WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced the Social Security Administration Modernization Act of 2018 (H.R. 6559),which combines new and existing proposals to make commonsense improvements to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
“Social Security is an important program for both the millions of seniors and individuals with disabilities who rely on it as well as the millions of workers paying taxes on their hard earned wages for the promise of future benefits,” said Johnson.“They rightfully expect excellent customer service, modern rules, and that benefits go only to those who deserve them.Unfortunately, that’s not always the case today.This bill brings together new and existing proposals to bring Social Security into the 21st century. Americans want, need, and deserve nothing less.”
Highlights of the Social Security Administration Modernization Act of 2018:
Improves the SSA’s operations and customer service by:
Clarifying how long an Acting Commissioner can serve;
Strengthening penalties for SSA employees who take advantage of their job to commit fraud;
Streamlining the process for identity theft victims to resolve SSN misuse issues with the SSA;
Increasing access to information about employment support services to help denied Disability Insurance applicants reenter the workforce; and
Providing access to online tools that Disability Insurance beneficiaries can use to estimate the potential impact that returning to work will have on their monthly benefits.
Strengthens the Disability Insurance program by:
Requiring the SSA to update the medical-vocational guidelines used to determine disability that have not been updated since 1979;
Limiting claimant representative travel reimbursement and requiring claimants to pay those costs; and
Allowing immediate suspension of claimant representatives convicted of certain crimes or who were disbarred.
Protects Social Security’s Trust Funds by:
Improving the integrity of the annual Trustees Report by increasing the number of Public Trustees, by making the Public Trustees Congressionally-appointed, and by increasing Congressional oversight of the Report;
Restoring the original intent of Congress by preventing individuals with outstanding felony arrest warrants from receiving Social Security benefits;
Ensuring proceeds from the sale of buildings purchased with Trust Fund money returns to the Trust Funds; and
Requiring children 15 and older to attend school full time in order to receive Social Security benefits.