THIS MONTH IN SOCIAL SECURITY HISTORY
March 1, 1935 Congressman Frank Buck (Calif.) made the motion to change the name of the Economic Security Bill to the Social Security Bill. The motion was carried by a voice vote from the House Ways and Means Committee.
March 11, 1937 The Social Security Board announced approval of eight lump-sum payments since the inauguration of the Social Security Act's old-age benefits program began on January 1.
March 1, 1938 John J. Corson was named Acting Director of the Bureau of Old-Age Insurance. He succeeded Leroy Hodges, who resigned as of February 28, 1938.
March 3, 1942 The Social Security Board delegated to the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance responsibility for administering a temporary system to provide monthly benefit payments to dependents residing in continental United States or civilians affected by enemy action occurring outside the continental United States.
March 20, 1942 The Social Security Board certified the first civilian war benefits-chiefly for dependents of workers on Guam and Wake Island.
March 26, 1943 The first disability payment under the Civilian War Benefits Program was made to a civilian defense worker.
March 1955 The Bureau of Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance made its first disability determinations.
March 12, 1956 The new IBM 705 computer is officially turned over to SSA.
March 13, 1959 The Committee on Ways and Means established the Subcommittee on Administration of the Social Security Laws under the chairmanship of Congressman Burr P. Harrison of Virginia. The committee's purpose was to review the disability program.
March 11, 1960 The Harrison Committee issued a preliminary report.
March 6, 1966 President Johnson signed a proclamation designating March 1966 as "National Medicare Enrollment Month."
March 10, 1970 President Nixon signed the bill making the Federal Credit Unions (formerly part of the Social Security Administration) an independent agency, the National Credit Union Administration.
March 7, 1973 Commissioner Robert M. Ball retired from the Social Security Administration.
March 8, 1977 The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was reorganized. Social and Rehabilitation Service was abolished. Aid to Families with Dependent Children, an element under the Assistance Payments Administration, became part of the Social Security Administration. SSA also was given responsibility for the Repatriation Program, Cuban Refugee and Indo-Chinese Refugee programs, and the Office of Child Support Enforcement. The Bureau of Health Insurance (Medicare) was moved out of SSA and became part of a new Health Care Financing Administration.
March 2, 1982 Richard S. Schweiker, Secretary HHS, announced that the Social Security Administration will allocate $470 million over the next five years to modernize its data processing system.
March 2, 1994 President Clinton appoints Alan "Scotty" Campbell as Chairman of the Congressional Commission on the Notch.
March 31, 1995 The Social Security Administration became an independent agency.
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.
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 30, 1999 The Social Security Board of Trustees announced that the long-range projections of the Social Security trust funds have improved by two years over last year's report. Under the new projections, the Social Security trust fund assets will be depleted in 2034 rather than 2032 as predicted last year. The 1999 annual report also indicates that in 2014, trust fund expenditures will begin to exceed tax revenues, a year later than estimated in 1998.
March 1, 2000 The full House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the "Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act of 2000" (eliminating the Retirement Test), by a vote of 422 to 0 (with 13 members not voting).
March 22, 2000 The Senate, by a vote of 100-0, passed H.R. 5 (with a technical amendment) eliminating the Retirement Test.
March 28, 2000 The House of Representatives agreed to the Senate amendment to H.R. 5, the "Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act of 2000," by a recorded vote of 419-0 and cleared the measure for transmission to the President.
March 30, 2000 The Social Security Board of Trustees reported hat the Social Security trust fund assets will not be depleted until 2037--three years later than reported in last year's report. The annual report also indicates that in 2015, trust fund expenditures will begin to exceed tax revenues, a year later than estimated in 1999.
March 19, 2001 The Social Security Board of Trustees reported that the Social Security program will remain solvent until 2038 - one year later than reported last year. Annual Trust Fund revenues are projected to exceed expenditures until 2016, a year later than estimated in last year's Trustees' report.
March 1, 2002 SSA implemented tighter rules on the issuance of Social Security cards to aliens not authorized to work in the U. S.
March 13, 2002 James B. Lockhart III was sworn in as Deputy Commissioner of Social Security. Mr. Lockhart was nominated by President Bush in July 2001 and confirmed by the United States Senate on January 25, 2002.
March 26, 2002 The Social Security Board of Trustees reported that the projected point at which tax revenues will fall below program costs comes in 2017 -- one year later than the estimate in last year’s report, and the projected point at which program costs exceed tax revenues plus interest from the trust funds comes in 2027 -- two years later than the estimate in last year’s report.
March 17, 2003 The Social Security Board of Trustees reported that the projected point at which tax revenues will fall below program costs comes in 2018 -- one year later than the estimate in last year’s report; and the projected point at which the trust funds will be exhausted comes in 2042 -- one year later than the estimate in last year’s report;
March 23, 2004 The 2004 Social Security Trustees Report shows little change in the projected financial status of the Social Security program over last year. The projected point at which tax revenues will fall below program costs comes in 2018 -- the same as the estimate in last year’s report.The projected point at which the Trust Funds will be exhausted comes in 2042 -- also the same as the estimate in last year’s report.
March 23, 2005 The 2005 Social Security Trustees Report shows little change in the projected financial status of the Social Security program over last year. The Trustees Report projects that the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2041 - one year sooner than last year’s projection. The projected point at which tax revenues will fall below program costs comes in 2017 – one year earlier than the projection in last year’s report.
March 28, 2006 Jo Anne Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security, issued a final rule establishing a new disability determination process. The new process, built upon Social Security’s electronic disability claims process, will shorten decision times and pay benefits to people who are obviously disabled much earlier in the process. The new disability process provides for: A quick disability determination process for those who are obviously disabled; A new Medical-Vocational Expert System (MVES) to enhance the expertise needed to make accurate and timely decisions; A new position -- the Federal Reviewing Official -- that will review state agency determinations upon the request of the claimant. This will eliminate the reconsideration step of the current appeals process; Retention of the right to request a de novo hearing and decision from an Administrative Law Judge if the claimant disagrees with the decision of the Federal Reviewing Official; Closing the record after the Administrative Law Judge issues a decision, with provision for certain good cause exceptions to this rule; A new body -- the Decision Review Board -- to review and correct decisional errors and ensure consistent adjudication at all levels of the disability determination process. The current Appeals Council will be phased out gradually.
March 25, 2008 The Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the financial health of the Social Security Trust Funds. While the key dates for program costs exceeding tax revenues and Trust Fund exhaustion remain unchanged, the 2008 Trustees Report shows improvement in the projected long-term financial status of the Social Security program from last year -- particularly in the latter half of the long-range projection period.
March 26, 2009 Vice President Joe Biden and Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced that the federal government will send out $250 economic recovery payments to people who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits beginning in early May 2009 and continuing throughout the month. No action is required to get the payment, which will be sent separately from the person’s regular monthly payment.
March 15, 2010 SSA announced its first Extended Service Team (EST) is open for business in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Little Rock EST will make disability decisions for state Disability Determinations Services (DDSs) that are most adversely affected by the flood of new initial disability claims. Later this year, SSA plans to open additional ESTs in Madison, Mississippi; Roanoke, Virginia; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
March 16, 2011 Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, hosted the agency’s seventh public hearing on Compassionate Allowances. The hearing took testimony from some of the nation’s leading experts on autoimmune diseases about the possible methods of identifying and implementing Compassionate Allowances for adults and children with autoimmune diseases.
March 16, 2012 SSA began mandating that claimants' representatives use the online iAppeals system when filing appeals on behalf of their clients, rather than visiting a field office for this purpose.