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115th Congress    }                                    {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                    {      115-800

======================================================================



 
  IMPROVING SOCIAL SECURITY'S SERVICE TO VICTIMS OF IDENTITY THEFT ACT

                                _______
                                

 June 29, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Brady of Texas, from the Committee on Ways and Means, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 6084]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Ways and Means, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 6084) to amend title VII of the Social Security Act 
to provide for a single point of contact at the Social Security 
Administration for individuals who are victims of identity 
theft, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
 I. SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND............................................2
        A. Purpose and Summary...................................     2
        B. Background and Need for Legislation...................     2
        C. Legislative History...................................     3
II. EXPLANATION OF THE BILL...........................................4
        A. Improving Social Security's Service to Victims of 
            Identity Theft Act (Sec. 1 of the Bill)..............     4
        B. Single Point of Contact for Identity Theft Victims 
            (Sec. 2 of the Bill).................................     4
III.VOTES OF THE COMMITTEE............................................5

IV. BUDGET EFFECTS OF THE BILL........................................5
        A. Committee Estimate of Budgetary Effects...............     5
        B. Statement Regarding New Budget Authority and Tax 
            Expenditures Budget Authority........................     6
        C. Cost Estimate Prepared by the Congressional Budget 
            Office...............................................     6
 V. OTHER MATTERS TO BE DISCUSSED UNDER THE RULES OF THE HOUSE........7
        A. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations......     7
        B. Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives.     7
        C. Information Relating to Unfunded Mandates.............     7
        D. Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and 
            Limited Tariff Benefits..............................     7
        E. Duplication of Federal Programs.......................     7
        F. Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings...................     7
VI. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED.............8
        A. Text of Existing Law Amended or Repealed by the Bill, 
            as Reported..........................................     8

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Improving Social Security's Service to 
Victims of Identity Theft Act''.

SEC. 2. SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT FOR IDENTITY THEFT VICTIMS.

  (a) In General.--Title VII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 901 
et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

``SECTION 714. SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT FOR IDENTITY THEFT VICTIMS.

  ``(a) In General.--The Commissioner of Social Security shall 
establish and implement procedures to ensure that any individual whose 
social security account number has been misused (such as to 
fraudulently obtain benefits under title II, VIII, or XVI of this Act, 
in a manner that affects an individual's records at the Social Security 
Administration, or in a manner that prompts the individual to request a 
new social security account number) has a single point of contact at 
the Social Security Administration throughout the resolution of the 
individual's case. The single point of contact shall track the 
individual's case to completion and coordinate with other units to 
resolve issues as quickly as possible.
  ``(b) Single Point of Contact.--
          ``(1) In general.--For purposes of subsection (a), the single 
        point of contact shall consist of a team or subset of specially 
        trained employees who--
                  ``(A) have the ability to coordinate with other units 
                to resolve the issues involved in the individual's 
                case, and
                  ``(B) shall be accountable for the case until its 
                resolution.
          ``(2) Team or subset.--The employees included within the team 
        or subset described in paragraph (1) may change as required to 
        meet the needs of the Social Security Administration, provided 
        that procedures have been established to--
                  ``(A) ensure continuity of records and case history, 
                and
                  ``(B) notify the individual when appropriate.''.
  (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take 
effect 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

                       I. SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND


                         A. Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 6084, as reported by the Committee on Ways and Means, 
amends Title VII of the Social Security Act to require the 
Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide a single point 
of contact to any individual who needs to resolve a problem 
with the SSA because of misuse of his or her Social Security 
number (SSN). The bill aims to make it easier and less 
confusing for an identity theft victim to resolve issues 
related to the misuse of his or her SSN by providing a single 
point of contact within the SSA until all associated issues are 
resolved.

