[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 113 (Thursday, June 12, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33683-33685]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-13803]


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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

20 CFR Parts 404 and 416

[Docket No. SSA-2013-0005]
RIN 0960-AH55


Technical Corrections to Regulations

AGENCY: Social Security Administration.

ACTION: Final rule; technical corrections.

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SUMMARY: We are making technical corrections to several of our 
regulations. In some cases, we are correcting outdated cross-references 
in light of revisions we made to other rules. We are also revising the 
maximum dollar amount of overpayments subject to compromise based on 
other changes in the law, and we are adjusting the formula we use to 
calculate the maximum benefits payable in the first and second 
installment payments of large past-due benefits for the same reason. In 
addition, we are updating references to the coverage status of affected 
non-temporary employees of the government of the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands. These changes do not alter the substance of 
the regulations or effect the rights of claimants or any other parties. 
We expect that the changes will make our rules more internally 
consistent and make them easier to use.

DATES: This rule is effective June 12, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian J. Rudick, Office of Regulations 
and Reports Clearance, Social Security Administration, 3100 West High 
Rise Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, (410) 
965-7102. 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: 
    We are making technical corrections to our current regulations in 
several parts. First, we are revising a reference to section 
``197(a)(1)'' of title 3 of the United States Code in section 
404.1018(b)(1)(iv) of our rules to the correct reference, section 
``107(a)(1).'' Section 210(a)(5)(D)(iii) of the Act refers to section 
107(a)(1) of title 3, and when we published regulations that 
implemented that section of the Act, the final rule contained a 
typographical error that mistakenly referred to section ``197(a)(1).'' 
53 FR 38943, 38945, Oct. 4, 1988. This change corrects that 
typographical error. Second, in 2012, we published final rules that 
made some changes to our rules on evaluating evidence. 77 FR 10651, 
Feb. 23, 2012. Those rules redesignated part of our regulations on 
evaluating opinion evidence without substantive effect. However, we 
inadvertently did not correct all of the regulatory sections that the 
redesignation affected, so that some of the cross-references to the 
rule are incorrect. Therefore, we are correcting the references in 
sections 404.1512(b)(7) and (b)(8), and 416.912(b)(7) and (b)(8) to 
reflect the correct designation of our rules. This change has no effect 
on claimants' rights or on how we adjudicate cases.
    Third, we are correcting the maximum dollar amount of overpayments 
subject to compromise, suspension, or termination of collection under 
section 404.515(a) from $20,000 to $100,000, or any higher amount 
authorized by the Attorney General, as provided by 31 U.S.C. 3711 and 
the Federal Claims Collection Standards.\1\ When we initially published 
those rules in 1969, the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 
contained the $20,000 limit reflected in our rules.\2\ Congress 
temporarily raised the $20,000 limit to $100,000 in 1990,\3\ and it 
subsequently removed the sunset provision in the prior law as part of 
the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.\4\ We are revising our 
rules to conform to the current statutory authority. We are also 
revising the reference in the heading of section 404.515(a) to the 
Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 to the Debt Collection 
Improvement Act of 1996, to reflect the current statutory authority.
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    \1\ See 31 CFR 902.1(a).
    \2\ See 31 USC 952(b) (1970).
    \3\ See sec. 8(b) of Public Law 101-552, 104 Stat. 2736, 2746-
47.
    \4\ See sec. 31001(n) of Public Law 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321, 
1321-369.
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    Fourth, we are correcting the formula we use to calculate the 
maximum amount payable in the first and second installment payments of 
large past-due benefits, from 12 times to 3 times the maximum monthly 
benefit payable, in section 416.545(b). Congress changed the formula 
from 12 times to 3 times the maximum monthly benefit payable in 
2005.\5\ We subsequently published a final rule, which reflected that 
statutory change in the first sentence of section 416.545(b), 76 FR 
446, 453, Jan. 5, 2011. However, we inadvertently did not change the 
same reference in the third sentence of that section. We are correcting 
the third sentence of section 416.545(b) to conform the sentence to the 
statutory formula. Finally, we are updating references to the coverage 
status of affected non-temporary employees of the government of the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to reflect the fact that 
these employees became subject to Social Security coverage beginning 
October 1, 2012. These changes make our regulations clearer and more 
consistent.
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    \5\ See sec. 7502(a) of Public Law 109-171, 120 Stat. 4, 154.
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Regulatory Procedures

