February 20, 1990 The Supreme Court held in "Sullivan vs Zebley" that substantial parts of the SSI regulation on determining disability for children are inconsistent with the Social Security Act.

March 30, 1990 Herbert R. Doggette, Jr., Deputy Commissioner for Operations, retired.

September 2, 1990 John J. Corson III, former Director of the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, died.

November 5, 1990 President Bush signed Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990.

April 1, 1991 Child care center opened in the Metro West Building in downtown Baltimore.

April 19, 1991 Lou Enoff became SSA's first Principal Deputy Commissioner.

September 1991 Western Program Service Center temporarily closed because of Legionnella bacteria. Building reopened and employees returned in December 1991.

September 1991 SSA's second strategic plan (The Social Security Strategic Plan: A Framework for the Future) is published.

October 14, 1991 Thomas H. Eliot, General Counsel to the Social Security Board 1935-1938, died at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the age of 84.

January 1992 Child Care Center opened in the Operations Building at the Woodlawn complex.

August 19, 1992 Report of the Experts of the Supplemental Security Income Modernization Project is published.

October 1, 1992 Louis D. Enoff named Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration; he served in this capacity until July 18, 1993.

January 22, 1993 Donna E. Shalala became Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

April 7, 1993 The 1993 Trustees Report showed the date of the combined Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds exhaustion as 2036.

June 22, 1993 SSA signed International Totalization Agreement with Greece.

July 19, 1993 Dr. Lawrence Thompson appointed Acting Commissioner of Social Security and Principal Deputy Commissioner by HHS Secretary Shalala.

August 10, 1993 President Clinton signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-66).

September 1993 SSA made the decision to reengineer the disability process.

September 7, 1993 First report issued of Vice President Gore's National Performance Review.

September 15, 1993 President Clinton nominated Shirley Sears Chater of Texas to be Commissioner of Social Security.

October 1993
The automatic cost-of-living (COLA) for benefits for December 1993 (paid in January 1994) was 2.6 percent.

October 7, 1993
Nomination of Shirley Chater confirmed by the Senate.

October 8, 1993
Shirley Chater's formal swearing-in ceremony took place at SSA headquarters in Baltimore.

November 24, 1993
President Clinton signed the Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1993 (P.L. 103-152).

March 2, 1994
President Clinton appoints Alan "Scotty" Campbell as Chairman of the Congressional Commission on the Notch.

March 31, 1994 Proposal of the Disability Process Redesign workgroup released to Commissioner Chater.

April 12, 1994 The 1994 Trustees Report showed the date of the combined OASDI Trust Funds exhaustion as 2029.

May 17, 1994 SSA's Internet site was launched on the World-Wide Web. Bruce Carter was appointed as the Webmaster.

June 1994 Commissioner Chater appointed Judy L. Chesser as Associate Commissioner for Legislation and Congressional Affairs. She was later named as Deputy Commissioner for Legislation and Congressional Affairs in March 1995 when SSA became an independent agency.

June 6, 1994 Vice President Al Gore visited SSA headquarters.

June 9, 1994 The members of the 1994 Social Security Advisory Council are named by Secretary of HHS Donna Shalala.

June 9, 1994 The Office of Personnel Management presented the OPM Director's Award to SSA for outstanding work and family programs.

June 22, 1994 Commissioner Chater and American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) President John Sturdivant signed the first national partnership agreement between SSA and AFGE. This partnership agreement marked the beginning of a new culture where labor and management shared accountability in accomplishing the Agency's mission of providing quality public service.

July 1994 Following publication in the Federal Register and close of the public comment period, the final disability re-engineering redesign proposal is released to the Commissioner.

August 1994 Commissioner Chater appointed Dr. Susan M. Daniels Associate Commissioner for Disability. She was later named by Commissioner Apfel as Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Income Security Programs in April 1998 under a reorganization of one program and policy functions within SSA.

August 1, 1994 Commissioner Chater appointed Carolyn W. Colvin as Deputy Commissioner for Policy and External Affairs. She was later named as Deputy Commissioner for Programs, Policy, Evaluation and Communications in March 1955 when SSA became an independent agency. Commissioner Apfel appointed Ms. Colvin as Deputy Commissioner for Operations in April 1998.

August 15, 1994 President Clinton signed legislation (H.R. 4277) establishing the Social Security Administration as an independent agency. Among other changes, the legislation establishes a six-year term for the Commissioner and makes the Principal Deputy Commissioner a political appointment subject to Senate confirmation.

September 1994 Commissioner Chater appointed Brian Coyne as SSA's Chief of Staff.

September 1994 Commissioner approves disability reengineering redesign and final plan is released.

October 1994 The automatic cost-of-living (COLA) for benefits for December 1994 (paid in January 1995) was 2.8 percent.

October 1994 Lori L. Hansen was appointed by the Senate to serve on the Social Security Advisory Board. Her term is from October 1994 to September 2000.

October 1994 Carolyn L. Weaver was appointed by the Senate to serve on the Social Security Advisory Board. Her term is from October 1994 to September 1997.

October 22, 1994 President Clinton signed the Social Security Domestic Employment Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-387).

October 31, 1994 President Clinton signed the Social Security Act Amendments of 1994 (P.L. 103-432).

November 1994 Arthur "Pete" Singleton was appointed by the House to serve on the Social Security Advisory Board. His term was from November 1994 to October 1998. Mr. Singleton resigned in October 1996 to be the Majority Staff Director, House Ways and Means Committee.

November 1994 Martha Keys was appointed by the House to serve on the Social Security Advisory Board. Her term was from November 1994 to September 1999.

November 15, 1994 President Clinton announces his intention to nominate Shirley Chater to serve a six-year term as Commissioner of the independent SSA.

