[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 18 (Monday, January 28, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 5755-5757]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01522]


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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

20 CFR Parts 404 and 416

[Docket No. SSA-2012-0066]
RIN 0960-AH52


Change in Terminology: ``Mental Retardation'' to ``Intellectual 
Disability''

AGENCY: Social Security Administration.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: We propose to replace the term ``mental retardation'' with 
``intellectual disability'' in our Listing of Impairments (listings) 
that we use to evaluate claims involving mental disorders in adults and 
children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act) and 
in other appropriate sections of our rules. This change would reflect 
the widespread adoption of the term ``intellectual disability'' by 
Congress, government agencies, and various public and private 
organizations.

DATES: To ensure that your comments are considered, we must receive 
them no later than February 27, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of three methods--
Internet, fax, or mail. Do not submit the same comments multiple times 
or by more than one method. Regardless of which method you choose, 
please state that your comments refer to Docket No. SSA-2012-0066, so 
that we may associate your comments with the correct regulation.
    Caution: You should be careful to include in your comments only 
information that you wish to make publicly available. We strongly urge 
you not to include in your comments any personal information, such as 
Social Security numbers or medical information.
    1. Internet: We strongly recommend that you submit your comments 
via the Internet. Please visit the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Use the Search function to find docket number 
SSA-2012-0066. The system will issue a tracking number to confirm your 
submission. You will not be able to view your comment immediately 
because we must post each comment manually. It may take up to a week 
for your comment to be viewable.
    2. Fax: Fax comments to (410) 966-2830.
    3. Mail: Address your comments to the Office of Regulations and 
Reports Clearance, Social Security Administration, 107 Altmeyer 
Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401.

[[Page 5756]]

    Comments are available for public viewing on the Federal 
eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov or in person, during 
regular business hours, by arranging with the contact person identified 
below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cheryl Williams, Office of Medical 
Listings Improvement, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security 
Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401, (410) 965-1020. For 
information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national 
toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our 
Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The term ``intellectual disability'' is gradually replacing the 
term ``mental retardation'' nationwide. Advocates for individuals with 
intellectual disability have rightfully asserted that the term ``mental 
retardation'' has negative connotations, has become offensive to many 
people, and often results in misunderstandings about the nature of the 
disorder and those who have it.
    In October 2010, partly in response to these concerns, Congress 
passed Rosa's Law, which changed references to ``mental retardation'' 
in specified Federal laws to ``intellectual disability,'' and 
references to ``a mentally retarded individual'' to ``an individual 
with an intellectual disability.'' \1\ Rosa's Law also required the 
Federal agencies that administer affected laws to make conforming 
amendments to their regulations.
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    \1\ Public Law 111-256.
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    Rosa's Law did not specifically include titles II and XVI of the 
Act within its scope, and therefore, did not require us to make any 
changes to our existing regulations. However, consistent with the 
concerns expressed by Congress when it enacted Rosa's Law, and in 
response to numerous inquiries from advocate organizations, we propose 
to revise our rules to use the term ``intellectual disability'' in the 
name of our current listings and in our other regulations. In so doing, 
we would join other agencies that have responded to the spirit of the 
law, even though Rosa's Law did not require them to change their 
terminology.\2\
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    \2\ See 77 FR 29002, 77 FR 6022-01.
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    However, unlike other agencies that adopted the use of the term 
``intellectual disability,'' we are bound by a legal definition of the 
word ``disability.'' The Act and our regulations define ``disability'' 
in specific terms and outline the requirements that an individual must 
meet in order to establish entitlement or eligibility to receive 
disability benefits.\3\ As a result, a person who has a medically 
determinable intellectual impairment, including intellectual 
disability, is not ``under a disability'' within the meaning of the Act 
until we have determined that the impairment satisfies all of the 
statutory and regulatory requirements for establishing disability; that 
is, until we find that the impairment results in an inability to do any 
substantial gainful activity, or, in a child under title XVI, results 
in marked and severe functional limitations. Consequently, the use of 
the term ``intellectual disability'' would not mean that we will 
necessarily find an individual disabled within the meaning of the Act.
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    \3\ Sections 216(i)(1) and 1614(a)(3)(B)-(C) of the Act.
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    Under this proposed change, an individual would be able to file a 
claim based on having ``intellectual disability'' under our rules. We 
may find the individual to have a medically determinable intellectual 
impairment that is severe at the second step of our sequential 
evaluation process, but that does not meet or equal the requirements of 
our current listings. At the fourth and fifth steps of our sequential 
evaluation process, we may find that an individual with a medically 
determinable intellectual impairment has the residual functional 
capacity to perform his or her past relevant work, or has the capacity 
to perform a significant number of jobs in the national economy, and is 
therefore not ``under a disability'' as defined in the Act.

What changes are we proposing?

