Summary: H.R.4857 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (10/24/2000)

Social Security Number Privacy and Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2000 - Title I: Provisions Relating to the Social Security Account Number in the Public Sector - Amends title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) (OASDI) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to: (1) specify restrictions on the sale and public display of Social Security account numbers (SSNs) (or any derivatives) by Federal, State, or local governments; (2) prohibit the display of SSNs on checks issued for payment by such governments, or on driver's licenses or motor vehicle registrations issued by a State or local government; (3) prohibit the Federal, State, or local government display of SSNs or any derivatives on employee identification cards or tags (IDs); (4) prohibit access to the SSNs of other individuals by prisoners employed by Federal, State, or local governments; and (5) require States to require independent verification of birth records provided in support of applications for SSNs.

(Sec. 107) Directs the Commissioner of Social Security (Commissioner) and the Attorney General to report jointly to Congress on the progress of the Social Security Administration (Administration) and the Immigration and Naturalization Service in implementing a process, at the admission of aliens to the United States, for enumeration of those aliens needing a SSN.

(Sec. 108) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress on the: (1) current usage by the Federal, State, and local governments of SSNs of individuals and their derivatives for ID purposes; and (2) most effective means by which any such usage extending beyond the original purposes of the SSN may be minimized.

Title II: Provisions Relating to the Social Security Account Number in the Private Sector - Directs the Federal Trade Commission to issue regulations restricting, in accordance with specified guidelines, the sale and purchase of SSNs in the private sector.

(Sec. 202) Provides that any person who refuses to do business with an individual because the individual will not consent to that person's receipt of his or her SSN shall be considered to have committed an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

(Sec. 203) Amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to treat a consumer's SSN (and any derivative) (credit header information) as information subject, like credit reports, to such Act.

Title III: Enforcement - Amends SSA title II (OASDI) to set forth new criminal penalties for: (1) misuse of SSNs (the offering, for a fee, of an additional SSN or a number that purports to be one); and (2) knowing sale or purchase of SSNs.

(Sec. 303) Amends SSA title XI to authorize the Administration to impose certain additional civil monetary penalties of up to $5,000 each for: (1) omission of a statement that the individual should have made to SSA in connection with determining eligibility for, or the amount of monthly OASDI benefits or other specified benefits or payments, including Special Benefits for Certain World War II Veterans under SSA title VIII; (2) using an SSN obtained through false information; (3) falsely representing a SSN to be one's own; (4) altering a Social Security card; (5) buying or selling a SSN card; (6) counterfeiting an SSN card; (7) disclosure, use, sale, or purchase of another person's SSN in violation of any Federal law; and (8) improper sale of SSNs by an officer, employee, or agent of a Federal, State or local government agency.

(Sec. 304) Amends SSA titles II, VIII (Special Benefits for Certain World War II Veterans), and XVI to grant Federal courts the authority to order a defendant convicted of Social Security fraud to make restitution to the Administration.

Amends SSA title XVII to establish a special fund in the Treasury for the receipt of specified amounts received by the Administration pursuant to such a restitution order.

(Sec. 305) Authorizes special agents of the Administration's Office of Inspector General to carry firearms, execute warrants, and make arrests.

Title IV: Provisions Relating to Representative Payees - Amends SSA titles II, VIII, and XVI to require the Commissioner to re-issue OASDI, Medicare, and other specified benefits whenever an individual representative payee serving 15 or more beneficiaries, or an organizational representative payee, is found to have misused a beneficiary's funds.

(Sec. 402) Requires nongovernmental fee-for-service organizational representative payees to be both licensed and bonded, if licensing is available in the State. Requires representative payees to submit yearly proof of bonding and licensing, as well as any available independent audit.

Requires the Commissioner to conduct periodic onsite reviews of certain representative payees.

(Sec. 403) Provides for disqualification from service as a representative payee upon conviction of offenses under Federal or State law which result in imprisonment for more than one year, unless the Commissioner determines that such certification would be appropriate notwithstanding such conviction.

(Sec. 404) Requires a representative payee to forfeit its fee from the beneficiary's benefits for the months during which it misused the funds, as determined by the Commissioner or a court of competent jurisdiction.

(Sec. 405) Makes a representative payee that is not a Federal, State, or local government agency, and that has misused all or part of an individual's benefit, liable for the amount misused as though it were an overpayment.

(Sec. 406) Amends SSA title XI to authorize the Administration to impose a civil monetary penalty of up to $5,000 per violation, including an assessment equal to double the amount of misused funds, for offenses involving misuse of Social Security, title VIII, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits received by a representative payee on behalf of another individual.

(Sec. 407) Amends SSA titles II, VIII (Special Benefits for Certain World War II Veterans), and XVI to provide authority to redirect delivery of benefit payments to the field office of the Administration serving the area in which an individual resides when a representative payee fails to provide a required accounting of benefits report.

Title V: Miscellaneous and Technical Amendments - Amends SSA title XI, the Internal Revenue Code, and SSA title II to make various specified technical corrections relating to the Commissioner of Social Security, domestic employment, certain outdated references, and retirement benefits of ministers.

(Sec. 505) Amends SSA title XI to require that persons or companies include in their solicitations a statement that services which they provide for a fee are available directly from SSA free of charge.

(Sec. 506) Amends the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 to provide that demonstration projects providing for reductions in disability insurance benefits based on earnings shall be funded from the Social Security trust funds annually, to the extent or in the amounts provided in advance in appropriation Acts.

(Sec. 507) Amends SSA title VIII (Special Benefits for Certain World War II Veterans) to authorize the Commissioner to enter into an agreement with a State to make State Recognition payments to qualified individuals eligible for such benefits on the State's behalf.

(Sec. 508) Amends SSA title II (OASDI) to eliminate deemed military wage credits for active duty military service, except for earnings below the grade of E-6 in the case of service members who die or become disabled before attainment of age 47 if, at the time the wage credits are used in the computation, the service member had fewer than six years of military service.