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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment Request

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes a list of information collection packages requiring clearance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in compliance with Public Law (Pub. L.) 104-13, the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, effective October 1, 1995. This notice includes revisions of OMB-approved information collections.

SSA is soliciting comments on the accuracy of the agency's burden estimate; the need for the information; its practical utility; ways to enhance its quality, utility, and clarity; and ways to minimize burden on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Mail, email, or fax your comments and Start Printed Page 15783recommendations on the information collection(s) to the OMB Desk Officer and SSA Reports Clearance Officer at the following addresses or fax numbers.

(OMB)

Office of Management and Budget,

Attn: Desk Officer for SSA,

Fax: 202-395-6974,

Email address: OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov.

(SSA)

Social Security Administration, OLCA,

Attn: Reports Clearance Director,

3100 West High Rise,

6401 Security Blvd.,

Baltimore, MD 21235,

Fax: 410-966-2830,

Email address: OR.Reports.Clearance@ssa.gov.

I. The information collections below are pending at SSA. SSA will submit them to OMB within 60 days from the date of this notice. To be sure we consider your comments, we must receive them no later than May 20, 2014. Individuals can obtain copies of the collection instruments by writing to the above email address.

1. Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery or Change in Repayment Notice—20 CFR 404.502—404.513, 404.515, and 20 CFR 416.550—416.570, 416.572—0960-0037. When Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients receive an overpayment, they must return the extra money. These beneficiaries and recipients can use Form SSA-632-BK to take one of three actions: (1) Request an exemption from repaying, as recovery of the payment would cause financial hardship; (2) inform SSA they want to repay the overpayment at a monthly rate over a period longer than 36 months; and (3) request a different rate of recovery. In the latter two cases, the respondents must also provide financial information to help the agency determine how much the overpaid person can afford to repay each month. Respondents are overpaid beneficiaries or SSI recipients who are requesting (1) a waiver of recovery of an overpayment or (2) a lesser rate of withholding.

Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)
Waiver of Overpayment (completes entire paper form)400,0001120800,000
Change in Repayment (completes partial paper form)100,00014575,000
Regional Application (New York Debt Management)44,000112088,000
Internet Instructions (read only)500,0001541,667
Totals1,044,0001,004,667

2. Annual Earnings Test Direct Mail Follow-Up Program Notices—20 CFR 404.452-404.455—0960-0369. SSA developed the Annual Earnings Test Direct Mail Follow-up Program to improve beneficiary reporting on work and earnings during the year and earnings information at the end of the year. SSA may reduce benefits payable under the Social Security Act (Act) when an individual has wages or self-employment income exceeding the annual exempt amount. SSA identifies beneficiaries likely to receive more than the annual exempt amount, and requests more frequent estimates of earnings from them. When applicable, SSA also requests a future year estimate to reduce overpayments due to earnings. SSA sends letters (SSA-L9778, SSA-L9779, SSA-L9781, SSA-L9784, SSA-L9785, and SSA-L9790) to beneficiaries requesting earnings information the month prior to their attainment of full retirement age. We send each beneficiary a tailored letter that includes relevant earnings data from SSA records. The Annual Earnings Test Direct Mail Follow-up Program helps to ensure Social Security payments are correct, and enables us to prevent earnings-related overpayments, and avoid erroneous withholding. The respondents are working Social Security beneficiaries with earnings over the exempt amount.

Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)
SSA-L977842,6301107,105
SSA-L9779158,86511026,478
SSA-L9781472,43711078,740
SSA-L97841,270110212
SSA-L978515,8701102,645
SSA-L979045,0001107,500
Totals736,072122,680

3. Questionnaire for Children Claiming SSI Benefits—0960-0499. Section 1631(d)(2) of the Act allows SSA to determine the eligibility of an applicant's claim for SSI payments. Parents or legal guardians seeking to obtain or retain SSI eligibility for their children use Form SSA-3881-BK to provide SSA with the addresses of non-medical sources such as schools, counselors, agencies, organizations, or therapists who have information about a child's functioning. SSA uses this information to help determine a child's claim or continuing eligibility for SSI. The respondents are applicants who appeal SSI childhood disability decisions or recipients undergoing a continuing disability review.

Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.Start Printed Page 15784

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)
Appeals Cases65,00013032,500
Disability Review Cases45,00013022,500
Totals110,00055,000

4. Social Security Administration Eligible Non-Attorney Representative—20 CFR 404.1717, 404.1745—404.1799, 416.1517, and 416.1545—416.1599—0960-0699. Section 3 of the Social Security Disability Applicants Access to Professional Representation Act (PRA) of 2010, Public Law 111-142, permanently extends the direct payment provision of Section 303 of the Social Security Protection Act (SSPA) of 2004, Public Law 108-203. The PRA permits SSA to extend direct payment of approved fees from claimants' past-due benefits to certain non-attorney representatives. Prior to the enactment of the SSPA and PRA, only attorneys could receive direct payment of SSA-approved fees. Under the PRA, non-attorneys must meet certain prerequisites to be eligible for direct payment of fees. These prerequisites include: (1) A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education, or four years of relevant professional experience and a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate; (2) passing a written examination administered by SSA testing the knowledge of relevant provisions of the Act under Titles II and XVI; (3) securing and maintaining continuous professional liability insurance, or equivalent, to protect claimants from malpractice; (4) passing a criminal background check; (5) demonstrating ongoing completion of continuing education courses. The PRA requires SSA to collect the information needed to determine if applicants have satisfied these prerequisites.

SSA uses the information we collect on Form SSA-1691 to determine whether an applicant has fulfilled the statutory prerequisites and regulatory requirements as listed above. To verify this information, we also request the five required items listed above from each new applicant, and we request items #3 and #5 from all non-attorney representatives (new and existing) on a yearly basis. Every year, SSA evaluates the applications, conducts verification investigations, and issues recommendations regarding applicants' eligibility to sit for the examination and eligibility to receive direct payment. The respondents are non-attorneys who want to receive direct payment of their fees for representational services before SSA.

Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)
New Respondents—paper SSA-1691200145150
New Respondents—Examination2001120400
New Respondents—Submission of Proof of Bachelor's Degree or Equivalent Qualification20011033
New and Existing Respondents—Continuing Education Submission via email, mail, or fax of Training Courses710120237
New and Existing Respondents—Proof of Continuous Professional or Business Liability Insurance Coverage (Electronic—scan and email)672110112
New and Existing Respondents—Proof of Continuous Professional or Business Liability Insurance Coverage (Paper—copy and mail)3811510
New and Existing Respondents—Written Protests4514534
Totals2,065976

II. SSA submitted the information collections below to OMB for clearance. Your comments regarding the information collections would be most useful if OMB and SSA receive them 30 days from the date of this publication. To be sure we consider your comments, we must receive them no later than April 21, 2014. Individuals can obtain copies of the OMB clearance packages by writing to OR.Reports.Clearance@ssa.gov.

1. Application for Survivors Benefits—20 CFR 404.611(a) and (c)—0960-0062. Surviving family members of armed services personnel can file for Social Security and veterans' benefits with SSA or at the Veterans Administration (VA). If applicants file for Title II survivor benefits at the VA, they complete Form SSA-24, which is then forwarded to SSA for processing. SSA uses the information to determine eligibility for benefits. The respondents are survivors of deceased armed services personnel who are applying for benefits at the VA.

Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)
SSA-243,200115800
Start Printed Page 15785

2. RS/DI Quality Review Case Analysis: Sampled Number Holder, Auxiliaries/Survivors, Parents, and Stewardship Annual Earnings Test Workbook—0960-0189. Section 205(a) of the Act authorizes the Commissioner of SSA to conduct the quality review process, which entails collecting information related to the accuracy of payments made under the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program (OASDI). Sections 228(a)(3), 1614(a)(1)(B), and 1836(2) of the Act require a determination of the citizenship or alien status of the beneficiary; this is only one item that we might question as part of the Annual Quality review. SSA uses Forms SSA-2930, SSA-2931, and SSA-2932 to establish a national payment accuracy rate for all cases in payment status, and to serve as a source of information regarding problem areas in the Retirement Survivors Insurance (RSI) and Disability Insurance (DI) programs. We also use the information to measure the accuracy rate for newly adjudicated RSI or DI cases. SSA uses Form SSA-4659 to evaluate the effectiveness of the annual earnings test and uses the results in developing ongoing improvements in the process. About twenty-five percent of respondents will have in-person reviews and receive one of the following appointment letters: (1) SSA-L8550-U3 (Appointment Letter—Sample Individual); (2) SSA-L8551-U3 (Appointment Letter—Sample Family); or (3) the SSA-L8552-U3 (Appointment Letter—Rep Payee). Seventy-five percent of respondents will receive a notice for a telephone review using the SSA-L8553-U3 (Beneficiary Telephone Contact) or the SSA-L8554-U3 (Rep Payee Telephone Contact). To help the beneficiary prepare for the interview, we include three forms with each notice: (1) SSA-85 (Information Needed to Review Your Social Security Claim) lists the information the beneficiary will need to gather for the interview; (2) SSA-2935 (Authorization to the Social Security Administration to Obtain Personal Information) verifies the beneficiary's correct payment amount, if necessary; and (3) SSA-8552 (Interview Confirmation) confirms or reschedules the interview if necessary. The respondents are a statistically valid sample of all OASDI beneficiaries in current pay status or their representative payees.

Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)
SSA-29301,500130750
SSA-2931850130425
SSA-465932511054
SSA-L8550-U33851532
SSA-L8551-U395158
SSA-L8552-U335153
SSA-L8553-U34,49015374
SSA-L8554-U36701556
SSA-85522,35015196
SSA-853,85015321
SSA-29352,35015196
SSA-820/821 (also saved under OMB Numbers 0960-0598 & 0960-0059400115100
SSA-8510 (also saved under OMB No. 0960-07078001567
Totals18,1002,582

3. Appeal of Determination for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs—0960-0695. Pub.L. 108-173, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), established the Medicare Part D program for voluntary prescription drug coverage for certain low-income individuals. The MMA stipulates the provision of subsidies for individuals who are eligible for the program and who meet eligibility criteria for help with premium, deductible, and/or co-payment costs. SSA uses Form SSA-1021, Appeal of Determination for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs, to obtain information from individuals who appeal SSA's decisions regarding eligibility or continuing eligibility for a Medicare Part D subsidy. The respondents are applicants who are appealing SSA's eligibility or continuing eligibility decisions.

Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

Modality of collectionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)
SSA-1021 (Paper form)2,330110388
SSA-1021 (Internet-Medicare Application Processing System)14,0081102,335
Totals16,3382,773

4. Sheltered Workshop Wage Reporting—0960-0771. Sheltered workshops are non-profit organizations or institutions that implement a recognized program of rehabilitation for handicapped workers, or provide such workers with remunerative employment or other occupational rehabilitating activity of an educational or therapeutic nature. Sheltered workshops perform a service for their clients by reporting monthly wages directly to SSA. SSA Start Printed Page 15786uses the information these workshops provide to verify and post monthly wages to the SSI recipient's record. Most workshops report monthly wage totals to their local SSA office so we can adjust the client's SSI payment amount in a timely manner and prevent overpayments. Sheltered workshops are motivated to report wages voluntarily as a service to their clients. Respondents are sheltered workshops that report monthly wages for services performed in the workshop.

Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseNumber of responsesAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)
Sheltered Workshop Wage Reporting800129,600152,400
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Dated: March 18, 2014.

Faye Lipsky,

Reports Clearance Director, Social Security Administration.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 2014-06148 Filed 3-20-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4191-02-P