(Previously Published as PPS-59)
SSR 81-26:COMPUTATION RULES FOR WORKERS WHO HAD A PERIOD OF DISABILITY
PURPOSE: To state the policy for determining the eligibility year for primary insurance amount (PIA) computations after December 1978 when the worker was previously entitled to a disability insurance benefit (DIB).
CITATIONS (AUTHORITY): Section 201(a) of Public Law 95-216 (Social Security Amendments of 1977); Sections 215(a)(2)(A), 215(a)(3), and 215(a)(5) of the Social Security Act; Regulations No. 4, section 404.212e.
PERTINENT HISTORY: The law in effect prior to January 1979 provides that an individual's PIA equals the PIA for all other individuals with the same average monthly wage (AMW). The AMW PIA is derived from a table in the law that includes all cost-of-living and statutory increases that have been established in the past. The law, as amended in 1977 (P.L. 95-216), provides that after December, 1978, a basic PIA is computed by applying a formula for the individual's eligibility year to average indexed monthly earnings. Cost-of-living increases are to be applied to the basic PIA beginning with the individual's eligibility year. A person is eligible for retirement insurance benefits (RIB) for months beginning with the month of attainment of age 62 and DIB for months beginning with the month disability began. Eligibility for survivor's benefits begins with the month the worker died. However, when an individual was previously entitled to a DIB, the law provides that the year of the person's eligibility to the previous DIB shall be counted as the eligibility or death year if the month of the later eligibility or death occurs in any of the 12 months after the last month of the previous entitlement to a DIB. In these situations, when the eligibility to the previous DIB was before January 1979, the law in effect in December 1978 is applicable to the PIA computation for the later eligibility.
POLICY STATEMENT: For eligibility or death years occurring after December 1978, the eligibility year or a previous DIB is counted as the eligibility year where the worker was entitled to the previous disability benefit in any of the 12 months preceding the month of the later eligibility or death. In these situations, when the eligibility year for the previous DIB is before January 1979, the law in effect in December 1978 will be used to compute the PIA. The current eligibility or death year will be used for the PIA computation if the individual was not entitled to a DIB in any of the 12 months immediately preceding the month of the later eligibility or death.
Martin Armstrong, born March 16, 1918, was entitled to a DIB based on a disability that began on May 12, 1976. The was last entitled to that DIB in March 1979. He attained age 62 in March 1980. Since he was entitled to a DIB within the 12-month period immediately preceding the month he became age 62, 1980 is not his eligibility year for RIB. Instead, his eligibility year reverts back to the year of eligibility to the DIB (1976). Because his year is prior to 1979, the PIA for the RIB is computed under the law in effect in December 1978 and is derived from the table contained or deemed to be contained therein which includes all past cost-of-living and statutory increases.
Same facts as above, except that the month of entitlement to a DIB was February 1979. Since Mr. Armstrong was not entitled to a DIB in any of the 12 months immediately preceding March 1980, when he because age 62, his eligibility year for RIB is 1980. The basic PIA for the RIB is computed under the law in effect after December 1978 as applicable in 1980. Cost-of-living and statutory increases for years prior to 1980 may not be added to the basic PIA.
- If Mr. Armstrong had again become disabled or had died in March 1980 instead of reaching age 62 in that month, the eligibility year for the DIB PIA computation or the death year for the survivor's benefit PIA computation would have been determined in the same manner.
EFFECTIVE DATE: These policies are effective for PIA computations after December 1978.
CROSS-REFERENCES: Claims Manual section 4302.5.