SSR 74-32: SECTIONS 414(a) and 415(a) (30 U.S.C. 924(a) and 925(a), et seq.) -- FEDERAL COAL MINE HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT OF 1969 AS AMENDED -- SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION JURISDICTION FOR PAYMENT OF PART B MINERS' BLACK LUNG BENEFITS -- WHEN REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTITLEMENT MUST BE MET
20 CFR 410.226(b)
- Where a coal miner files application prior to July 1, 1973, for black lung benefits pursuant to Part B of title IV of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, as amended; held, the Social Security Administration, under authority delegated by the Secretary of HEW, has jurisdiction for paying Part B benefits provided all requirements for entitlement to these benefits are met prior to July 1, 1973, and further held, that where a miner filed an application prior to July 1, 1973, but all entitlement requirements are not met before that date the Social Security Administration does not have jurisdiction for paying Part B benefits.
A question has been raised as to the Social Security Administration's jurisdiction for the payment of Part B miners' black lung benefits under Section 414 of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, as amended, and as to when requirements for entitlement to these benefits must be met.
Section 414(a) of Part B, Title IV, of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, as amended, provides, in pertinent part, that:
- No claim for benefits under this part (Part B) on account of total disability of a miner shall be considered unless it is filed on or before December 31, 1973 . . ."
Section 415 of the amended Act further provides, however, that any claim for benefits filed during the period from July 1, 1973, to December 31, 1973, shall be considered and determined in accordance with Section 415 and, where appropriate under said Part B or Section 421 of Part C (claims filed on or after January 1, 1974), benefit payments with respect to such claim shall be under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Labor.
The Act, therefore, limits the Social Security Administration's responsibility for paying benefits to applications effectively filed prior to July 1, 1973. In this regard, Social Security Administration Regulations No. 10, Subpart B, Section 410.226(b), provides in part that where a claim is filed before the claimant meets all requirements for entitlement to benefits the claim will be deemed valid if such requirements are met:
- (1) before the Administration makes a final decision on such claim; or
- (2) if the claimant has timely requested judicial review of such final decision before such review is completed.
The regulations Section 410.226(b) also provides that:
- If the claimant first meets the requirement for entitlement to benefits in a month after the month of actual filing but before a final administrative or judicial decision is rendered on his claim, his claim will be deemed to have been effectively filed in such first month of entitlement. (Emphasis supplied.)
Therefore, payment of Part B miners' black lung benefits by the Social Security Administration, under authority delegated by the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, is limited to claims which are effectively filed prior to July 1973; i.e., all requirements for entitlement are met before that date, including the requirement that the miner applicant be totally disabled.
Where such requirements are met prior to July 1, 1973, under Social Security Regulations No. 10, Section 410.226(b), the claim would be found effectively filed during the period for which the Social Security Administration has jurisdiction for payment of such Part B miners' claims. Conversely, where an application has been filed prior to July 1, 1973, but all such requirements are not met until July 1973, or later, the claim under this regulation section would not be found effectively filed during the period for which the Social Security Administration has such jurisdiction (i.e., prior to July 1, 1973). The claim would, therefore, have to be denied on the basis that the miner did not meet all requirements for entitlement while the Social Security Administration had jurisdiction over the case. This latter situation would occur where, for example, the evidence fails to establish that, prior to July 1, 1973, the miner met the requirement of the law with respect to total disability.
Decisions made with respect to the aforegoing have to do only with the Social Security Administration's jurisdiction for paying benefits and not with respect to any claim subsequently filed with and adjudicated by the Secretary of Labor.