December 1994 Commissioner Chater appointed Joan E. Wainwright as Associate Commissioner for Public Affairs. She was later named as Associate Commissioner for Communications in March 1995 when SSA became an independent agency, and then as Deputy Commissioner for Communications in June 1996 when the Office of Communications reported directly to the Commissioner of SSA.

December 31, 1994 The bipartisan commission on the "notch" issued its report: "Final Report on the Social Security 'Notch' Issue." The Commission's recommendation was: "The central finding of the Commission is that benefits paid to those in the 'Notch' years are equitable, and no remedial legislation is in order."

February 1995 SSA's first General Business Plan published.

February 16, 1995 A confirmation hearing was held before the Senate Finance Committee on Shirley Chater's nomination to serve a six-year term as Commissioner of Social Security. The Committee, under Chairman Bob Packwood (R-OR), took no action on the nomination.

March 31, 1995 The Social Security Administration became an independent agency.

April 3, 1995 The 1995 Trustees Report showed the date of the combined OASDI Trust Funds exhaustion as 2030, a gain of one year from the year before.

April 1995 Commissioner Chater appointed Arthur J. Fried as General Counsel.

April 1995 Dalbar Financial Services, Inc., a source for information on customer service initiatives and trends rated SSA's telephone service representatives 1st in Accommodations, Attitude, Knowledge, and Ring Time in its World Class Benchmarking study. Other companies in the study were AT&T Universal Credit Cards, Disney Companies , Federal Express, L.L Bean, Nordstrom, The Saturn Corporation, Southwest Airlines, and Xerox.

April 13, 1995 President Clinton appointed the Commissioner of Social Security to be a member of his Domestic Policy Council.

April 19, 1995 The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was bombed, killing 168 individuals, including 16 SSA employees.

June 6, 1995 Commissioner Chater announces the formation of a workgroup to examine the consolidation of SSA's 10 Regional Offices into 5, as part of SSA's efforts in association with the Administration's Reinventing Government, Phase II.

June 27, 1995 Charles I. Schottland, former Commissioner of Social Security, died.

July 20, 1995 Dr. Marilyn Moon and Stephen G. Kellison were appointed by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to serve four-year terms as Public Trustee of the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance trust funds. Their terms began on July 20, 1995.

August 1, 1995 GSA lets a contract to the James F. Knott Corp. for construction of a new 130,000 square foot "Megasite" building for ODIO, next to the new HCFA Headquarters in Woodlawn.

August 1995 The President uses "recess appointment" to appoint former U.S. Senator Harlan Mathews to serve on the Social Security Advisory Board from January 1996 to January 1997. He served as Chair of the Board. Senator Mathews declined the resubmission of his nomination.

August 1995 The President uses "recess appointment" to appoint Gerald M. Shea to the Social Security Advisory Board from January 1996 to January 1997.

August 1995 The President uses "recess appointment" to appoint William C. Brooks as a Presidential recess appointee to the Social Security Advisory Board from January 1996 to September 1996.

August 10, 1995 Linda Colvin Rhodes of Pennsylvania is nominated to be SSA's Deputy Commissioner.

August 10, 1995 President Clinton nominated David Williams to be Inspector General at SSA. The Senate confirmed David Williams as Inspector General on December 22, 1995.

August 14, 1995 A series of public service announcements was launched by Commissioner Chater to educate the public about the value of Social Security benefits at a ceremony held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Commissioner Chater was joined by First Lady Hillary Clinton and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Social Security.

August 16, 1995 Oveta Culp Hobby, first Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, died.

August 23, 1995 Commissioner Chater announces her decision on the workgroup report on Regional Office consolidations. Citing uncertain budget circumstances, the Commissioner declined to support any consolidations at this time.

August 29, 1995 Commissioner Chater details Agency plans to create a Direct Service Unit (DSU) at SSA headquarters in Baltimore. This unit would help answer phone calls to the 800# and would serve as Decision Writers for hearing decisions. The DSU is to be staffed by 80 employees, in FY 1996, who will be reassigned from staff jobs in headquarters. In addition, another 50 staff positions will be transferred to the Baltimore TSC. Volunteers are solicited for the DSU from three headquarters components: DCFAM; DCHR; and DCPPEC.

September 4, 1995 SSA Commissioner Shirley Chater and AFGE National President John Sturdivant sign a formal "partnership agreement" pledging SSA and the union to work cooperatively together in executing the SSA mission.

September 13, 1995 Construction began for ODIO's new "Megasite" building. The purpose of this building is to house all the disability folders currently used in the Office of Disability Operations and stored in offsite facilities around the Woodlawn area. This will make ODIO's Security West facility a truly folderless environment. The Megasite building will also house a new Information Retrieval Group whose job will be to retrieve information from active cases to be relayed to ODIO employees processing cases.

October 1995 The automatic cost-of-living (COLA) for benefits for December 1995 (paid in January 1996) was 2.6 percent.

October 19, 1995 A Memorial Garden is dedicated in front of SSA headquarters in Baltimore to commemorate the SSA employees who lost their lives in the Oklahoma City bombing.

November 14, 1995 Government-wide shutdown began, which lasted until November 20th.

December 12, 1995 SSA held Hammer Award Ceremony for 14 teams, workgroups, or projects.

December 16, 1995 Partial Government shutdown began, which lasted until January 8th.

December 31, 1995 Lawrence Thompson resigns as Principal Deputy Commissioner and takes a position with the Urban Institute.

January 3, 1996 John R. Dyer became Acting Principal Deputy Commissioner.

January 8, 1996 A major snow storm, "the blizzard of '96" closed many federal offices in the Baltimore-Washington area for three days.

January 19, 1996 President Clinton made recess appointments for his three nominees to the Social Security Advisory Board: Harlan Matthews; William Brooks; and Gerald Shea.

January 23, 1996 An SSA employee who survived the Oklahoma City bombing, Claims Representative Richard Dean, was invited to sit with Mrs. Clinton during the President's annual State of the Union Address and Mr. Dean was introduced by the President in the course of his remarks.

