Date: May 15, 1997
HOUSE PASSES WELFARE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS BILL
IOn April 29, 1997, the House passed by voice vote H.R. 1048, The Welfare Reform Technical Corrections Act of 1997. The bill was introduced on March 12 and the Subcommittee on Human Resources amended and reported H.R. 1048 on April 9.
On April 23, the bill was further amended by the fttll Committee on Ways and Means and approved by a 33-0 vote. The bill passed the House without further amendment.
The House-passed bill includes the following provisions of interest to SSA:
Eligibility Redeterminations for SSI Recipients Who Attain Age 18
Provides SSA with the authority to make redeterminations of disabled childhood SSI recipients who attain age 18, using the adult disability eligibility criteria, more than one year after the date such recipient attains age 18.
Continuing Disability Review Required for Low Birth Weight Babies
Permits SSA to schedule a continuing disability review for a child whose eligibility for SSI benefits is based on low birth weight at a date after such individual's first birthday if the Commissioner determines that such individual's impairment is not expected to improve within 12 months of the child's birth.
Eligibility Redeterminations Not Made Within the Initial Time Period
Extends from one year to 18 months (that is, unt il February 22, 1998) the amount of time from the date of enactment of P.L. 104-193 (August 22, 1996) that SSA has to redetermine the eligibility of children who are affected by the new disability criteria.
Exceptions to Benefit Limitations: Corrections to Reference Concerning Noncitizens Whose Deportation Is Withheld
Reflects the redesignation of Immigration and Naturalization Act section 243(h) to 241(b)(3) in order to assure that noncitizens whose deportations are withheld under either section are treated the same way effective April 1, 1997. Such noncitizens may be eligible for SSI during the 5-year period beginning the date their deportations are withheld.
Notification Concerning Noncitizens Not Lawfully Present; Correction of Terminology
Provides for replacing in section 1631(e)(9) of the Social Security Act "unlawfully in the United States" with "not lawfully present in the United States."
Veteran Exception: Application of Minimum Active Duty Service Requirement; Extension to Unremarried Surviving Spouse; Expanded Definition of Veteran
- Requires a minimum of military service--generally 24 months--in order to qualify for SSI and Medicaid.
- Provides SSI eligibility to an unremarried surviving spouse of a noncitizen veteran or active duty military personnel generally if they were married for at least one year.
- Provides that the term "veteran" includes military personnel who dies during> active duty service.
- Provides that certain Filipinos who fought for the United States military during World War II are considered veterans for benefit eligibility purposes.
Disclosure of Quarters of Coverage Information
Authorizes SSA to disclose quarters of coverage information about the spouse or parent of an alien for purposes of determining the alien's eligibility under certain Federally funded benefit programs.
Correction To Assure That Crediting Applies To All Quarters of Coverage Earned By Parents Before a Child is 18
Clarifies that all quarters of coverage earned by a parent before a child is aged 18, including those earned before the child was born, may be credited to the noncitizen child for purposes of the child's eligibility for SSI.
Definition of Qualified Alien: Inclusion of Noncitizen Child of Battered Parent as Qualified Alien
Provides that the benefit-paying agencies rather than the Attorney General make certain determinations. Such determinations would be made under guidance promulgated by the Attorney General. Also provides "qualified alien" status to noncitizen children whose parents are abused.
Disclosures Involving Fugitive Felons and Probation and Parole Violators
Authorizes SSA to charge fees as a condition for processing requests by law enforcement authorities for SSN and address information regarding SSI beneficiaries who are fugitive felons or probation or parole violators.
Treatment of Prisoners
Authorizes prisoner reporting incentive payments to a penal institution with respect to an inmate who receives an SSI benefit for the month preceding the first month throughout which he is an inmate of the institution. and who is determined to be ineligible for an SSI benefit based on the information provided by the institution.
Conforming Title XVI Amendments
Provides for a fifty percent reduction in an 55I prisoner incentive payment if a Social Security incentive payment is made on the same report; expands categories of institutions eligible to enter into prisoner incentive payment agreements with 55A.
Continued Denial of Benefits to Sex Offenders Remaining Confined to Public Institutions Upon Completion of a Prison Term
Provides that an individual confined in a penal institution pursuant to conviction of crime-san element of which is sexual activiry-will continue to be ineligible for Social Security benefits if, immediately following the completion of such confinement, the individual is confined by co urt order in an institution at public expense pursuant to a finding that the individual is a sexually dangerous person or a sexual predator or a similar finding.
Clarification of the Effective Date of the Denial of Disability Benefits to Drug Addicts and Alcoholics
Clarifies the meaning of the term "final adjudication" and clarifies SSA's authority to make medical redeterminations after January 1, 1997.
Expands the applicability of the provisions in P.L. 104-121 which require treatment referrals and authorization of a $50 fee for organizations serving as representative payees for beneficiaries who are incapable and have a DAA condition. Under current law, the provisions are limited to applications and reapplications filed after July I, 1996. This amendment extends these provisions to beneficiaries whose applications are adjudicated after enactment ofP.L. 104-121-March 29, 1996--(regardless of when filed) and to individuals allowed benefits before March 29, 1996 and who filed a request for a new medical determination before July I, 1996.
Repeal of Obsolete Reporting Requirements
Repeals two obsolete reporting requirements in Subsections (a)(3)(B) and (b)(3)(B)(ii) of section 201 of P.L. 103-296, the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994. Reports were to have been made to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance on SSA's experience with beneficiaries whose disabling condition is primarily caused by alcohol or drug addiction.
Extension of Disability Insurance Program Demonstration Project Authority
Extends through June 9, 1999 the Commissioner 's waiver authority (which expired on June 9, 1996) with respect to conducting title II experiments and demonstration projects regarding the treatment of work activity by disabled beneficiaries and provides that applicants may participate in such experiments and demonstration projects.
Implementation of Prohibition Against Payment of Title II Benefits to Prisoners
Authorizes prisoner reporting incentive payments (currently applicable only to the Supplemental Security Income program) for the OASDI program.
Elimination of Title II Requirement That Confinement Stem From Crime Punishable by Imprisonment for More Than 1 Year
Provides that individuals confined throughout a calendar month are ineligible for Social Security benefits for such month if their confinement is based on a conviction of any criminal offense, a finding that the individual is not guilty of such an offense by reason of insanity or similar finding, or a finding that the individual is incompetent to stand trial in connection with such an offense.
Inclusion of Title II Issues in Study and Report Requirements Relating to Prisoners
Includes OASDI issues in the study and report to Congress requirements (currently applicable only to the Supplemental Security Income program) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act.
Exemption from Computer Matching Requirements
Exempts all automated prisoner matching agreements from the Data Integrity Board review process of theComputer Matching and Privacy Protection Act; allows SSA to compare prisoner information with SSA representative payee records.
Perfecting Amendments Related to Withholding from Social Security Benefits
Amends section 207 of the Social Security Act to allow voluntary withholding from Social Security benefits for income tax purposes.
Compensation of Social Security Advisory Board Personnel
Deletes the current law provision that would allow the Advisory Board to hire three professional staff members. Allows for the appointment of such personnel the Advisory Board determines to be adequate.
Collection and Use of SSN's for Usc in Child Support Enforcement
Modifies the requirements for recording a personts SSN on certa in State issued documents.
Sense of the Congress Concerning the Treatment of Hmong Veterans
Expresses the sense of Congress that, based on their service on behalf of the United States during the Vietnam War, Hmong veterans should be treated like other noncitizen veterans for purposes of continued eligibility for assistance benefits.