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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 104-13, the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, effective October 1, 1995. This notice includes revisions and one extension 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 recommendations 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.

Or you may submit your comments online through www.regulations.gov, referencing Docket ID Number [SSA-2017-0006].

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 April 24, 2017. Individuals can obtain copies of the collection instruments by writing to the above email address.

1. Government Pension Questionnaire—20 CFR 404.408a—0960-0160. The basic Social Security benefits application (OMB No. 0960-0618) contains a lead question asking if the applicants are qualified (or will qualify) to receive a government pension. If the respondent is qualified, or will qualify, to receive a government pension, the applicant completes Form SSA-3885 either on paper or through a personal interview with an SSA claims representative. If the applicants are not entitled to receive a government pension at the time they apply for Social Security benefits, SSA requires them to provide the government pension information as beneficiaries when they become eligible to receive their pensions. Regardless of the timing, at some point the applicants or beneficiaries must complete and sign Form SSA-3885 to report information about their government pensions before the pensions begin. SSA uses the information to: (1) Determine whether the Government Pension Offset provision applies; (2) identify exceptions as stated in 20 CFR 404.408a; and (3) determine the benefit reduction amount and effective date. If the applicants and beneficiaries do not respond using this questionnaire, SSA offsets their entire benefit amount. The respondents are applicants or recipients of spousal benefits who are eligible for or already receiving a Government pension.

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-388576,00011316,467

2. Modified Benefit Formula Questionnaire—0960-0395. SSA collects information on Form SSA-150 to determine which formula to use in computing the Social Security benefit for someone who receives a pension from employment not covered by Social Security. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) requires use of a benefit formula replacing a smaller percentage of a worker's pre-retirement earnings. However, the resulting amount cannot show a difference in the benefit computed using the modified and regular formulas greater than one-half the amount of the pension received in the first month an individual is entitled to both the pension and the Social Security benefit. The SSA-150 collects the information needed to make all the necessary benefit computations. SSA requires respondents to furnish the information on Form SSA-150 so we can calculate their benefits using the data they supply. SSA calculates the benefits of applicants who do not respond to this questionnaire using the full WEP reduction. SSA employees collect this information once from the applicant at the time they file their claim. The respondents are applicants for old age and disability benefits.Start Printed Page 11294

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-15090,0001812,000

3. Modified Benefit Formula Questionnaire-Employer—20 CFR 401 & 402—0960-0477. Sections 215(a)(7) and 215(d)(3) of the Social Security Act (Act) require SSA to use a modified benefit formula to compute Social Security retirement or disability benefits for persons first eligible (after 1985) for both a Social Security benefit and a pension or annuity, based on employment not covered by Social Security. This method is the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). SSA makes a determination regarding whether the WEP is applicable and when to apply it to a person's benefit. SSA uses Form SSA-58 to verify the claimant's allegations on Form SSA-150 (OMB #0906-0395, Modified Benefits Formula Questionnaire). SSA also uses Form SSA-58 to determine if the modified benefit formula is applicable and when to apply it to a person's benefits. SSA sends Form SSA-58 to an employer for pension related information, if the claimant is unable to provide it. The respondents are employers of people who are eligible after 1985 for both Social Security benefits and a pension based on work not covered by 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)
SSA-5830,00012010,000

4. Questionnaire for Children Claiming Supplemental Security Income (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 would 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.

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)
SSA-3881-BK (Paper Version)84,50013042,250
SSA-3881-BK (Electronic Disability Collect System)45,50013022,750
Totals130,00065,000

5. Work History Report—20 CFR 404.1515, 404.1560, 404.1565, 416.960 and 416.3965—0960-0578. Under certain circumstances, SSA asks individuals applying for disability about work they have performed in the past. Applicants use Form SSA-3369, Work History Report, to provide detailed information about jobs held prior to becoming unable to work. State Disability Determination Services evaluate the information, together with medical evidence, to determine eligibility for disability payments. Respondents are disability applicants and third parties assisting applicants.