February 9, 1996 First meeting of the new Social Security Advisory Board was held in Baltimore. Among their other activities, the Board members took a tour of the SSA History Room.

February 9, 1996 Owing to an insufficient number of volunteers, 23 headquarters employees are given formal notice of their directed reassignment to the new headquarters Direct Service Unit.

February 13, 1996 The headquarters DSU is opened up for volunteers from all headquarters components. As a result of additional volunteers from the newly eligible components, the directed reassignments previously announced are canceled.

February 28, 1996 Commissioner Chater announces a set of policy changes to improve the effectiveness of the Plans for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) feature of the SSI program. The changes grew out of an SSA workgroup report, along with audit reports by the General Accounting Office, SSA's Inspector General, and SSA's Office of Program and Integrity Reviews.

March 5, 1996 Commissioner Chater and AFGE President John Sturdivant signed a national partnership agreement between AFGE and SSA effective March 5, 1996.

March 6, 1996 A call is issued for 100 volunteers to help in a national effort to reduce the backlog of hearing decisions awaiting "decision writing." Commissioner Chater has asked the ALJs to increase the percentage of cases they prepare using personal computers, and authorized additional overtime in the field for decision writing activities. The goal is a decision writing pending workload of 15,000 cases by the end of FY 1996. As of February 1996, the pending level was 43,204 cases.

March 11, 1996 The nomination of Linda Colvin Rhodes to be SSA's Deputy Commissioner is withdrawn. The Senate had taken no action on the nomination.

March 11, 1996 Commissioner Chater announced that SSA had agreed to settle the case of Hart vs. Chater in which a child, conceived through artificial means after the death of her father, was previously denied survivors benefits. SSA's position was that the settlement was not precedent-setting.

March 21, 1996 SSA launched its Interactive Video Teletraining (IVT) System with an inaugural broadcast to the International Distance Learning Conference in Crystal City, Virginia. SSA plans to use IVT to replace most of its in-person training in order to save money on travel and related training expenses.

March 25-27, 1996 A government-wide conference on "reinventing government" was held in Bethesda, Maryland. Vice President Al Gore was the keynote speaker and he singled-out SSA's 800# system for special praise for its highly rated service.

March 29, 1996 President Clinton signs H.R. 3136 into law, dramatically raising the earnings limits under the Social Security retirement test, and eliminating entitlement to Social Security or SSI disability benefits based solely on drug addiction or alcoholism. Previous policy has been that if a person has a medical condition that prevents them from working, this qualifies them as disabled for Social Security and SSI purposes--regardless of the cause of the disability. This law also makes the position of Chief Actuary a mandated position appointed by and reporting directly to the Commissioner, and subject to removal only for cause.

March 31, 1996 D. Dean Mesterharm is named Deputy Commissioner for Systems.

March 31, 1996 SSA completes its first year as an independent agency.

April 1996 SSA received Hammer Award for the Birmingham Telephone Claims unit.

April 15, 1996 The Social Security Advisory Board held its final public meeting in Washington, D.C.

April 24, 1996 SSA published in the Federal Register final rules that establish procedures under which SSA may impose civil monetary penalties on any Social Security or SSI applicant or beneficiary who makes a false statement in order to obtain benefits. This civil authority is in addition to any criminal penalties that may apply, and is a new power granted to SSA under Section 206(b) of the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994.

April 26, 1996 President Clinton signs H.R. 3019 The Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996 into law, ending the battle over the 1996 budget and providing SSA with its administrative appropriation for FY 1996. The bill also requires that all Social Security and SSI payments for new beneficiaries will be made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) beginning in July 1996, unless the Commissioner grants a waiver in a specific case; and all federal payments of all kinds will be made by EFT by 1/1/99 unless the Secretary of the Treasury grants a specific waiver.

April 28-29, 1996 The Social Security Representative Payment Advisory Committee met at SSA headquarters in Baltimore to discuss recommendations for changes in rep payee policies and procedures. A report was expected in July.

May 17, 1996 The Western Program Service Center in Richmond, California was renamed the Frank Hagel Federal Building, in honor of the former Assistant Regional Commissioner for Management and Budget in Region IX who died on January 1, 1995.

May 20, 1996 SSA's Direct Service Unit (DSU I) began operation on the 4th floor of the Annex building.

June 3, 1996 Commissioner Chater approves a proposal to grant direct terminal online access to certain SSA databases to the New York Regional Office of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is part of a "reinvention lab" experiment under the Vice President's reinventing government initiatives.

June 5, 1996 The 1996 Trustees Report showed the date of the combined OASDI Trust Funds exhaustion as 2029, a gain of one year from last year.

June 7, 1996 Termination notices began going out to 220,000 Social Security and SSI disability beneficiaries who were receiving benefits due to drug addiction or alcoholism. Under the law, these benefits were to be stopped by January 1, 1997.

June 13, 1996 SSA announced the creation of the second Direct Service Unit (DSU II) at SSA headquarters and solicited volunteers who want to move from staff positions to direct public service.

June 14, 1996 SSA awarded its IWS/LAN computer systems contract to the Unisys Corporation. The initial award was for $185,195,445 with a projected seven-year value of $279,596,486. The contract provides for the acquisition of all equipment needed to support a base quantity of 925 LANs, with an optional quantity of an additional 817 LANs.

June 20-22, 1996 SSA's Advisory Committees for Black, Hispanic, Pacific Asian, Women, and Employees with Disabilities held their first joint "diversity conference" in Miami, Florida.

July 19, 1996 SSA began the move into its new Rolling Heights folder storage facility in Baltimore. This 130,000 square feet facility, known as the ODIO Megasite, has 14-tier shelving and catwalks to facilitate folder storage and retrieval. The building has a capacity of 10 million folders--5 million will be stored in the initial move.

