Summary: S.476 — 98th Congress (1983-1984)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Indefinitely postponed in Senate (05/22/1984)

(Measure indefinitely postponed in Senate, H.R. 3755 passed in lieu)

Social Security Disability Amendments of 1984 - Amends title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) of the Social Security Act to set forth the review procedures for the termination of disability benefits under title II on the basis of a finding that the physical or mental impairment on which such benefits were based has ceased, did not exist, or is no longer disabling. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to: (1) notify the individual receiving such benefits that a review will take place; (2) provide for the individual to be interviewed and informed as to the details of the review process; and (3) review the medical evidence with respect to the individual's condition to determine if there has been any medical improvement in the condition since the most recent disability determination for the individual.

Requires that the individual's disability benefits be continued if the medical evidence establishes that the individual's condition has not improved. Provides that the individual's disability benefits shall be terminated if: (1) the medical evidence does not establish that the individual's condition is of the same or greater severity as it was at the time of the individual's most recent disability determination and the Secretary determines that the individual is able to engage in substantial gainful activity; (2) the individual has benefitted from medical or vocational therapy or technology, diagnostic techniques indicate that the individual's condition is not as disabling as was believed at the time of the prior disability determination, or the prior determination was fraudulently obtained or erroneous and the Secretary determines that the individual is able to engage in substantial gainful activity; (3) the individual is engaging in substantial gainful activity at any point during the review; or (4) the individual cannot be located or fails without good cause to cooperate in the review or to follow prescribed treatment which could restore his or her ability to engage in substantial gainful activity.

Amends title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) of the Social Security Act to provide that a termination of disability benefits under title XVI on the basis that the physical or mental impairment on which such benefits are based has ceased, does not exist, or is no longer disabling may be made only in accordance with the review procedures set forth in this Act for the termination of disability benefits under title II of the Social Security Act.

Provides that the review procedures set forth in this Act shall not apply to disability determinations made under titles II or XVI after December 31, 1987. Specifies those disability determinations to which such review procedure shall apply. Sets forth procedures for the remand to the Secretary of certain disability cases for which judicial review has been requested.

Amends title II of the Social Security Act to permit 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.

Amends titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act to require the Secretary to establish uniform standards which shall be applied at all levels of disability determinations.

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 benefits under title II of the Social Security Act. Requires the suspension of continuing eligibility reviews for individuals with disabilities based upon mental impairments under titles II and XVI of such Act until such revisions have been established by regulation. Makes such suspension 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 regulation.

Requires the Secretary to make every reasonable effort to insure that a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist has completed the medical portion of the case review and any residual functional capacity assessment in mental impairment cases in which a decision unfavorable to a beneficiary has been made.

Requires the Secretary to send to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee and publish in the Federal Register a statement of the Secretary's decision, and supporting facts and reasons therefor, to acquiesce or not acquiesce in U.S. Court of Appeals decisions affecting the Social Security Act or regulations issued thereunder.

Amends titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act to provide that the Secretary shall consider the combined effect of all of an individual's impairments in determining whether such individual's physical or mental impairments are medically severe.

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 the House Ways and Means Committee and to the Senate Finance Committee by December 31, 1986. Terminates the Commission at the time of such submission.

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 April 1, 1986.

Amends title II of the Social Security Act to require 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.

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.

Amends title XVI of the Social Security Act to extend 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.

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 to promulgate final regulations within six months 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.

Amends titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act to require 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.

Amends title II of the Social Security Act to require the Secretary to determine annually whether the estimated Disability Insurance trust fund ratio will be less than 20 percent for the following calendar year and to notify Congress that a reduction in the cost-of-living increases for disability insurance recipients will be necessary if such ratio will be less than 20 percent. Requires reductions in the primary insurance amount if the reduction in the cost-of-living increases is insufficient to ensure that such ratio does not fall below 20 percent.

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.