                 B. Background and Need for Legislation

    Identity theft is a serious issue affecting tens of 
millions of Americans. The Federal Trade Commission, the lead 
federal agency on identity theft, reported almost 400,000 
complaints of identity theft in 2017, an almost 30 percent 
increase from 2013.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January--December 2015, 
Federal Trade Commission, at page 79 (February 2016) and Consumer 
Sentinel Network Data Book for January--December 2017, Federal Trade 
Commission, at page 91 (March 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The SSN continues to be an increasingly valuable target for 
identity theft due to its widespread use throughout the public 
and private sectors. SSN misuse--when a person other than the 
rightful numberholder incorrectly or improperly uses a 
numberholder's SSN--can create additional difficulties for 
identity theft victims if they need to contact the SSA as a 
result of such misuse. Cases of SSN misuse may require 
individuals to contact the SSA to disclaim fraudulently claimed 
benefits, correct earnings records, or apply for a new SSN.
    Resolving an issue related to SSN misuse can be complex, 
and may require an individual to face multiple, different 
processes requiring him or her to speak to multiple, different 
people before the issue can be resolved. For example, if it is 
the first time a person's SSN has been identified as being 
associated with a fraudulent or anomalous benefit claim, the 
process will vary depending on whether the fraudulent or 
anomalous claim is first noticed by the individual or by the 
SSA. If the individual notices a fraudulent claim themselves, 
the individual will need to contact the SSA, generally by phone 
or in person, and ultimately the individual will have to go 
into a field office to resolve the issue. If the SSA identifies 
a claim as anomalous, the SSA's Workload Support Unit (WSU) 
will mail a notice to the claimant requesting that he or she 
contact an employee at the WSU to discuss the claim. The WSU 
will also apply a flag indicating that anomalous activity has 
been associated with the SSN. When the claimant calls the WSU 
as instructed on the notice, the employee will generally direct 
him or her to visit his or her local field office to process 
the claim or resolve any associated issues. If an individual's 
SSN has previously been used to file a fraudulent claim, there 
is no guarantee that he or she will have the same point of 
contact within the SSA to resolve subsequent fraudulent claims. 
In each of these circumstances, the identity theft victim could 
end up speaking with multiple, different employees to resolve 
the issue.
    Identity theft victims whose benefits have previously been 
fraudulently claimed cannot file subsequent legitimate claims 
online or by phone and are required to do so in person at a 
field office. If the claimant attempts to file online, the 
claim will not be processed and he or she will be directed to 
contact the SSA, which may require him or her to speak with 
multiple SSA employees. Similarly, if the claimant attempts to 
file by phone, the claim will not be processed and he or she 
may be required to speak with multiple SSA employees, first by 
phone and then in person at a field office.

                         C. Legislative History


Background

    H.R. 6084 was introduced on June 13, 2018, as the 
``Improving Social Security's Service to Victims of Identity 
Theft Act,'' and was referred to the Committee on Ways and 
Means.

Committee hearings,

    On May 23, 2017, the Social Security Subcommittee held a 
joint hearing with the House Oversight and Government Reform 
Subcommittee on Information Technology, entitled ``Protecting 
Americans' Identities: Examining Efforts to Limit the Use of 
Social Security Numbers.'' The hearing focused on efforts by 
federal agencies to reduce the use of SSNs and the challenges 
these agencies face in doing so. At the hearing, identity theft 
was highlighted as one of the fastest growing crimes. The 
hearing also highlighted the danger that the theft of an SSN 
can pose to an individual.
    On May 17, 2018, the Social Security Subcommittee held a 
hearing entitled ``Securing Americans' Identities: The Future 
of the Social Security Number.'' The hearing focused on the 
dangers of the use of the SSN as both an identifier and 
authenticator, and examined policy considerations and possible 
solutions to mitigate the consequences of SSN loss or theft. At 
the hearing, Members raised concerns about the need for the SSA 
to improve the service it provides to victims of identity 
theft. In response to a question for the record, the SSA 
confirmed that it is possible for an individual to speak to 
multiple SSA employees both when dealing with a single 
instance, or multiple instances of his or her SSN being 
misused.

Committee action

    The Committee on Ways and Means marked up H.R. 6084, the 
``Improving Social Security's Service to Victims of Identity 
Theft Act,'' on June 21, 2018, and ordered the bill, as 
amended, favorably reported (with a quorum being present).

                      II. EXPLANATION OF THE BILL


A. Improving Social Security's Service to Victims of Identity Theft Act 
                          (Sec. 1 of the Bill)


                              PRESENT LAW

    No provision.

                           REASON FOR CHANGE

    The Committee believes that the short title reflects the 
policy and intent included in the legislation.

                        EXPLANATION OF PROVISION

    This section contains the short title of the bill, the 
``Improving Social Security's Service to Victims of Identity 
Theft Act.''

 B. Single Point of Contact for Identity Theft Victims (Sec. 2 of the 
                                 Bill)


                              PRESENT LAW

    Current law does not require the SSA to provide a single 
point of contact to identity theft victims whose SSNs have been 
misused. The SSA policies may require an individual to be in 
contact with multiple SSA offices, employees, or both, to 
resolve an issue depending on the type of misuse, or whether it 
was identified by the individual or the SSA.

                           REASON FOR CHANGE

    When a person other than the rightful numberholder 
incorrectly or improperly uses a numberholder's SSN, this 
misuse can cause difficulty for identity theft victims. It is 
the view of the Committee that an individual who has been a 
victim of identity theft that results in misuse of his or her 
SSN should not have added difficulty when interacting with the 
SSA by having to deal with multiple contacts at the SSA to 
resolve all problems associated with the misuse.
    When an individual's SSN has been misused, he or she may 
subsequently need to contact the SSA to resolve issues related 
to fraudulent claiming of benefits, to correct his or her SSA 
records, or to apply for a new SSN. In every case, the 
Committee believes the individual should have a single point of 
contact. The Committee is aware that the list of situations in 
the bill text for which a single point of contact for an 
identity theft victim is necessary is not exhaustive and 
expects the Commissioner to provide a single point of contact 
in all instances that reflect the spirit and intent of this 
legislation.

                        EXPLANATION OF PROVISION

    This section requires the SSA to provide identity theft 
victims with a single point of contact within the SSA when the 
misuse of their SSN results in the need to resolve an issue or 
issues with the SSA. This section also provides a non-
exhaustive list of reasons an individual may need to contact 
the SSA due to SSN misuse.