August 13, 1996 The ODIO Megasite is formally opened.

August 22, 1996 President Clinton signed the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996." This "welfare reform" legislation terminated SSI eligibility for most non-citizens. As of the date of enactment, no new non-citizens could be added to the benefit rolls and all existing non-citizen beneficiaries would eventually be removed from the rolls (unless they met one of the exceptions in the law.) Also effective upon enactment were provisions eliminating the "comparable severity standard" and reference to "maladaptive behavior" in the determination of disability for children to receive SSI. Children receiving benefits under the old standards were to be reviewed and removed from the rolls if they could not qualify under the new standards.

August 26, 1996 The SSA History Page on the World Wide Web was launched as an experimental prototype. (The Page was refined in subsequent months and formally launched on 10/1/96.)

September 5, 1996 SSA Hammer Award Ceremony for 13 teams or projects.

September 12, 1996 SSA received the " Best in Class " award at the Internet Commerce Expo (sponsored by Computer World Magazine) in the Government/Public Administration category for its implementation of the Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES).

September 30, 1996 President Clinton signed into law a massive omnibus spending bill (The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1997) which contained SSA's budget as well as numerous legislative changes relating to the SSI program and to issues involved in fighting fraudulent documents in connection with obtaining Social Security numbers. The major SSI provision makes sponsorship agreements legally enforceable for the first time. In the area of identification-related documents, the law requires the establishment of federal standards for state-issued birth certificates and requires SSA to develop a prototype counterfeit-resistant Social Security card.

October 1996 The automatic cost-of-living (COLA) for benefits for December 1996 (paid in January 1997) was 2.9 percent.

November 5, 1996 Commissioner Shirley S. Chater submitted her resignation to President Clinton, effective January 31, 1997.

November 7, 1996 The Representative Payee Advisory Committee submitted its final report to the Commissioner. The Committee, composed of outside experts, made 25 specific recommendations for improving SSA's administration of the representative payee function.

November 25, 1996 SSA's Office of the Inspector General opened a Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

December 1996 The SSA field office structure was revised. The new structure eliminated the District Office, Branch Office, and Resident Station designations. All sites were redesignated as Level 1, 2, 3, or 4 Social Security Field Offices. As of that point, there were a total of 1,352 "Social Security Field Offices."

December 4, 1996 A report by the Boskin Commission recommended downward adjustments in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 1.1%. The CPI is the basis for Social Security COLAs and this recommendation, if adopted, would reduce future Social Security COLA increases.

January 6, 1997 The Social Security Advisory Council released its report. The Council offered three options for changing Social Security: (1) a Maintain Benefits plan; (2) an Individual Accounts plan; and (3) a Personal Savings Account plan.

January 13, 1997 SSA received Hammer Award for the Direct Services Unit (redeployment of personnel).

January 13, 1997 SSA implemented nationwide online query access to the INS' SAVE database of legal aliens. This allows SSA personnel to quickly check the lawful status of aliens applying for an SSN.

February 3, 1997 First batch of notices mailed to non-citizens whose SSI eligibility may be affected by the provisions of the "welfare reform" legislation passed in August 1996. Notices will be sent to approximately 900,000 recipients at the rate of about 110,000 notices per week. The estimates are that about 500,000 of these individuals will lose their SSI eligibility.

February 11, 1997 SSA's proposed regulations implementing the changes to the childhood disability standards were published in the Federal Register. At the same time, SSA's proposal for cycling of benefit payments was also published.

February 11, 1997 SSA's proposed final regulations for cycling of benefit payments were published.

February 26, 1997 President Clinton named John J. Callahan to be Acting Commissioner of Social Security effective March 1, 1997. Dr. Callahan was the Assistant Secretary for Management & Budget in HHS at the time of his appointment.

March 1997 The Social Security Advisory Board issued its first formal report, entitled "Developing Social Security Policy: How the Social Security Administration Can Provide Greater Policy Leadership."

March 20, 1997 Jo Anne Barnhart was sworn-in as a new member of the Social Security Advisory Board. Her term is from March 1997 to September 1998. Ms. Barnhart replaced Arthur "Pete" Singleton who resigned to accept a position of staff director on the House Ways & Means Committee.

March 30, 1997 Paul Barnes was named SSA's Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources.

April 2, 1997 SSA announced new rules in the Federal Register that, effective immediately, eliminate the Annual Earnings Reports previously required from retirees under age 70 who are still working. SSA will now use information from the W-2 reports or tax records to track the earnings levels of working beneficiaries.

April 8, 1997  Ida Merriam, long-time head of SSA's Office of Research & Statistics, died at age 92. Ida Merriam started with SSA in 1936 and retired in 1972. She was one of the most prominent of the early generation of SSA's executive leadership.

April 9, 1997 SSA announced that it was temporarily suspending its Online PEBES service over the Internet due to questions raised in the news media about the security and privacy of the records. Following the publication of the news stories on April 7th, SSA experienced a surge in traffic to its Internet site that resulted in the largest volume of transactions to one site in the history of the Internet.

April 10, 1997 Acting Commissioner John J. Callahan announced that SSA will hire 150 former welfare recipients each year for four years as SSA's contribution to the President's welfare reform initiatives.

April 24, 1997 The 1997 Trustees Report showed the date of the combined OASDI Trust Funds exhaustion as 2029, the same as last year.

May 1, 1997 The cycling of Social Security benefit payments began. Under payment cycling, new beneficiaries receive their payment on one of three Wednesdays during the month, based on their date of birth (or the worker's DOB in the case of auxiliaries). For DOB 1-10, second Wednesday; for DOB 11-20, third Wednesday; for DOB 21-end, fourth Wednesday.

May 1997 SSA received Hammer Award for the Ft. Myers Team Experiment that involved a union and management agreement to delegate authority to employees.

