January 3, 1980 William J. Driver entered on duty as Commissioner of Social Security. (He was confirmed by the Senate on March 24, 1980.) Mr. Driver had headed the Veteran's Administration from 1965 to 1969.

January 11, 1980 Robert Bynum, Deputy Commissioner, Programs, retired.

February 1, 1980 Some 5,200 employees of the Office of Central Records Operations (OCRO) began moving into the new Metro West Building in downtown Baltimore. The 600,000 square foot facility sits on 11 acres in downtown Baltimore and cost about $92 million to build.

February 1, 1980 Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Patricia Harris visited the Social Security Administration's headquarters at Woodlawn.

May 4, 1980 With the departure of the Office of Education, DHEW became the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

June 9, 1980 President Carter signed the Social Security Amendments of 1980. Chief changes: a more stringent maximum family benefit calculation; greater work incentives for disabled Social Security and SSI beneficiaries; and increased authority given the Secretary of HHS to establish, through regulations, performance standards and administrative procedures to be met by the States, including the authority to overturn State disability determination decisions.

August 1980 All 4,500 OCRO employees were now settled in the Metro West Building.

August 1980 Jan Prokop, Associate Commissioner for Systems, left SSA.

October 29, 1980 The Metro West Building was dedicated in a public ceremony. The principal speakers were DHEW Secretary Harris, Mayor William Donald Schaefer, Senator Paul Sarbanes, Congressman Parren Mitchell, and the Social Security Administration's Commissioner William J. Driver. By now 5,200 OCRO employees were working there.

October 1980 Public Law 96-473 terminated benefits to prisoners.

November 1980 The Office of Disability Operations (ODO) completed its conversion to a modular organization. (Modulation had been started in ODO in June 1975.)

November 1, 1980 During the year, the United States and Switzerland agreed upon a totalization agreement.

January 19, 1981 William J. Driver resigned as Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

January 19, 1981 Patricia Roberts Harris left office as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

January 20, 1981 Herbert R. Doggette,Jr., Deputy Commissioner, became the Acting Commissioner.

January 22, 1981 Richard S. Schweiker, former Senator from Pennsylvania, became the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

March 4, 1981 The Supreme Court upheld sections of the Social Security Act which dealt with the exclusion of inmates of public institutions from Supplemental Security Income benefits.

May 6, 1981 John A. Svahn became the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

June 8, 1981 The Supreme Court held that employers did not have to include as "wages" under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) the value of meals and lodging provided at the employer's convenience.

August 13, 1981 The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 made major changes in Social Security, SSI, AFDC and other programs affecting SSA. These included: a phasing out of student's benefits; stopping young parents benefits when a child reached 16; limiting the lump-sum death payment; retaining the earnings test at age 72 through 1982, after which the exempt age would be 70; imposing a disability megacap offset; introducing retrospective accounting for SSI benefits; and changes in the minimum benefit.

December 16, 1981 President Reagan promulgated Executive Order 12335, which established the National Commission on Social Security Reform. The Commission was created as a result of the continuing deterioration of the financial position of the Old-Age and Survivors Trust Fund and to made recommendations to assure the financial integrity of the Social Security System.

December 29, 1981 President Reagan signed legislation which, among other changes: restored the minimum Social Security benefit; provided the trustees of the various trust funds with the authority to borrow from each other through December 1982; made changes in sick pay reporting; and increased the penalties for misuse of the Social Security number; the reporting of death notices, etc.

December 29, 1981 President Reagan also signed H.R. 5159 into law which implemented various reforms in the Black Lung program.

January 8, 1982 Robert J. Myers resigned as Deputy Commissioner for Programs.

January 26, 1982 In his State of the Union Address President Reagan called for the transfer of $47 billion in Federal programs to the jurisdiction of State and local governments. Among other things, the proposal would give the States full responsibility for Aid to Families with Dependent Children and food stamps and the Federal Government full responsibility for the Medicaid program.

