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Proposed Data Collection(s) Available for Public Comment and Recommendations

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In accordance with the requirement of section 3506 (c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 which provides opportunity for public comment on new or revised data collections, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will publish periodic summaries of proposed data collections.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed information collections are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the RRB's estimate of the burden of the collection of the information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden related to the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

1. Title and Purpose of Information Collection

Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act Applications; OMB 3220-0039.

Under Section 2 of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA), sickness benefits are payable to qualified railroad employees who are unable to work because of illness or injury. In addition, sickness benefits are payable to qualified female employees if they are unable to work, or if working would be injurious, because of pregnancy, miscarriage or childbirth. Under Section 1(k) of the RUIA, a statement of sickness with respect to days of sickness of an employee is to be filed with the RRB within a 10-day period from the first day claimed as a day of sickness. The RRB's authority for requesting supplemental medical information is Section 12(i) and 12(n) of the RUIA. The procedures for claiming sickness benefits and for the RRB to obtain supplemental medical information needed to determine a claimant's eligibility for such benefits are prescribed in 20 CFR Part 335. The forms currently used by the RRB to obtain information needed to determine eligibility for and the amount of sickness benefits due a claimant follows: Form SI-1a, Application for Sickness Benefits; Form SI-1b, Statement of Sickness; Form SI-3, Claim for Sickness Benefits; Form SI-7, Supplemental Doctor's Statement; Form SI-8, Verification of Medical Information; Form ID-7h, Non-Entitlement to Sickness Benefits and Information on Unemployment Benefits; Form ID-11a, Requesting Reason for Late Filing of Sickness Benefit and ID-11b, Notice of Insufficient Medical and Late Filing. Completion is required to obtain or retain benefits. One response is requested of each respondent.

Consistent with requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the RRB proposes revisions to Form SI-1b, SI-7, and SI-8 to replace the term “Tax Identification Number” with “National Provider Identifier”. No other changes are proposed.

The estimated annual respondent burden is as follows:

Estimate of Annual Respondent Burden

Form #(s)Annual responsesTime (min)Burden (hrs)
SI-1b (Doctor)22,20082,960

2. Title and purpose of information collection

Annual Earnings Questionnaire for Annuitants in Last Pre-Retirement Non-Railroad Employment; OMB 3220-0179

Under section 2(e)(3) of the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA), an annuity is not payable for any month in which a beneficiary works for a railroad. In addition, an annuity is reduced for any month in which the beneficiary works for an employer other than a railroad employer and earns more than a prescribed amount. Under the 1988 amendments to the RRA, the Tier II portion of the regular annuity and any supplemental annuity must be reduced by one dollar for each two dollars of Last Pre-Retirement Non-Railroad Employment (LPE) earnings for each month of such service. However, the reduction cannot exceed fifty percent of the Tier II and supplemental annuity Start Printed Page 54644amount for the month to which such deductions apply. LPE generally refers to an annuitant's last employment with a non-railroad person, company, or institution prior to retirement which was performed whether at the same time of, or after an annuitant stopped railroad employment. The collection obtains earnings information needed by the RRB to determine if possible reductions in annuities because of Last Pre-Retirement Non-Railroad Employment Earnings (LPE) are in order. The RRB utilizes Form G-19L to obtain LPE earnings information from annuitants. Companion Form G-19L.1, which serves as an instruction sheet and contains the Paperwork Reduction/Privacy Act Notice for the collection accompanies each Form G-19L sent to an annuitant. One response is requested of each respondent. Completion is required to retain a benefit. The RRB proposes the addition of a subitem requesting that an annuitant provide an Employer's Identification Number (EIN). Non-burden impacting editorial and reformatting changes are also proposed.

The estimated annual respondent burden is as follows:

Form #(s)Annual responsesTime (min)Burden (hrs)

Additional Information or Comments: To request more information regarding either of the information collections listed above or to obtain copies of the information collection justifications, forms, and/or supporting material, please call the RRB Clearance Officer at (312) 751-3363 or send an e-mail request to Charles.Mierzwa@RRB.GOV. Comments regarding the information collections should be addressed to Ronald J. Hodapp, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611-2092 or via an e-mail to Ronald.Hodapp@RRB.GOV. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.

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Charles Mierzwa,

Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. E8-22076 Filed 9-19-08; 8:45 am]