Summary: H.R.3755 — 98th Congress (1983-1984)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (09/19/1984)

(Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 98-1039)

Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act of 1984 - Amends titles II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) and XVI (Supplemental Security Income) of the Social Security Act to provide that an individual who is receiving disability benefits may be determined not to be entitled to such benefits on the grounds that the disability involved has ceased, does not exist, or is not disabling, only if there is substantial evidence that: (1) there has been medical improvement in the individual's impairment so that the individual can engage in substantial gainful activity; (2) the individual can engage in substantial gainful activity as a result of medical or vocational therapy or technology; (3) on the basis of new or improved diagnostic techniques, the individual's impairment is not considered as disabling as it was at the time of the most recent prior disability determination and the individual can engage in substantial gainful activity; or (4) demonstrates that a prior determination was in error. Sets forth procedures for the remand to the Secretary of Health and Human Services of certain disability cases for which judicial review has been requested.

Provides that an individual's statement as to pain or other symptoms shall not alone be conclusive evidence of disability. Requires the use of medically accepted findings which show the existence of a medical condition in determining whether an individual is under a disability.

Directs the Secretary to appoint a Commission on the Evaluation of Pain to conduct a study on the evaluation of pain in determining whether an individual is under a disability for purposes of titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. Requires the Secretary to submit such study to specified congressional committees by December 31, 1985. Terminates the Commission at the time of such submission.

Requires the Secretary to consider the combined effect of all of an individual's impairments in determining whether such individual is unable to engage in substantial gainful activity.

Requires the Secretary to revise the criteria under the category "Mental Disorders" in the "Listing of Impairments" in effect under part 404 of title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations which are used to make individualized determinations of disability for purposes of determining eligibility for disability benefits under title II of the Social Security Act.

Prohibits the Social Security Administration from carrying out continuing eligibility reviews with respect to individuals previously determined to be under a disability due to mental impairment until such revisions have been established by final regulation. Makes such prohibition inapplicable in any case involving fraud or where an individual is engaged in substantial gainful activity.

Sets forth requirements for the redetermination of disability determinations made after the enactment of this Act and before the date on which the Secretary's revisions are established by final regulation.

Provides that when the Secretary initiates a review of a disability determination, the individual involved must be notified of the nature of such review, of the possibility that the review could result in the termination of benefits, and of the individual's right to provide medical evidence for such review.

Requires the Secretary to implement demonstration projects in at least five States in which the opportunity for a personal appearance prior to a determination of ineligibility for disability benefits under titles II or XVI of the Social Security Act shall be substituted for the face to face evidentiary hearing required by such Act. Requires the Secretary to report to the House Ways and Means Committee and to the Senate Finance Committee on such projects by December 31, 1986.

Permits the continued payment of mother's or father's insurance benefits to an individual's mother or father based on the individual's disability as a child who has reached age 16 and the continued payment of disability benefits under title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act during the period of an administrative appeal. Revises the time period within which the continued payment of disability benefits during the period of an administrative appeal may be made. Amends title XVI of the Social Security Act to permit an individual who has been found to be no longer eligible for disability benefits and who has requested a hearing on such determination to elect to have the payment of such benefits continued during the period of an administrative appeal.

Requires the Secretary to study and report to specified congressional committees on: (1) the effect of the continued payment of benefits during the appeal process upon the expenditures of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, and the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund; and (2) the rate of appeals to administrative law judges of unfavorable disability benefit entitlement determinations.

Provides that a disability determination in the case of an individual with a mental impairment shall be made only after a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist employed by the State agency or the Secretary has made the proper medical evaluation.

Requires the Secretary, within 180 days after enactment of this Act, to prescribe standards with respect to consultative examinations which must be obtained for disability determinations.

Requires the Secretary, in determining whether an individual is disabled, to consider all evidence available in the individual's case record and to develop a complete medical history of at least the preceding year for any case in which a determination of ineligibility for benefits is made.

Requires the Secretary to establish uniform standards which shall be applied at all levels of disability determinations.

Authorizes reimbursement to a State for vocational rehabilitation services provided to individuals who are receiving disability benefits under title II and who medically recover while in vocational rehabilitation.

Directs the Secretary to appoint the members of the next Advisory Council on Social Security before June 1, 1985. Requires the Advisory Council to include in its review and report studies and recommendations with respect to the medical and vocational aspects of disability.

Requires the Secretary, within 120 days after the enactment of this Act, to report to the appropriate congressional committees on actions taken to ensure that staff attorneys gain the necessary experience to compete for administrative law judge positions.

Extends through June 30, 1987, benefits and medicaid eligibility for severely impaired SSI recipients. Requires the Secretary and the Secretary of Education to jointly develop and disseminate information and to establish training programs for staff personnel with respect to the availability of benefits and services for such individuals.

Requires the Secretary to promulgate final regulations within 180 days after enactment of this Act establishing standards to be used in determining the frequency of periodic eligibility reviews under title II of the Social Security Act. Provides that no individual may be reviewed more than once pending the issuance of such regulations.

Requires that certification with respect to a representative payee of a beneficiary be made on the basis of an investigation and adequate evidence that the certification is in the interest of the beneficiary. Requires the Secretary to establish a system of accountability monitoring whereby a representative payee would report at least annually on the use of payments he or she receives. Specifies those cases in which such monitoring shall not be required. Sets forth reporting requirements with respect to the implementation of these requirements. Imposes criminal penalties on representative payees who cause unauthorized payments of benefits to be made to them or make unauthorized use of such benefits.

Requires the Secretary to conduct investigations with respect to, and monitor, States which fail to make disability determinations in compliance with Federal regulations and guidelines. Requires the Secretary to administer a State's disability determinations if such State, having been notified of its noncompliance with Federal law, continues its noncompliance. Terminates this provision on December 31, 1987.