February 1982 SSA's Systems Modernization Plan is published.

March 2, 1982 Richard S. Schweiker, Secretary HHS, announced that the Social Security Administration will allocate $470 million over the next five years to modernize its data processing system.

June 30, 1982 President Reagan signed Executive Order 12369 formally establishing the President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, informally known as the Grace Commission.

September 1982 Commissioner Svahn announced that Continuing Disability Investigations (CDI) soon will begin with face-to-face beneficiary interviews in District or Branch Offices of SSA.

January 12, 1983 Public Law 97-455 permits, on a temporary basis, beneficiaries who are contesting the termination of their benefits to have both their benefits and Medicare coverage continued through the Administrative Law Judge hearing.

January 20, 1983 The National Commission on Social Security Reform sent its recommendations for resolving the Social Security program's financial problems to the President and Congress.

March 9, 1983 Margaret M. Heckler, former Congresswoman from Massachusetts, took office as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

April 20, 1983 President Reagan signed into law the Social Security Amendments of 1983.

September 14, 1983 Martha A. McSteen became Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

September 15, 1983 Grace Commission report on SSA released.

October 1, 1983 New Social Security number cards are made of banknote paper to deter tampering and counterfeiting.

July 1, 1984 Belgium and Norway entered into bilateral Social Security agreements with the United States.

August 1, 1984 Canada entered into a bilateral Social Security agreement with the United States.

October 9, 1984 Disability Benefits Reform Act of 1984 signed into law.

May 27, 1985 Sweden entered into a Social Security totalization agreement with the United States.

June 25, 1985 William J. Driver, former Commissioner of Social Security, died.

August 14, 1985 Social Security celebrates its 50th Anniversary.

September 2, 1985 Eveline M. Burns, a pioneering social analyst and planner who worked on the staff of the Committee on Economic Security, died.

October 1, 1985 Murray W. Latimer, one of the "founding fathers" of the Social Security system, died.

December 20, 1985 Otis R. Bowen became Secretary of Health and Human Services.

December 1985 Social Security beneficiaries began receiving multi-colored checks made of counterfeit-resistant paper instead of the familiar green punched-card checks.

January 19, 1986 J. Douglas Brown, a labor economist and key architect of the Social Security system who is often referred to as the "father of Social Security" died.

April 7, 1986 President Reagan signed the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.

June 6, 1986 President Reagan signed the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) Act, which establishes Social Security coverage for federal employees hired after December 31, 1983.

June 20, 1986 Report of the Commission on the Evaluation of Pain is published.

June 26, 1986 Dorcas R. Hardy became Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

October 22, 1986 President Reagan signed into law the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Among its provisions, the law required that every dependent age 5 or older listed on a tax return had to have their own Social Security number. This new requirement doubled SSA's enumeration workload in the following year.

April 12, 1987 Ewan Clague, former Director of the Social Security Board's Bureau of Research and Statistics, died.

May 17, 1987 Wilbur J. Cohen, former Secretary of HEW and a major influence on the Social Security program since its inception, died.

June 30, 1987 SSA established a Federal Disability Determination Services (FDDS) at SSA headquarters in Baltimore. The purpose of the FDDS is to serve as a test-bed for changes to disability policies and procedures and to help process high-priority disability workloads, such as Continuing Disability Reviews.

January 1988 SSA's first strategic plan (2000: A Strategic Plan) is published.

March 11, 1988 Report of the Disability Advisory Council published.

July 1, 1988 France entered into a Social Security totalization agreement with the United States.

October 1, 1988 Nationwide 800 number service implemented.

March 10, 1989 Louis W. Sullivan became Secretary of Health and Human Services.

August 1, 1989 Gwendolyn S. King became Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

October 24, 1989 The Baltimore Mega-Site Teleservice Center was officially opened in the Metro West facility in downtown Baltimore. More than 500 employees work at the TSC answering calls to SSA's new nationwide 800 number.

December 19, 1989 President Bush signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989.