    We follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rulemaking 
procedures specified in 5 U.S.C. 553 when we develop regulations. 
Section 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5). The 
APA provides exceptions to its notice and public comment procedures 
when an agency finds there is good cause for dispensing with such 
procedures because they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to 
the public interest. We determined that good cause exists for 
dispensing with the notice and public comment procedures for these 
final rules. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). Good cause exists for most of these 
changes because these changes eliminate minor inconsistencies in our 
rules and therefore promote clear and

[[Page 33684]]

consistent regulations. These changes do not alter the substance of the 
regulations or effect the rights of claimants or any other parties. We 
therefore find that the public would not be interested in commenting on 
these changes, and we determined that opportunity for prior comment is 
unnecessary. In addition, we also find that prior public comment is 
unnecessary with respect to the changes we are making to sections 
404.515(a) and 416.545(b) of our regulations. These changes do not 
represent discretionary policy but merely reflect changes to the 
underlying statutes. Since these changes do not represent discretionary 
policy and merely conform our rules to the statutes, we find that prior 
public comment is unnecessary with respect to those changes. Therefore, 
we are issuing these rules as final rules.
    In addition, because we are not making any substantive changes to 
the existing rules, we find there is good cause for dispensing with the 
30-day delay in the effective date of a substantive rule provided by 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3). These changes merely correct typographical errors or 
minor inconsistencies in our regulations, or conform our regulations to 
underlying statutory changes in the Act or other laws. Accordingly, we 
find that it is unnecessary to delay the effective date of these rules 
and that it is in the public interest to make these final rules 
effective on the date of publication.

Executive Order 12866 as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

    We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 
determined that these final rules do not meet the criteria for a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as 
supplemented by Executive Order 13563 and are not subject to OMB 
review.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that these final rules will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they 
affect only individuals. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis 
as provided in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, is not 
required.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    These final rules do not create any new or affect any existing 
collections and, therefore, do not require Office of Management and 
Budget approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 96.001, Social 
Security--Disability Insurance; 96.002, Social Security--Retirement 
Insurance; 96.004, Social Security--Survivors Insurance; 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.

20 CFR Part 416

    Administrative practice and procedure, Aged, Blind, Disability 
benefits, Public Assistance programs, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Carolyn W. Colvin,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security.
    For the reasons stated in the preamble, we are amending 20 CFR 
chapter III, part 404, subparts F, K, and P, and part 416, subparts E 
and I, as set forth below:

PART 404--FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE 
(1950-- )

Subpart A--Introduction, General Provisions and Definitions

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

    Authority:  Secs. 203, 205(a), 216(j), and 702(a)(5) of the 
Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 403, 405(a), 416(j), and 902(a)(5)) 
and 48 U.S.C. 1801.


0
2. Revise Sec.  404.2(c)(5)(vi) to read as follows:


Sec.  404.2  General definitions and use of terms.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (5) * * *
    (vi) The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) 
effective January 1, 1987; Social Security coverage for affected 
temporary employees of the government of the CNMI is also effective on 
January 1, 1987, under section 210(a)(7)(E) of the Social Security Act. 
In addition, Social Security coverage for affected non-temporary 
employees of the government of the CNMI is effective on October 1, 
2012, under section 210(a)(7)(C) of the Social Security Act.
* * * * *

Subpart F--Overpayments, Underpayments, Waiver of Adjustment or 
Recovery of Overpayments, and Liability of a Certifying Officer

0
3. The authority citation for subpart F of part 404 is revised to read 
as follows:

    Authority:  Secs. 204, 205(a), 702(a)(5), and 1147 of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 404, 405(a), 902(a)(5), and 1320b-17); 31 
U.S.C. 3711; 31 U.S.C. 3716; 31 U.S.C. 3720A.


