[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 205 (Monday, October 24, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 73027-73028]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-25565]



[[Page 73027]]

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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

20 CFR Parts 404 and 416

[Docket No. SSA-2016-0014]
RIN 0960-AH94


Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner 
Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and 
Compassionate Allowance Determinations

AGENCY: Social Security Administration.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are extending, until December 28, 2018, the expiration date 
of our disability examiner authority (DEA) rule, which authorizes State 
agency disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations 
without the approval of a State agency medical or psychological 
consultant in claims that we consider under our quick disability 
determination (QDD) and compassionate allowance (CAL) processes. This 
is our last extension of this rule because we will phase out the use of 
DEA during the extension period under section 832 of the Bipartisan 
Budget Act of 2015 (BBA). This extension provides us the time necessary 
to take all of the administrative actions we need to take in order to 
reinstate uniform use of medical and psychological consultants. The 
current rule will expire on November 11, 2016. In this final rule, we 
are changing the November 11, 2016 expiration or ``sunset'' date to 
December 28, 2018, extending the authority for 2 years and 1 month. 
This is the final extension of our DEA rule. On December 28, 2018, at 
the conclusion of this extension, the authority for this test will 
terminate. We are making no other changes.

DATES: This final rule is effective October 24, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kenneth Williams, Office of Disability 
Policy, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, 
Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, (410) 965-0608, for information about this 
notice. 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 of the QDD and CAL Disability Examiner Authority

    On October 13, 2010, we published a final rule that temporarily 
authorized State agency disability examiners to make fully favorable 
determinations without the approval of a State agency medical or 
psychological consultant in claims that we consider under our QDD and 
CAL processes. 75 FR 62676.
    We included in 20 CFR 404.1615(c)(3) and 416.1015(c)(3) a sunset 
date, under which the DEA would expire on November 12, 2013, unless we 
decided to terminate it earlier or extend it by publication of a final 
rule in the Federal Register. Since that time, we have extended the DEA 
rule three times for one year each. 78 FR 66638; 79 FR 51241; 80 FR 
63092. The last extension we published continues the DEA until November 
11, 2016. 80 FR 63092.

Explanation of Provision

    This final rule extends the expiration date of the DEA rule until 
December 28, 2018. Extending the DEA rule provides us with the time 
necessary for an orderly phase out of the DEA rule, and will allow us 
to discontinue the use of the DEA under section 832 of the Bipartisan 
Budget Act of 2015 (BBA).\1\ At the conclusion of this extension, by 
December 28, 2018, the authority for this test will terminate.
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    \1\ Pub. L. 114-74, section 832, 129 Stat. 584, 613. Section 832 
of the BBA amends section 221(h) of the Social Security Act, 42 
U.S.C. 421(h).
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Regulatory Procedures

Justification for Issuing a Final Rule Without Notice and Comment

    We follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rulemaking 
procedures specified in 5 U.S.C. 553 when developing regulations. 
Section 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5). 
Generally, the APA requires that an agency provide prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment before issuing a final rule. However, 
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 have determined that good cause exists for dispensing with the 
notice and public comment procedures for this final rule. 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B). Good cause exists because this final rule only extends the 
expiration date of the existing provisions. It makes no substantive 
changes to the current rule. The current regulations expressly provide 
that we may extend or terminate the current rule. Therefore, we have 
determined that opportunity for prior comment is unnecessary, and we 
are issuing this rule as a final rule.
    In addition, for the reasons cited above, we find good cause for 
dispensing with the 30-day delay in the effective date of this final 
rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). We are not making any substantive changes in 
our current rule, but are only extending the expiration date of the 
rule. For these reasons, we find it unnecessary to delay the effective 
date of our rule.

Executive Order 12866, as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

    We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 
determined that this final rule does not meet the criteria for a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as 
supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, OMB did not review 
it.
    We also determined that this final rule meets the plain language 
requirement of Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that this final 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

    The final rule does not create any new or affect any existing 
collections and, therefore, does 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; 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 subpart Q 
of part 404 and subpart J of part 416 of title 20 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations as set forth below:

[[Page 73028]]

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

Subpart Q--[Amended]

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

    Authority:  Secs. 205(a), 221, and 702(a)(5) of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(a), 421, and 902(a)(5)).

0
2. Amend Sec.  404.1615 by revising paragraph (c)(3) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  404.1615   Making disability determinations.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (3) A State agency disability examiner alone if the claim is 
adjudicated under the quick disability determination process (see Sec.  
404.1619) or the compassionate allowance process (see Sec.  404.1602), 
and the initial or reconsidered determination is fully favorable to 
you. This paragraph (c)(3) will no longer be effective on December 28, 
2018 unless we terminate it earlier by publication of a final rule in 
the Federal Register; or
* * * * *

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

Subpart J--[Amended]

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

    Authority:  Secs. 702(a)(5), 1614, 1631, and 1633 of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1382c, 1383, and 1383b).

0
4. Amend Sec.  416.1015 by revising paragraph (c)(3) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  416.1015   Making disability determinations.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (3) A State agency disability examiner alone if you are not a child 
(a person who has not attained age 18), and the claim is adjudicated 
under the quick disability determination process (see Sec.  416.1019) 
or the compassionate allowance process (see Sec.  416.1002), and the 
initial or reconsidered determination is fully favorable to you. This 
paragraph (c)(3) will no longer be effective on December 28, 2018 
unless we terminate it earlier by publication of a final rule in the 
Federal Register; or
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2016-25565 Filed 10-21-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4191-02-P