    We propose to replace the term ``mental retardation'' with 
``intellectual disability'' wherever it appears in the listings and in 
our other rules. The proposed changes would affect listings 12.05 and 
112.05; the introductions to 10.00, the Part A adult listings, and 
110.00, the Part B child listings for impairments that affect multiple 
body systems; the introductions to 12.00, the Part A adult listings, 
and 112.00, the Part B child listings for mental disorders; and 
sections 404.1513(a)(2) and 416.913(a)(2). We also propose to replace 
the words ``mentally retarded children'' with ``children with 
intellectual disability'' in the examples in sections 404.2045(a) and 
416.645(a).
    As part of our ongoing commitment to update and improve our 
listings, we published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on August 
19, 2010, in which we proposed to revise the criteria in the listings 
that we use to evaluate claims involving mental disorders in adults and 
children under titles II and XVI of the Act.\4\ We are currently 
considering the comments received in response to the NPRM in our 
revision of the mental disorders listings. The proposed language change 
in this rule is not in response to that NPRM. Additionally, this 
nomenclature change would not make any other changes to our current 
listings or other rules and therefore would not affect how we evaluate 
a claim based on ``intellectual disability.''
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    \4\ 75 FR 51336. We also published a notice with a limited 
reopening of the NPRM comment period on November 24, 2010, at 75 FR 
71632.
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Regulatory Procedures

Executive Order 12866, as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

    We have consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
and determined that this proposed rule meets the criteria for a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as 
supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, OMB reviewed it.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that this proposed rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it 
affects individuals only. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as 
amended, does not require us to prepare a regulatory flexibility 
analysis.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    While this proposed rule will not impose new public reporting 
burdens, it will require changes to existing OMB-approved information 
collections that contain the language referenced in this rule. We will 
make changes to the affected information collections via separate non-
substantive change requests.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Program Nos. 96.001, Social Security--
Disability Insurance; 96.002, Social Security--Retirement Insurance; 
96.004, Social Security--Survivors Insurance; and No. 96.006--
Supplemental Security Income.)

List of Subjects

20 CFR Part 404

    Administrative practice and procedure, Blind, Disability benefits, 
Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Social Security.

[[Page 5757]]

20 CFR Part 416

    Administrative practice and procedure, Medicaid, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    Dated: January 18, 2013.
Michael J. Astrue,
Commissioner of Social Security.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, we propose to amend 20 CFR 
chapter III as follows:

PART 404--FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS, AND DISABILITY INSURANCE

Subpart P--Determining Disability and Blindness

0
1. The authority citation for subpart P of part 404 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 202, 205(a)-(b) and (d)-(h), 216(i), 221(a), 
(i), and (j), 222(c), 223, 225, and 702(a)(5) of the Social Security 
Act (42 U.S.C. 402, 405(a)-(b) and (d)-(h), 416(i), 421(a), (i), and 
(j), 422(c), 423, 425, and 902(a)(5)); sec. 211(b), Pub. L. 104-193, 
110 Stat. 2105, 2189, sec 202, Pub. L. 108-203, 118 Stat. 509 (42 
U.S.C. 902 note).


Sec.  404.1513  [Amended]

0
2. Amend Sec.  404.1513(a)(2) by removing the words ``mental 
retardation'' and adding in their place ``intellectual disability''.

Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404 [Amended]

0
3. Amend Appendix 1 to subpart P of part 404 by:
0
a. Removing the words ``mental retardation'' and adding in their place 
``intellectual disability'' wherever they occur;
0
b. Removing the words ``Mental retardation'' and adding in their place 
``Intellectual disability'' wherever they occur; and
0
c. Removing the words ``Mental Retardation'' and adding in their place 
``Intellectual Disability'' wherever they occur.

Subpart U--Representative Payment

0
4. The authority citation for subpart U of part 404 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 205(a), (j), and (k), and 702(a)(5) of the 
Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(a), (j), and (k), and 902(a)(5)).


Sec.  404.2045  [Amended]

0
5. Amend the example in Sec.  404.2045(a) by removing the words 
``mentally retarded children'' and adding in their place ``children 
with intellectual disability''.

PART 416--SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND 
DISABLED

Subpart F--Representative Payment

0
6. The authority citation for subpart F of part 416 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority:  Secs. 702(a)(5), 1613(a)(2) and (d)(1) of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5) and 1383(a)(2) and (d)(1)).


Sec.  416.645  [Amended]

0
7. Amend the example in Sec.  416.645(a) by removing the words 
``mentally retarded children'' and adding in their place ``children 
with intellectual disability''.

Subpart I--Determining Disability and Blindness

0
8. The authority citation for subpart I of part 416 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority:  Secs. 221(m), 702(a)(5), 1611, 1614, 1619, 1631(a), 
(c), (d)(1), and (p), and 1633 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
421(m), 902(a)(5), 1382, 1382c, 1382h, 1383(a), (c), (d)(1), and 
(p), and 1383b); secs. 4(c) and 5, 6(c)-(e), 14(a), and 15, Pub. L. 
98-460, 98 Stat. 1794, 1801, 1802, and 1808 (42 U.S.C. 421 note, 423 
note, and 1382h note).


Sec.  416.913  [Amended]

0
9. Amend Sec.  416.913(a)(2) by removing the words ``mental 
retardation'' and adding in their place ``intellectual disability''.
[FR Doc. 2013-01522 Filed 1-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4191-02-P