May 23, 1997 President Clinton nominated Kenneth S. Apfel to serve as the 13th Commissioner of Social Security. Mr. Apfel is now Associate Director for Human Resources at the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President. Prior to 1995, he was Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget at the Department of Health and Human Services.

May 30, 1997 The first Annual Report of the Supplemental Security Income Program was released to President Clinton and to the Congress. In the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, the Congress required the Commissioner of Social Security to report annually on the status of the SSI program. In January 1997, 6.3 million individuals received Federal SSI payments averaging $342 per month. Federal expenditures for cash payments under the SSI program during calendar 1996 totaled $26.5 billion, and the cost of administering the SSI program in FY 1996 was $2.0 billion.

June 11, 1997 The first payments are issued under SSA's new "cycled payments" procedures; the first payments went to 4,400 new beneficiaries whose birthdates are between the first and the tenth of the month.

June 12, 1997 The Disaster Recovery Act of 1997 was signed into law by President Clinton. Among it provisions was an extension of SSI eligibility to non-citizens through 9/30/97 so that the Congress could reconsider the permanent form of these provisions.

June 23, 1997 Hammer Award Ceremony for 25 units, teams, or projects was held at SSA's headquarters.

August 5, 1997 President Clinton signed H.R. 2015, The Balanced Budget Act of 1997, into law. The bill passed the House on 7/30/97 by a vote of 346 to 85, and passed the Senate the next day on a vote of 85 to 15. This law restores SSI eligibility to certain cohorts of non- citizens whose eligibility otherwise would be terminated under the "welfare reform" of 1996. It also extends for up to one year the period for redetermining the eligibility of certain aliens who may ultimately not be eligible for continued benefits. It makes numerous other technical changes, mostly involving the SSI program.

August 22, 1997 SSA began a pilot-test with 30 employers in the Chicago region to allow them to verify a prospective employee's work eligibility by making direct inquiries into the SSA and INS databases. Under the pilot procedures, the employers can retrieve limited data from SSA's databases using a touch-tone phone and information from INS using a PC with a modem.

September 1997 SSA issued a report, Options for Enhancing the Social Security Card. The report was requested by Congress in the welfare and immigration reform laws (P.L. 104-193 and P.L. 104-208, respectively) passed in 1996.

September 2, 1997  President Clinton nominated Jane G. Gould of New York to be Deputy Commissioner of Social Security.

September 4, 1997 Acting Commissioner John Callahan released the report of the study of SSA's online PEBES service and announced the Agency's decision to make the service available again beginning in January 1998. The new version of the service will have additional security and privacy safeguards. Earnings information will no longer be provided online (only benefit estimates) and a personal code will be needed to receive the benefit estimate.

September 8-12, 1997 SSA's second National Anti-Fraud Conference was held in Baltimore. Over 450 SSA employees attended the Conference along with officials from the General Accounting Office and State disability determination units.

September 19, 1997 Kenneth S. Apfel is unanimously confirmed by the Senate as SSA's 13th Commissioner.

September 23, 1997 Former Commissioner of Social Security Stanford G. Ross was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Social Security Advisory Board from October 1997 to September 2002. President Clinton named him as Chair of the Board.

September 29, 1997 A formal swearing-in ceremony was held at SSA Headquarters in Baltimore for Kenneth S. Apfel as Commissioner of Social Security. Outgoing Acting Commissioner John J. Callahan conducted the swearing-in, and Franklin Raines, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, attended representing the White House.

October 1997 The automatic cost-of-living (COLA) for benefits for December 1997 (paid in January 1998) was 2.1 percent.

October 2, 1997 Commissioner Kenneth Apfel formally released the new strategic plan, "Keeping the Promise: Strategic Plan 1997-2002," to the Agency's senior staff and announced his intention to use the plan as the foundation of SSA's decisionmaking for the future.

October 30, 1997 Stanford G. Ross was confirmed by the Senate as a member of the Social Security Advisory Board, for a term expiring September 30, 2002.

October 30, 1997 Edward M. Gramlich, immediate past Chairman of the Social Security Advisory Council, was confirmed by the Senate as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

October 31, 1997  At the stroke of midnight, 325 Connecticut residents became the first in the nation to lose their welfare benefits under the time limits of the "welfare reform" legislation enacted in 1996. The 1996 law placed a time-limit of 60 months on lifetime welfare benefits, with the provision that States could set shorter limits, and the States were given some flexibility in defining when their limits would take effect. For various reasons, Connecticut's 21-month time limit became the first in the nation to actually take effect, resulting in the termination of benefits to this group of former welfare recipients.

December 1, 1997 World AIDS Day-The Commissioner affirmed SSA's commitment to working with many AIDS advocacy groups to ensure that people affected by HIV/AIDS were educated about Social Security programs for which they may be eligible.

December 16, 1997 Commissioner Apfel announced, that in response to President Clinton's commitment to making modern computer technology an integral part of every classroom in America, SSA donated over 600 surplus computers to schools across the USA to kick-off their "Computers for Kids" program.

December 17, 1997  Commissioner Apfel announced the results of his "top to bottom" review of the SSI childhood disability determination process. While expressing overall confidence in the quality of the determinations, some problems were found. The Commissioner directed a new review of approximately 45,000 of the 135,000 cases where benefits had been ceased, and offered a second opportunity to appeal for all ceased beneficiaries who did not choose to appeal initially. In addition, all 15,000 new claims filed since the August 1996 passage of the "welfare reform" changes in the law were to be reviewed again.

January 6, 1998 President Clinton proposed a major expansion of Medicare to cover retirees ages 62-64 and laid-off workers ages 55-62. Recipients in these two categories would be required to pay the full cost of their benefits in the form of premium buy-ins.