                             EFFECTIVE DATE

    The provision is effective 180 days following the date of 
enactment.

                      III. VOTES OF THE COMMITTEE

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the following statement is made 
concerning the vote of the Committee on Ways and Means in its 
consideration of H.R. 6084, a bill to amend title VII of the 
Social Security Act to provide identity theft victims with a 
single point of contact within the SSA when the misuse of their 
SSN results in the need to resolve an issue or issues with the 
SSA.
    The Chairman's amendment in the nature of a substitute was 
adopted by voice vote (with a quorum being present).
    The bill, H.R. 6084, was ordered favorably reported as 
amended by voice vote (with a quorum being present).

                     IV. BUDGET EFFECTS OF THE BILL


               A. Committee Estimate of Budgetary Effects

    In compliance with clause 3(d) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the following statement is made 
concerning the effects on the budget of the bill, H.R. 6084, as 
reported. The Committee agrees with the estimate prepared by 
the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is included below.

B. Statement Regarding New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures Budget 
                               Authority

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee states that the 
bill involves no new or increased budget authority. The 
Committee states further that the bill involves no new or 
increased tax expenditures.

      C. Cost Estimate Prepared by the Congressional Budget Office

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, requiring a cost estimate 
prepared by the CBO, the following statement by CBO is 
provided.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                                Congressional Budget Office
                                     Washington, DC, June 25, 2018.
Hon. Kevin Brady,
Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 6084, the 
Improving Social Security's Service to Victims of Identity 
Theft Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Emily Stern.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 6084--Improving Social Security's Service to Victims of Identity 
        Theft Act

    H.R. 6084 would require the Social Security Administration 
(SSA) to assign a single point of contact for each individual 
reporting misuse of their Social Security number.
    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 6084 would have 
insignificant effects on spending subject to appropriation. 
While SSA would need to make some adjustments to its processes 
for tracking and coordinating cases of reported misuse, the 
agency is generally already performing the functions described 
by the legislation.
    Enacting H.R. 6084 would not affect direct sending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 6084 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 6084 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Emily Stern. The 
estimate was reviewed by Theresa Gullo, Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

     V. OTHER MATTERS TO BE DISCUSSED UNDER THE RULES OF THE HOUSE


          A. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    With respect to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee made findings and 
recommendations that are reflected in this report.

        B. Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    With respect to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
bill does not authorize funding, so no statement of general 
performance goals and objectives is required.

              C. Information Relating to Unfunded Mandates

    This information is provided in accordance with section 423 
of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. No. 104-
4).
    The Committee has determined that the bill does not contain 
Federal mandates on the private sector. The Committee has 
determined that the bill does not impose a Federal 
intergovernmental mandate on State, local, or tribal 
governments.

  D. Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

    With respect to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has carefully reviewed 
the provisions of the bill, and states that the provisions of 
the bill do not contain any congressional earmarks, limited tax 
benefits, or limited tariff benefits within the meaning of the 
rule.

                   E. Duplication of Federal Programs

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee states that no 
provision of the bill establishes or reauthorizes: (1) a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program; (2) a program included in any report 
from the Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant 
to section 21 of Public Law 111-139; or (3) a program related 
to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance, published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Pub. L. No. 95-220, as amended by Pub. L. No. 
98-169).

                 F. Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    In compliance with Sec. 3(i) of H. Res. 5 (115th Congress), 
the following statement is made concerning directed rule 
makings: The Committee advises that the bill requires no 
directed rulemakings within the meaning of such section.

       VI. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED


  A. Text of Existing Law Amended or Repealed by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e)(1)(A) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the text of each section 
proposed to be repealed by the bill, as reported, is shown 
below:

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                          SOCIAL SECURITY ACT




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE VII--ADMINISTRATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SECTION 714. SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT FOR IDENTITY THEFT VICTIMS.

  (a) In General.--The Commissioner of Social Security shall 
establish and implement procedures to ensure that any 
individual whose social security account number has been 
misused (such as to fraudulently obtain benefits under title 
II, VIII, or XVI of this Act, in a manner that affects an 
individual's records at the Social Security Administration, or 
in a manner that prompts the individual to request a new social 
security account number) has a single point of contact at the 
Social Security Administration throughout the resolution of the 
individual's case. The single point of contact shall track the 
individual's case to completion and coordinate with other units 
to resolve issues as quickly as possible.
  (b) Single Point of Contact.--
          (1) In general.--For purposes of subsection (a), the 
        single point of contact shall consist of a team or 
        subset of specially trained employees who--
                  (A) have the ability to coordinate with other 
                units to resolve the issues involved in the 
                individual's case, and
                  (B) shall be accountable for the case until 
                its resolution.
          (2) Team or subset.--The employees included within 
        the team or subset described in paragraph (1) may 
        change as required to meet the needs of the Social 
        Security Administration, provided that procedures have 
        been established to--
                  (A) ensure continuity of records and case 
                history, and
                  (B) notify the individual when appropriate.

                                  [all]