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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 extensions of OMB-approved information collections, and one new collection.

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-2019-0051].

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 February 3, 2020. Individuals can obtain copies of the collection instruments by writing to the above email address.

Statement Regarding the Inferred Death of an Individual by Reason of Continued and Unexplained Absence—20 CFR 404.720 & 404.721—0960-NEW. Section 202(d)-(i) of the Social Security Act (Act) provides for the payment of various monthly survivor benefits, and a lump sum death payment, to certain survivors upon the death of an individual who dies while fully or currently insured. In cases where insured wage earners have been absent from their homes for at least seven years, and there is no evidence these individuals are alive, SSA may presume they are deceased and pay their survivors the appropriate benefits. SSA uses the information from Form SSA-723 to determine if we may presume a missing wage earner is deceased, and, if so, establish a date of presumed death. The respondents are relatives, friends, neighbors, or acquaintances of the presumed deceased wage earner, or the person who is filing for survivors benefits.Start Printed Page 66263

Type of Request: Request for a new information collection.

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)Average theoretical hourly cost amount (dollars) *Total annual opportunity cost (dollars) **
SSA-7233,0001301,500* 22.50** 33,750
* We based this figure on average U.S. citizen's hourly salary, as reported by Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
** This figure does not represent actual costs that SSA is imposing on recipients of Social Security payments to complete this application; rather, these are theoretical opportunity costs for the additional time respondents will spend to complete the application. There is no actual charge to respondents to complete the application.

II. SSA submitted the information collections below to OMB for clearance. Your comments regarding these 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 January 2, 2020. Individuals can obtain copies of the OMB clearance packages by writing to OR.Reports.Clearance@ssa.gov.

1. Incorporation by Reference of Oral Findings of Fact and Rationale in Wholly Favorable Written Decisions (Bench Decision Regulation)—20 CFR 404.953 and 416.1453—0960-0694. If an administrative law judge (ALJ) makes a wholly favorable oral decision, including all the findings and rationale for the decision for a claimant of Title II or Title XVI payments, at an administrative appeals hearing, the ALJ sends a Notice of Decision (Form HA-82), as the records from the oral hearing preclude the need for a written decision. We call this the incorporation-by-reference process. In addition, the regulations for this process state that if the involved parties want a record of the oral decision, they may submit a written request for these records. SSA collects identifying information under the aegis of Sections 20 CFR 404.953 and 416.1453 of the Code of Federal Regulations to determine how to send interested individuals written records of a favorable incorporation-by-reference oral decision made at an administrative review hearing. Since there is no prescribed form to request a written record of the decision, the involved parties send SSA their contact information and reference the hearing for which they would like a record. The respondents are applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, or their representatives, to whom SSA gave a wholly favorable oral decision under the regulations cited above.

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

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)Average theoretical hourly cost amount (dollars) *Total annual opportunity cost (dollars) **
HA-822,50015208* 10.22** 2,126
* We based this figure on average DI payments, as reported in SSA's disability insurance payment data.
** This figure does not represent actual costs that SSA is imposing on recipients of Social Security payments to complete this application; rather, these are theoretical opportunity costs for the additional time respondents will spend to complete the application. There is no actual charge to respondents to complete the application.

2. Request for Waiver of Special Veterans Benefits (SVB) Overpayment Recovery or Change in Repayment Rate—20 CFR 408.900-408.950—0960-0698. Title VIII of the Act requires SSA to pay a monthly benefit to qualified World War II veterans who reside outside the United States. When an overpayment in this SVB occurs, the beneficiary can request a waiver of recovery of the overpayment or a change in the repayment rate. SSA uses the SSA-2032-BK to obtain the information necessary to establish whether the claimant meets the waiver of recovery provisions of the overpayment, and to determine the repayment rate if we do not waive repayment. Respondents are SVB beneficiaries who have overpayments on their Title VIII record and wish to file a claim for waiver of recovery or change in repayment rate.

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)Average theoretical hourly cost amount (dollars) *Total annual opportunity cost (dollars) **
SSA-2032-BK1341120268* 7.67** 2,056
* We based this figure on average SVB payments, as per SSA's data.
** This figure does not represent actual costs that SSA is imposing on recipients of Social Security payments to complete this application; rather, these are theoretical opportunity costs for the additional time respondents will spend to complete the application. There is no actual charge to respondents to complete the application.

3. Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS)—20 CFR 435.51-435.52—0960-0768. The PABSS projects are part of Social Security's strategy to increase the number of SSDI or SSI recipients Start Printed Page 66264who return to work and achieve financial independence and self-sufficiency as the result of receiving support, representation, advocacy, or other services. PABSS provides: (1) Information and advice about obtaining vocational rehabilitation and employment services; and (2) advocacy or other services a beneficiary with a disability may need to secure, maintain, or regain gainful employment. The PABSS Annual Program Performance Report collects statistical information from each of the PABSS projects in an effort to manage and capture program performance and quantitative data. Social Security uses the information to evaluate the efficiency of the program, and to ensure beneficiaries are receiving quality services. The project data is valuable to Social Security in its analysis of and future planning for the SSDI and SSI programs. The respondents are the 57 PABSS project sites, and recipients of SSDI and SSI programs.

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)Average theoretical hourly cost amount (dollars) *Total annual opportunity cost (dollars) **
PABSS Program Grantees5716057* 42.66** 2,432
Beneficiaries8,2841304,142* 10.22** 42,331
Totals8,3414,199** $44,763
* We based these figures on average Computer Systems Analyst hourly salary, as reported by Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and average DI payments, as reported in SSA's disability insurance payment data.
** This figure does not represent actual costs that SSA is imposing on recipients of Social Security payments to complete this application; rather, these are theoretical opportunity costs for the additional time respondents will spend to complete the application. There is no actual charge to respondents to complete the application.

4. Methods for Conducting Personal Conferences When Waiver of Recovery of a Title II or Title XVI Overpayment Cannot Be Approved—20 CFR 404.506(e)(3), 404.506(f)(8), 416.557(c)(3), and 416.557(d)(8)—0960-0769. SSA conducts personal conferences when we cannot approve a waiver of recovery of a Title II or Title XVI overpayment. The Act and our regulatory citations require SSA to give overpaid Social Security beneficiaries and SSI recipients the right to request a waiver of recovery and automatically schedule a personal conference if we cannot approve their request for waiver of overpayment. We conduct these conferences face-to-face, via telephone, or through video teleconferences. Social Security beneficiaries and SSI recipients, or their representatives, may provide documents to demonstrate they are without fault in causing the overpayment, and do not have the ability to repay the debt. They may submit these documents by completing Form SSA-632, Request for Waiver of Overpayment Recovery (OMB No. 0960-0037); Form SSA-795, Statement of Claimant or Other Person (OMB No. 0960-0045); or through a personal statement submitted by mail, telephone, personal contact, or other suitable method, such as fax or email. This information collection satisfies the requirements for request for waiver of recovery of an overpayment, and allows individuals to pursue further levels of administrative appeal via personal conference. Respondents are Social Security beneficiaries and SSI recipients, or their representatives, seeking reconsideration of an SSA waiver decision.

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

Modality of completionNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage burden per response (minutes)Estimated total annual burden (hours)Average theoretical hourly cost amount (dollars) *Total annual opportunity cost (dollars) **
Title II, Personal Conference, 404.506(e)(3) and 404.506(f)(8): Submittal of documents, additional mitigating financial information, and verifications for consideration at personal conferences.30,27114522,703* 22.50** 510,818
Title XVI, Personal Conference, 416.557(c)(3) and 416.557(d)(8): Submittal of documents, additional mitigating financial information, and verifications at personal conferences.51,19214538,394* 10.22** 392,387
Totals81,46361,097** 903,205
* We based these figures on average U.S. citizen's hourly salary, as reported by Bureau of Labor Statistics data; and average DI payments, as reported in SSA's disability insurance payment data.
** This figure does not represent actual costs that SSA is imposing on recipients of Social Security payments to complete this application; rather, these are theoretical opportunity costs for the additional time respondents will spend to complete the application. There is no actual charge to respondents to complete the application.
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Start Printed Page 66265

Dated: November 27, 2019.

Naomi Sipple,

Reports Clearance Officer, Social Security Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2019-26148 Filed 12-2-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4191-02-P