January 19, 1998 Sylvester J. Schieber, member of the 1994-1996 Advisory Council and co-author of the Personal Savings Accounts plan, was appointed by the Senate as a member of the Social Security Advisory Board. He replaced Carolyn Weaver on the Board.

January 27, 1998 In his State of the Union address President Clinton emphasized the central task of addressing the solvency of the Social Security program. He stated his view that any budget surplus should not be used in any way until we "Save Social Security First."

February 9, 1998 President Clinton delivered a major address on Social Security at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. as the unofficial launch of the year-long process of discussing the future of Social Security.

February 18, 1998 Notices were sent to 86,000 families whose child(ren) previously lost SSI eligibility under the Welfare Reform law. The notices provide a second opportunity to either request an appeal or to request payment continuation during appeal. This is one of the actions flowing out of Commissioner Apfel's review of the childhood disability program and announced in his December 1997 report.

March 13, 1998 The Senate received a message from the President withdrawing the nomination of Jane G. Gould, of New York, to be the Deputy Commissioner of Social Security. The Senate had taken no action on the nomination.

March 13, 1998 President Clinton issued an Executive Order establishing the National Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities. The purpose of this task force is to "create a . . . national policy to bring working-age individuals with disabilities into gainful employment at a rate approaching that of the general adult population." The Task Force will issue four reports between November 1998 and July 2002.

March 20, 1998 Commissioner Apfel announced several key executive personnel changes: Ms. Yvette S. Jackson was named to be Deputy Commissioner for Finance, Assessment and Management; Carolyn Colvin was moved to the job of Deputy Commissioner for Operations; Susan Daniels was slated to become Deputy Commissioner for Programs and Policy.

March 30, 1998 Commissioner Apfel announced an important organizational change. The Office of Programs & Policy will be separated into an Office of Policy (OP) and an Office of Disability and Income Security (ODIS). Susan Daniels will be appointed Deputy Commissioner for ODIS, and Jane L. Ross will be returning to SSA from the General Accounting Office to head OP.

April 7, 1998 President Clinton participated in the first of the national forums on Social Security. The first forum was held on the campus of Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City, Missouri.

April 12, 1998 Commissioner Apfel appointed Dr. Jane L. Ross as Deputy Commissioner for Policy.

April 16, 1998 SSA published in the Federal Register a notice requesting applications for a cooperative agreement to establish a Retirement Research Consortium based in two universities and supporting SSA's policy development process.

April 27, 1998 House passed by a vote of 413 to 8 a bill to establish an elaborate national dialogue on the future of Social Security, including: an 8-member Bipartisan Panel; a 36-member Dialogue Council; and a 3-member Internet Advisory Board.

April 28, 1998 The 1998 Trustees Report is released, showing an improvement in the long-range financing projections. The date of Trust Fund exhaustion moves from 2029 to 2032.

May 1998 Commissioner Apfel appointed Yvette S. Jackson as Deputy Commissioner for Finance, Assessment and Management.

May 6, 1998 SSA published a final regulation in the Federal Register governing procedures for acquiescing in circuit court decisions which conflict with the Agency's interpretation of the Act or regulations.

May 18, 1998 The Center for Strategic and International Studies' bi-partisan National Commission on Retirement Policy issued its final report. Among its major recommendations are: raising the retirement age to 70; diverting 2% of the FICA payroll tax into Individual Savings Accounts; eliminate the retirement test, and other changes.

May 29, 1998 SSA released its second "Annual Report on the SSI Program." According to the Report, 6.2 million individuals were receiving SSI in January 1998 and calendar year 1997 federal expenditures totaled $26.7 billion. These figures are projected to rise to 7.2 million recipients by 2022 with annual expenditures of $33.2 billion (in constant dollars).

June 4, 1998 The House passed H.R. 3433, the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Act of 1998, by a vote of 410 to 1 with 2 members voting "present." This bill, if enacted, would provide a ticket to allow disability recipients to purchase rehabilitation services, and it contains other work-incentive provisions as well.

June 22, 1998 The President issued an order directing SSA to cooperate with other federal agencies in a concerted effort to promote utilization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enacted into law in 1997. Among other things, SSA will distribute information and application forms in its local field offices.

June 25, 1998 The Supreme Court, on a 5 to 4 vote, ruled that key provisions of the Coal Act are unconstitutional. These provisions required some former coal companies to assume continuing responsibility for health insurance premiums for their former workers. SSA has had the responsibility of assigning these workers to the responsible coal company, thus triggering liability for the companies to pay the premiums. Nearly 100,000 people get health coverage under the Coal Act, and about 5,000 of them will lose this coverage under the Court's ruling.

July 1, 1998 Vice President Gore participated in the second national forum on Social Security held in Providence, RI.

July 6, 1998 The President launched a new campaign to ensure that eligible Medicare beneficiaries are informed about the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) provisions of the law which pays Medicare premiums for poor beneficiaries. SSA and HHS will have joint responsibility for a massive public information and outreach campaign.

July 27, 1998 The third regional forum on the future of Social Security took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The second forum took place on July 1st in Providence, Rhode Island. Vice President Gore hosted the Providence event, and President Clinton hosted the Albuquerque event. The forums, sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons and the Concord Coalition, have helped put a spotlight on Social Security so that the public can become more aware of the issues surrounding the long-term solvency of Social Security.

August 12, 1998 SAP America/Stevie Wonder Vision Awards Program recognized SSA as the winner of the Siemens Award Of Excellence and received $35,000 for its technology infrastructure to support visually impaired employees.

August 12, 1998 SSA received the Hammer Award for the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) Screening unit.

August 13, 1998 SSA hosted its "One America" diversity conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The program included prominent speakers, workshops and exhibits, providing valuable information about customer service, professional skills, career planning, personal motivation and technological advances.

September 9, 1998 SSA received the John Sturdivant National Partnership Award.

September 24, 1998 SSA held a Hammer Award Ceremony for nine teams or projects.

