) of title IV of the Act to permit a State to use the Internal Revenue Service to collect child support in cases in which a State under part D is required to provide child support collection services to an individual not otherwise eligible for such services.
Requires a State, under part A of the Act, to provide safeguards which restrict the use or disclosure of information collected in connection with any audit or similar activity under the following titles of the Act: (1) I (Old-Age Assistance and Medical Assistance for the Aged); (2) IV (Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Aid for Child Welfare Services); (3) X (Aid to the Blind); (4) XIV (Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled); (5) XVI (Supplemental Security Income); (6) XIX (Medicaid): or (7) XX (Grants to States for Services). Amends title XX of the Act to provide for further safeguards under titles IV, XVI, and XIX of the Act.
Includes in the expenditures of a State under part D of title IV court expenditures attributable to the performance of services related to the operation of part D.
Directs the Secretary of the Treasury, under part D of title IV, to pay to each State with a plan approved under such part 90 percent of the costs of planning, installing, or enhancing an automatic data processing and information retrieval system designed to assist in the administration of part D. States that the objectives of such system shall be to: (1) control, account for, and monitor all factors in the child support enforcement collection and paternity determination process; (2) determine if a collection of a support payment causes a change affecting eligibility for or the amount of aid under the aid to families with dependent children program (part A, title IV); and (3) provide information on all cases from initial referral through collection and enforcement.
Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to pay to a State, under part A of title IV 90 percent of the expenditures for development of mechanized claims processing and information retrieval systems to provide for the effective administration of the State plan under such part.
Prohibits the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare from making payment to a State after January 1, 1981 unless with respect to all prior payment periods, under part D of title IV, the State submits a full and complete report as to the amount of child support collected and disbursed and all expenditures for which payment is authorized under part D.
Stipulates that payments to a State under part A of title IV shall be reduced in addition to other reductions presently in force, by such amounts as are necessary to provide the "appropriate reimbursement of the Federal Government" required of a State under part D out of that portion of child support obligations retained by it pursuant to part D.
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide that the Commissioner of Social Security, upon written request, shall disclose directly to officers and employees of a State or local child support enforcement agency tax return information for the purpose of establishing and collecting the amount of child support obligations owed by an individual under part D of title IV of the Social Security Act.
=Title V: Other Provisions Relating to the Social Security Act= - Requires that SSI benefits received during the period in which an individual's application for OASDI benefits is pending be recovered from any payment of OASDI benefits which is made retroactive to the date of application.
Amends title VII (Administration) of the Act to terminate the National Commission on Social Security on April 1, 1981.
Directs a State to pay to the Secretary of the Treasury, within 30 days following the end of each month, OASDI contributions related to the employment of State employees.
Amends title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) of the Act to provide that the income and resources of an individual who sponsors an alien for admission to the United States shall be imputed to the alien for purposes of determining eligibility for and amount of SSI benefits, for three years after the alien's entry into the U.S. Sets forth the method of determining the sponsor's income and resources.
Provides that the alien and the sponsor shall be jointly and severally liable to repay any SSI benefits incorrectly paid because of the sponsor's failure to provide correct information concerning income and resources.
Exempts refugees and those granted political asylum from the sponsorship requirements of this Act.
Directs the Secretary to develop and carry out experiments and demonstration projects designed to determine the relative advantages and disadvantages of: (1) various alternative methods of treating the work activity of disabled beneficiaries under the OASDI program; and (2) altering other limitations and conditions applicable to such beneficiaries, so that savings will accrue to the Trust Funds, the objectives of OASDI will be promoted, or the administration of such program will be improved. Directs the Secretary to report to Congress concerning such experiments and demonstration projects.
Authorizes the appropriation of additional funds to be used by the Social Security Administration to participate in a demonstration project relating to the terminally ill which is currently being conducted within the Department of Health and Human Services. States that the purpose of such participation is to study the impact on the terminally ill of provisions of the disability programs administered by the SSA.
Directs the Secretary to establish a procedure whereby a health insurance policy offered by a private insurer to supplement the Medicare program may be certified by the Secretary as meeting minimum standards if such policy: (1) meets or exceeds the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Model Standards for medicare supplemental policies; and (2) can be expected to return to policyholders as aggregate benefits at least 75 percent of the aggregate amount of premiums collected in the case of group policies and at least 60 percent of the aggregate amount collected in the case of individual policies.
Establishes the Supplemental Health Insurance Panel to determine if the NAIC Model Standards have, at least, been met. Provides that the Secretary shall be the Chairman of the Panel and that the other four members shall be State commissioners or superintendents of insurance who shall be appointed by the President.
Sets forth criminal penalties pertaining to the misrepresentation of such policies.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) make information available to Medicare beneficiaries as to the value of supplementary policies; (2) study various State methods of regulating supplemental policies and to report the results to Congress; and (3) report to Congress, at least once every two years, on the effectiveness of the certification procedure and the criminal penalties.
Stipulates that the Secretary may only establish a certification program with respect to any State if the State cannot be expected by July 1, 1982, to have an adequate program.
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Bill titles: A bill to amend title II of the Social Security Act to provide better work incentives and improved accountability in the disability insurance program, and for other purposes.