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-3369 (Paper Version)1,553,9001601,553,900
SSA-3369 (Electronic Disability Collect System)38,04916038,049
Totals1,591,9491,591,949

6. Authorization to Obtain Earnings Data From the Social Security Administration—0960-0602. On occasion, public and private organizations and agencies need to obtain detailed earnings information Start Printed Page 11295about specific Social Security number (SSN) holding wage earners for business purposes (e.g. pension funds, State agencies, etc.). Respondents use Form SSA-581 to identify the SSN holder whose information they are requesting, and provide authorization from the SSN holder, when applicable. SSA uses the information provided on Form SSA-581 to: (1) Identify the wage earner; (2) establish the period of earnings information requested; (3) verify the wage earner authorized SSA to release this information to the requesting party; and (4) produce the Itemized Statement of Earnings (SSA-1826). The respondents are private businesses, state or local agencies, and other federal agencies.

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-58124,00012800

7. Appeal of Determination for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs—0960-0695. Public Law 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 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 Medicare beneficiaries, or proper applicants acting on behalf of a Medicare beneficiary, who do not agree with the outcome of an SSA subsidy eligibility determination, and are filing an appeal.

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-1021 (Paper Version)3,283110547
SSA-1021 (Internet Version; Medicare Application Processing System)11,0371101,840
Totals14,3202,387

8. 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 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 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 Application (complete and submit)—404.1717(b) & (c); 416.1517(b) & (c)200145547
New Respondents Examination—404.1717(a)(5); 416.1517(a)(5)2001120400
New Respondents—Submission of proof of Bachelor's Degree or Equivalent Qualifications—404.1717(a)(3); 416.1517(a)(3)20011033
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New and Existing Respondents—CE Submission via email/mail/or FAX of training courses taken as prescribed by SSA—404.1717(a)(7); 416.1517(a)(7)710120237
New and Existing Respondents—Proof of Continuous Professional or Business Liability Insurance Coverage (Scan and Email)—404.1717(a)(6); 416.1517(a)(6)672110112
New and Existing Respondents—Proof of Continuous Professional or Business Liability Insurance Coverage (Copy and Mail)—404.1717(a)(6); 416.1517(a)(6)3811510
New and Existing Respondents—Written Protests—404.1717(d); 416.1517(d)4514534
Totals2,065976

9. 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 uses 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: Extension of an OMB-approved information collection.

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of response(Number of responses)Average burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)
Sheltered Workshop Wage Reporting80012(9,600)152,400

10. Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount—Life-Changing Event Form—0960-0784. Federally mandated reductions in the Federal Medicare Part B and prescription drug coverage subsidies result in selected Medicare recipients paying higher premiums with income above a specific threshold. The amount of the premium subsidy reduction is an income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) transmits income tax return data to SSA for SSA to determine the IRMAA. SSA uses the Form SSA-44 to determine if a recipient qualifies for a reduction in the IRMAA. If affected Medicare recipients believe SSA should use more recent tax data because of a life-changing event that significantly reduces their income, they can report these changes to SSA and ask for a new initial determination of their IRMAA. The respondents are Medicare Part B and prescription drug coverage recipients and enrollees with modified adjusted gross income over a high-income threshold who experience one of eight significant life-changing events.

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-44 (Personal Interview in SSA field office)140,37813070,189
SSA-44 (Paper Version)60,16214545,122
Totals200,540115,311

II. SSA submitted the information collection below to OMB for clearance. Your comments regarding the information collection 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 March 23, 2017. Individuals can obtain copies of the OMB clearance package by writing to OR.Reports.Clearance@ssa.gov.

Statement of Agricultural Employer (Year Prior to 1988; and 1988 and later)—20 CFR 404.702, 404.802, 404.1056—0960-0036. If agricultural workers believe their employers (1) did not report their wages, or (2) reported incorrect wage amounts, SSA will assist them in resolving this issue. Specifically, SSA will send Forms SSA-1002-F3 or SSA-1003-F3 to the agricultural employers to collect evidence of wages paid. The respondents are agricultural employers whose workers request wage verification or correction for their earnings records.

Type of Request: Revision of an OMB-approved information collection.Start Printed Page 11297

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)
SSA-10027,5001303,750
SSA-100325,00013012,500
Totals32,50016,250
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Dated: February 15, 2017.

Naomi R. Sipple,

Reports Clearance Officer, Social Security Administration.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 2017-03308 Filed 2-17-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4191-02-P