Date: June 19, 1995
THE SENATE FINANCE COMMlTTEE REPORTS
BILL LANGUAGE FOR H.R. 4
THE "FAMILY SELF-SUFFICIENCY ACT OF 1995"
On June 8, 1995, the Senate Finance Committee officially reponed bill language for H.R. 4, the "Family Self-Sufficiency Act of 1995", The Committee had approved draft language on May 26, 1995 (see Legislative Bulletin 104-6).
As reponed, the bill amends the House version of H.R. 4, the "Personal
Responsibility Act of 1995", (see Legislative Bulletins 104-1 through 104-4) by
striking all of the language in the House bill after the enacting clause and inserting Senate Finance Committee bill text. The Senate Finance Committee bill contains the following SSA-related provisions:
SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY lNCOME (SSI) PROVISIONS
Eliminate SSI Benefits for Individuals Disabled by Drug Addiction or Alcoholism (DA&A)
- Prohibits SSI eligibility, including cash SSI benefits and Medicaid coverage, to those individuals whose drug addiction and/or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to their disability if they cannot qualify based on other disabling conditions.
- Repeals current-law provisions that:
- require preference be given to organizations as representative payees for DA&As;
- provide for $50 maximum fee for payee services for DA&A; and
- require demonstration projects on innovative approaches for referral, monitoring, and treatment of SSI DA&A beneficiaries.
Effective upon enactment for new applicants. The SSI eligibility of individuals on the rolls who are DA&As at the time of enactment would continue until January 1, 1997.
Requires notification of all DA&As affected by the provision within 1 month from date of enactment. Any DA&A who desires to reapply for benefns after such notification would be required to do so within 4 months after enactment, and the Commissioner would be required to make a determination of their 'eligibility within 1 year after enactment.
LIMITED ELIGIBILITY OF NONCITIZENS FOR SSI BENEFITS
- Provides generally that noncitizens would be ineligible for SSI, AFDC, and
Medicaid with the following exceptions:
- aliens admitted to the United States as refugees under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), or as asylees under section 208 of the INA, or whose deportations have been withheld under section 243(h) of the INA would remain eligible for SSI during the first 5 years after their arrival in the United States;
- aliens who are United States military veterans who were honorably
discharged and spouses and unmarried dependent children of such
veterans who are lawfuJly present in the United States; and
- aliens who have worked sufficient quarters of coverage to be fully insured under title II.
Requires notification of all aliens affected by the provision within 1 month from date of enactment. Any alien who desires to reapply for benefits after such notification would be required to do so within 4 months after enactment, and the Commissioner would be required to make a determination of their eligibility within 1 year after enactment.
Effective upon enactment for new applicants. The SSI eligibility of aliens on the rolls at the time of enactment who do not meet one of the exceptions would continue until January 1, 1997.
- Repeals current-law SSI sponsor-to-alien deeming provisions.
- Deems the full amount of a sponsor's and sponsor's spouse's income and resources to an alien regardless of the alien's entry status or whether he or she has become a U.S. citizen. Deeming would continue for 5 years after the firstday the alien is lawfully present in the United States or until the date specified in the sponsorship agreement, whichever period is longer. Effective October 1, 1995.
OTHER SSI PROVISIONS
- Prohibits SSI eligibility for 10 years for individuals who have been convicted in a State or Federal coun of having fraudulently misrepresented their State of residence in order to receive SSI, AFDC, Medicaid, or food stamp benefits simultaneously from two or more States. Effective upon enactment.
- Prohibits SSI eligibility for fugitive felons aod parole aod probation violators and requires SSI to provide law enforcement personnel, upon their request, the addresses of SSI recipients involved in, or who have information concenting parole or probation violations, other criminal activities, or criminal investigations. Effective upon enactment.
Restrictions on Eligibility for Benefits
- Repeals the comparable severity provision and provides that an individual under age 18 would be considered disabled if he/she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which results in marked, pervasive, and severe functional limitations and which can be expected to last for a continuous period of 12 months or to result in death.
Eliminates references to maladaptive behavior in the domain of personal/behavioral function in sections 112.00C.2. and 112.02B.2.c.(2) of the Listing of Impairments.
Discontinues the use of an ind ividualized functional assessment for evaluating disability in individuals under age 18.
These changes apply to applicants for benefits for months beginning on or after the date of enactment of this Act, without regard to whether regulations have been issued to implement such changes.
- Requires the Commissioner, within 1 year after the date of enactment, to redetermine the eligibility of any recipient who was receiving benefits as of the date of enactment aod whose eligibility for such benefits would terminate by reason of these amendments. Such redeterminations would be given priority over other redetermination reviews.