September 30, 1998 President Clinton nominated Richard A. Grafmeyer and Gerald M. Shea to be members of the Social Security Advisory Board.

October 1998 The automatic cost-of-living (COLA) for benefits for December 1998 (paid in January 1999) was 1.3 percent. This was the lowest COLA in its 25-year history.

October 1998 Jo Anne Barnhart was nominated by the House to serve on the Social Security Advisory Board. Her term is from October 1998 to September 2004. This is Ms. Barnhart's second term on the Board.

October 2, 1998 SSA announced the selection of two university research consortiums to be participants in SSA's Retirement Research Consortium (SRRC). The two lead universities are Boston College and the University of Michigan, in partnership with 13 additional collaborators. The five-year program will provide $1.25 million in funding to each university in the first year. The mission of the SRRC is to plan and conduct a broad research program that will develop retirement policy information to assist policymakers, the public and the media in understanding Social Security issues.

October 28, 1998 The President signed the Noncitizen Benefit Clarification and Other Technical Amendments Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-306). This bill, among other provisions, restores SSI eligibility to certain groups of non-citizen beneficiaries who would otherwise have lost their SSI eligibility under the provisions of the 1996 welfare reform legislation.

October 9, 1998 SSA published its first "SSI Management Report" assessing the management challenges facing the program and what SSA is doing to meet them.

October 27, 1998 As part of the national discussion on Social Security, the President hosted a roundtable discussion on women and retirement security at the White House on October 27. The White House released a paper, Women and Retirement Security at this event which details some basic facts on women and retirement, including the importance of Social Security.

October 28, 1998 President Clinton signed the Noncitizen Benefit Clarification and Other Technical Amendment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-306).

November 4, 1998 Vice President Gore announced a new federal policy designed to make it easier for victims of domestic violence to obtain new Social Security numbers. SSA will now accept requests for new SSNs in situations of domestic abuse if the abuse is documented by a competent third-party (such as shelter official, doctor, or law enforcement personnel).

November 16, 1998 SSA launched a new pilot project allowing people to apply for retirement or survivors benefits through SSA's 800-number telephone service. The pilot enables people in selected areas of the Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas regions to file claims immediately over the telephone. The calls are routed to special units in Birmingham, Chicago and Albuquerque. SSA plans to offer this service nationwide by September 2000.

November 16, 1998 SSA mailed the 50 millionth Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES) since it began issuing them.

December 3-4, 1998 SSA in conjunction with Howard University held a two-day symposium in Washington, D.C. on the SSI program, focusing on future demographic trends and their effects on the program.

December 8-9, 1998 The first-ever White House Conference on Social Security was held in Washington, D.C.

December 28, 1998 President Clinton announced that SSA's computer systems were now fully Y2K compliant. This made SSA the first major federal agency to complete work on the Year 2000 computer problem. About 700 programmers worked on the project, starting in 1989. The year 2000 project's estimated cost was $42 million.

January 1999 The percentage of beneficiaries receiving their payments by direct deposit hit 75%, with 15 States having rates over 80%. New beneficiaries are electing direct deposit at a rate in excess of 90%. (Eleven countries currently have international direct deposit of Social Security benefits, with an additional 25 countries planned for 1999.)

January 13, 1999 President Clinton announced a set of disability initiatives aimed at removing barriers for people with disabilities who want to return to work. Included in the initiative are: expanded Medicare and Medicaid coverage and the innovative "ticket to work" approach to the purchase of rehabilitation services.

January 19, 1999 In his State of the Union Address, President Clinton laid out his proposal to "Save Social Security First." He proposed transferring 62 percent of the unified budget surpluses to Social Security over the next 15 years; saving 15 percent of the surpluses to shore up Medicare; and investing 12 percent of the surpluses into new Universal Savings Accounts as additions to Social Security. He also called for repeal of the Retirement Earnings Test.

February 1, 1999 SSA given an "A" rating in management performance by the Government Performance Project of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University (only federal agency rated to receive an "A").

February 12, 1999 Vice President Gore and Commissioner Apfel announced at an event in Albany, N. Y., a proposal for the first increase in the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level since 1990. They proposed raising the SGA amount from $500 a month to $700 a month, reflecting the level of growth in average wages.

March 3, 1999 House of Representatives passed H.J. Res. 32, a sense of Congress resolution, by a vote of 416 to 1. This non-binding resolution puts the House on record as supporting an initiative to strengthen and protect the Social Security program for the 21st century.

March 11, 1999 SSA issued a comprehensive disability program management plan Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Disability Programs: Managing for Today Planning for Tomorrow.

March 17, 1999 The National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare concluded its efforts. Unable to secure the necessary super-majority vote in favor of the plan it developed, the Commission went out of business without issuing a report to Congress or the President.

March 30, 1999 The Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds released their 1999 Annual Report. The Report shows continued improvement in the Social Security Trust Funds, with the date of exhaustion lengthening from 2032 to 2034.

April 12, 1999 The 1999 Trustees Report showed the date of the combined OASDI Trust Fund exhaustion as 2034, a gain of two years from last year.

May 4-6, 1999 SSA held its 1999 National Anti-Fraud Conference in Baltimore. This conference was part of an increased emphasis on program integrity issues.

May 5, 1999 The first 450 resettled refugees from Kosovo landed at McGuire Air Force base in New Jersey. Among those processing the new arrivals were SSA employees who were taking Social Security number applications and assessing them for potential future SSI applications. (SSA staff subsequently took an SSN application for little "Amerikan Karaliju"--the first Kosovar baby born on U.S. soil.)

March 11, 1999 SSA issued a comprehensive disability program management plan Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Disability Programs: Managing for Today Planning for Tomorrow.

May 11, 1999 The Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Social Security Subcommittee notified SSA that its Fiscal Year 2000 Performance Plan ranks among the highest in government with a score of 84.5 out of a possible 100.