Sec.  404.515  [Amended]

0
4. In Sec.  404.515:
0
a. Revise the paragraph (a) heading to read ``General effect of the 
Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996''; and
0
b. In paragraph (a), remove ``$20,000'' and add in its place ``$100,000 
or any higher amount authorized by the Attorney General''.

Subpart K--Employment, Wages, Self-Employment, and Self-Employment 
Income

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

    Authority:  Secs. 202(v), 205(a), 209, 210, 211, 229(a), 230, 
231, and 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 402(v), 
405(a), 409, 410, 411, 429(a), 430, 431, and 902(a)(5)) and 48 
U.S.C. 1801.


Sec.  404.1018  [Amended]

0
6. In Sec.  404.1018(b)(1)(iv), remove ``197 (a)(1)'' and add in its 
place ``107(a)(1)''.

0
7. Revise Sec.  404.1022(c) to read as follows:


Sec.  404.1022  American Samoa, Guam, or the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands.

* * * * *
    (c) Work for Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands 
(CNMI), or a political subdivision or wholly owned instrumentality of 
Guam or the CNMI. Work as an officer or employee (including a member of 
the legislature) of the government of the CNMI, its political 
subdivisions, or any wholly owned instrumentality of any one or more of 
these, is covered as employment beginning October 1, 2012. Work as an 
officer or employee (including a member of the legislature) of the 
government of Guam, its political subdivisions, or any wholly owned 
instrumentality of any one or more of these, is excluded from coverage 
as employment. However, the exclusion does not apply to employees 
classified as temporary or intermittent unless the work is--

[[Page 33685]]

    (1) Covered by a retirement system established by a law of Guam or 
the CNMI;
    (2) Done by an elected official;
    (3) Done by a member of the legislature; or
    (4) Done in a hospital or penal institution by a patient or inmate 
of the hospital or penal institution.
* * * * *

Subpart P--Determining Disability and Blindness

0
8. 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.  404.1512  [Amended]

0
9. In Sec.  404.1512:
0
a. In paragraph (b)(7), remove ``(see Sec.  404.1527(f)(1)(iii))'' and 
add in its place ``(see Sec.  404.1527(e)(1)(iii))''; and
0
b. In paragraph (b)(8), remove ``See Sec. Sec.  404.1527(f)(2)-(3) and 
add in its place ``See Sec.  404.1527(e)(2) and (3).''.

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

Subpart E--Payment of Benefits, Overpayments, and Underpayments

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

    Authority: Secs. 702(a)(5), 1147, 1601, 1602, 1611(c) and (e), 
and 1631(a)-(d) and (g) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
902(a)(5), 1320b-17, 1381, 1381a, 1382(c) and (e), and 1383(a)-(d) 
and (g)); 31 U.S.C. 3716; 31 U.S.C. 3720A.


Sec.  416.545  [Amended]

0
11. In Sec.  416.545(b), remove the number ``12'' and add in its place 
the number ``3''.

Subpart I--Determining Disability and Blindness

0
12. 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.  416.912  [Amended]

0
13. In Sec.  416.912:
0
a. In paragraph (b)(7), remove ``(see Sec.  416.927(f)(1)(iii))'' and 
add in its place ``(see Sec.  416.927(e)(1)(iii))''; and
0
b. In paragraph (b)(8), remove ``See Sec. Sec.  416.927(f)(2)-(3).'' 
and add in its place ``See Sec.  416.927(e)(2) and (3).''.

[FR Doc. 2014-13803 Filed 6-11-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4191-02-P