Requires the Commissioner to notify recipients affected by this provision within 90 days after enactment date.
These amendments apply to such recipients for months beginning on or after January 1, 1997; such recipients would be held harmless for any benefits paid until such date.
Continuing Disability Reviews and Redeterminatious
- Requires the Commissioner to redetermine, at least once every 3 years, the eligibility for SSI benefits of each individual under age 18 whose condition is not expected to improve.
- Requires the Commissioner to redetermine the eligibility of an SSI disability recipient during the I-year period beginning on the date such recipient attains age 18. The SSI disability eligibility criteria for applicants age 18 and older would be applied in making such redeterminations.
Requires the Commissioner to submit a report to the Congress, not later than October I, 1998, on the activities associated with such redeterminations.
- Requires the Commissioner to redetermine the eligibility for SSI disability benefits of an individual whose low birth weight is a contributing factor material to the finding that such individual is disabled. These redeterminations must be conducted not later than 12 months after the birth of the individual.
- These amendments would apply to benefits for months beginning on or after the date of enactment of this Act, without regard to whether regulations have been issued to implement them.
Treatment Requirements for Individuals Under the Age of 18
- Requires the representative payee of a disabled SSI individual under age 18 to file a copy of a treatment plan for such individual with the State Disability Determination Services, not later than 3 months after the individual is determined to be eligible for benefits. The individual' s treating physician, or other appropriate medical provider, would develop a treatment plan describing the services that are appropriate for the treatment of such individual's impairment(s). (Treatment plans would not be required in cases in which the Commissioner determines that such a plan would be inappropriate or unnecessary.)
Requires the representative payee 10 provide evidence of adherence 10 the treatment plan at the time of any redetermination of the individual's eligibility and at such other times as the Commissioner may prescribe.
Requires the State agency administering a State's Medicaid program 10 furnish such information as the Commissioner may request in connection with the treatment plan. The Commissioner would reimburse the State agency for providing such information,
Requires SSA's Inspector General to' report 10 the Congress on the treatment requirement provision no later than the end of the 36th month beginning after the date of enactment.
The treatment provision would be effective on the first day of the 12th month beginning after the date of enactment.
Study of Disability Determination Process
- Requires the Commissioner, from funds otherwise appropriated, to contract with the National Academy of Sciences, or some other independent entity, to conduct a comprehensive study of the disability determination process under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act, including the validity, reliability, equity, and consistency of the Listing of Impairments with current scientific knowledge and standards. Effective not later than 180 days after the date of enactment.
The study would include an examination of the appropriateness of the definitions of disability under both titles and the advantages and disadvantages of alternative definitions.
Requires the Commissioner, through the appropriate entity, 10 issue an interim report and a final report of the findings and recommendations resulting from the study to the President and the Congress, not later than 12 months and 24 months, respectively, from the date of the contract for such study.
National Commission on the Future of Disability
- Establishes a National Commission on the Future of Disability, whose expenses would be paid from funds otherwise appropriated for SSA. The Commission would be required 10 undertake a comprehensive study of all maners related to the nature, purpose, and adequacy of all Federal programs serving individuals with disabilities and to report its recommendations for changes 10 the President and the Congress.
- Requires HHS to transmit to SSA, for verification purposes, certain information about individuals and employers maintained under the Federal Parent Locator Service. SSA would be required to verify the accuracy of, correct, or supply to the extent possible, and report to HHS the name, SSN, and birth date of individuals and the employer identification number of employers. SSA would be reimbursed by HHS for the cost of this veritication service.
- State child support enforcement procedures would have to require that the SSN of any applicant for a professional license, commercial driver's license, occupational license, or marriage license be recorded on the application. Also, the SSN of any person subject to a divorce decree, support order, or paternity determination or acknowledgement would have to be placed in the pertinent records.
The Commission members should be appointed within 60 days after the date of enactment and serve for the life of the Commission, i.e., a 2-year period.
Requires the Commission to suhmit an interim report, at the end of the first year, to the President and the Congress. This report must include a detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of the Commission, together with the Commission's recommendations for legislative and administrative actions.
A fina1 report, which discusses bothjhe Commission's fina1 findings, conclusions, and recommendations and an assessment of the extent to which the recommendations contained in its interim report have been implemented, would be required no later than the date on which the Commission terminates.
Upon receipt, the President would be required to print each report and make it available to the public upon request.
OTHER SSA-RELATED PROVISIONS
Expansion of the Federal Parent Locator Service
Collection and Use of SSNs for Use in Child Support Enforcement