May 20-21, 1999 SSA's Retirement Research Consortium held its first annual Conference in Washington, D.C. to report on the initial set of research findings under this project.

May 24, 1999 A unanimous Supreme Court ruled, in the case of Cleveland v. Policy Management Systems, that the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the requirements for Social Security disability benefits are not incompatible and that filing a disability claim does not bar a person from seeking relief under ADA provisions. This ruling was consistent with the position SSA and the Administration had taken on the issue.

May 28, 1999 SSA released its third Annual Report of the Supplemental Security Income Program. In January 1999, 6.3 million individuals received monthly Federal SSI payments averaging $341. Federal expenditures for cash payments under the SSI program during calendar 1998 totaled $27.7 billion, and the cost of administering the SSI program in FY 1998 was $2.3 billion.

June 7, 1999 The White House Conference on Mental Health was held. President Clinton directed OPM to achieve mental health and substance abuse parity in the FEHB Program for contract year 2001. The Clinton/Gore Administration announced a historic 5-year $10 million Affective Disorder Demonstration Project at the SSA to help people with mental Illnesses return to work. Vice President Gore announced SSA would offer up to 1,000 Social Security Disability beneficiaries with affective disorders the opportunity to participate in the project to test improved treatments that could result in better functioning and a return to the workforce.

June 15, 1999 The Americans Discuss Social Security project of the Pew Charitable Trust gave a copy of its Final Report to Commissioner Apfel in preparation for closing down their project.

June 28, 1999 SSA Hammer Award Ceremony for eleven teams or projects.

July 19, 1999 SSA completed Phase I of its Intelligent Workstation/Local Area Network (IWS/LAN) computer modernization effort. This project, one of the largest information technology projects ever undertaken by the federal government, placed more than 75,000 workstations and 1,742 LANs in SSA and State DDS facilities around the country.

July 26, 1999 Commissioner Apfel announced in "SSA News Bytes" that the Office of Communications had received two Emmy Awards from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the public service ad-The Future of Social Security.

July 29, 1999 President Clinton nominated James G. Huse, Jr. to be the Inspector General at SSA.

August 5, 1999 SSA released its Hearing Process Improvement Plan to improve the hearing process, with a specific objective of reducing processing times from a projected level of 313 days in FY 1999, to less than 200 days in FY 2002.

September 23, 1999 President Clinton announced his intention to nominate William A. Halter of Arkansas to become the Deputy Commissioner at SSA.

September 30, 1999 Commissioner Apfel announced that the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign was selected to participate in the Social Security Administration's Disability Research Institute. The Five-year program will provide $1.25 million in funding to the university in the first year.

September 30, 1999 SSA awarded a contract to begin development of an Electronic Death Registration process. The goal is to develop systems which will allow the States to transmit death reports to SSA electronically.

October 1999 Martha Keys was nominated by the House to serve on the Social Security Advisory Board. Her term is from October 1999 to September 2005. This is Ms. Keys second term.

October 1999 SSA received Hammer Award for the "Atlanta One-Stop".

October 1, 1999 President Clinton nominated William A. Halter of Arkansas to be the Deputy Commissioner at SSA.

October 1, 1999 SSA began mailing 125 million Social Security Statements to all workers 25 years of age or older. Statements will now be sent on an annual basis.

October 8, 1999 One of the most notorious violators of the law prohibiting deceptive mailings in regard to Social Security, the Federal Record Service Corporation, agreed in a court settlement to cease its activities and to pay substantial financial penalties. FRSC had been charging the public for the same Social Security card services SSA provides for free.

October 19, 1999 SSA announced that the COLA for the next year would be 2.4%. The average Social Security retirement benefit was projected to increase by $19--from $785 to $804 per month.

October 20, 1999 As part of President Clinton's Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities, SSA and the Small Business Administration signed a partnership agreement to help adults with disabilities find gainful employment or become entrepreneurs. Vice President Al Gore witnessed the signing ceremony in the Indian Treaty Room of the Old Executive Office Building.

October 31, 1999 Retired SSA executive Arthur J. Simermeyer and his wife Marie were among the passengers killed in the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 off Nantucket. Simermeyer, who began his career in 1950 as a Claims Rep. in New Rochelle, New York, rose to a number of prominent positions in SSA, including a stint as Acting Deputy Commissioner for Systems and as the lead executive in implementing SSA's national 800# system, before retiring in 1988.

November 10, 1999 The Senate, by unanimous consent, confirmed the appointments of William A. Halter to be Deputy Commissioner of Social Security for the term expiring January 19, 2001 and James G. Huse, Jr. to be Inspector General of the Social Security Administration.

November 15, 1999 SSA released its "Report on Initiatives to Improve National 800 Number and Program Service Center Service to the Public."

November 18, 1999 SSA hosted its first Electronic Service Conference and Exposition at SSA headquarters in Baltimore.

November 18, 1999 SSA released its 1999 Annual Accountability Report. (SSA's 1998 Report received the Association of Government Accountants' Certificate of Excellence award.)

November 22, 1999 William A. Halter was ceremonially sworn-in as Deputy Commissioner of Social Security, and James G. Huse, Jr., was sworn-in as Inspector General of Social Security.

December 13, 1999 The University of Michigan announced that the Social Security Administration received a score of 82 in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index Survey (ACSI). This score is one of the highest earned by participating Federal government agencies and 10 points higher than the comparable private sector index.

December 14, 1999 President Clinton signed H.R. 3443, The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, which included a number of "technical" changes to Social Security and SSI. Of particular interest is the creation of a new title under the Act (Title VIII) which pays "Special Benefits" to World-War II veterans who would otherwise qualify for SSI but do not do so owing to a foreign residence.

December 17, 1999 President Clinton signed the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-170). The legislation is the most significant change in disability policy since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. The signing ceremony took place at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.