PL 104-4 Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (enacted 3/22/95)

Unless specified in the statute, legislation is effective upon enactment. For full text of legislation visit the website of the Library of Congress.

Section 4 excludes application of this law to any provision in a bill, joint resolution, amendment, motion or conference report before Congress and any provision in a proposed or final Federal regulation that relates to OASDI under Title II of the Social Security Act including taxes imposed by section 3101 (a) and 3111(a) of the IRC of 1986.
Section 201 requires each agency to assess the effects of regulatory actions on State, local and tribal governments and the private sector.
Section 202 requires that before promulgating a rule that is likely to result in State, local or tribal governments or the private sector spending $100 million a year, the agency prepare a written statement that identifies the Federal law at issue, an assessment of costs and benefits, the availability of Federal assistance with those costs and the extent of prior consultation with State, local and tribal government representatives.
Section 203 requires agencies to consider the effects of regulatory requirements on small governments and provide advance notice to them and allow them input in regulation development.
Section 204 requires that agencies allow elected officers of State, local and tribal governments to provide input in development of regulations with intergovernmental mandates, including having meetings with such officials.
Section 205 requires agencies select the least burdensome regulatory option for State, local and tribal governments, unless that option is inconsistent with law or the agency head explains why it was not selected.
Section 208 requires OMB to submit an annual report to Congress detailing compliance by each agency during the preceding reporting period with the requirements of this title.

PL 104-10 An Act to Amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to Provide for the Purchase of Common Stock of Cook Inlet Region, and for Other Purposes (enacted 5/18/95)

Section 1 provides that proceeds from the sale of Settlement Common Stock shall not be excluded in determining eligibility for any needs-based programs provided by Federal, State or local agencies.

PL 104-13 Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (enacted 5/22/95)

Establishes 44 USC section 3506 that sets forth agency responsibilities for information collections, which include:
appointing a senior official responsible for the agency's information resources management and reducing information collection burdens on the public; developing and maintaining a process that ensures efficiency in collecting information and monitors costs associated with information collection; maintaining an inventory of the agency's information resources; training agency officials about information resources management; evaluating proposed collections; publishing the appropriate Federal Register notices related to collections; effective 10/1/95.

PL 104-19 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Additional Disaster Assistance, for Anti-terrorism Initiatives, for Assistance in the Recovery from the Tragedy that Occurred at Oklahoma City, and Rescissions Act, 1995 (enacted 7/27/95)

Includes rescission of $9,234,000 from the LAE account's Administrative Expenses line item.

Continuing Appropriations Resolutions

PL 104-31 (10/1/95 - 11/13/95) (enacted 9/30/95)
PL 104-54 (11/14/95 - 11/20/95) (enacted 11/19/95)
PL 104-56 (11/20/95 - 12/15/95) (enacted 11/20/95)
PL 104-94 (12/15/95 - 1/26/96) (enacted 1/6/95)
PL 104-99 (1/26/96 - 3/15/96) (enacted 1/26/96)
PL 104-116 (3/15/96 - 3/22/96) (enacted 3/15/96)
PL 104-118 (3/22/96 - 3/29/96) (enacted 3/22/96)
PL 104-122 (3/29/96 - 4/24/96) (enacted 3/29/96)
PL 104-131 (4/24/96 - 4/25/96) (enacted 4/24/96)
Make continuing appropriations for FY 1996 at FY 1995 levels until enactment of permanent FY 1996 appropriations.

PL 104-92 Specified Activities Appropriations, FY 1996 (enacted 1/26/96)

Title III deems all Federal employees to be excepted employees and authorizes and funds payment of salaries for furloughed employees from 12/15/95 to 1/26/96.
Section 501 requires reimbursement to the States for costs incurred to State employees (DDS) whose compensation is reimbursed by the Federal government; effective 1/6/96.

PL 104-103 An Act to Guarantee the Timely Payment of Social Security Benefits in March 1996 (enacted 2/8/96)

This guarantees the payment of monthly benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act in March 1996 by authorizing the Treasury Sec. to release the necessary funds if the public debt limit is not increased by 3/1/96. Provisions cease to apply on the earlier of date of enactment of public debt limit increase or 3/15/96.

PL 104-106 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 (enacted 2/10/96)

Division D -  Federal Acquisition Reform Act of 1996
Section 4101 amends the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 to ensure full and open competition is implemented in a consistent manner to efficiently fulfill government's requirements.
Section 4102 authorizes use of noncompetitive procedures in contracts exceeding $500,000 but equal to or less than $10 million if justified in writing by competition advocate; in contracts exceeding $10 million but equal to or less than $50 million by head of procuring activity; in contracts exceeding $50 million by senior procurement executive of agency.
Section 4103 authorizes contracting officer to limit number of proposals in competitive range if number of offers exceeds that at which efficient competition can be conducted.
Section 4104 permits an unsuccessful offerer to request a debriefing in writing within 3 days of notice of exclusion with the contracting officer, who may refuse the request if not in government's best interest.
Section 4105 authorizes agency head to use a two-phase selection procedure for contracting design/construction of public building, facility or work when determined appropriate.

PL 104-108 An Act to Designate the Federal Building Located at 1221 Nevin Avenue in Richmond, California as the "Frank Hagel Federal Building" (enacted 2/12/96)

This Act changes the name of the building where SSA's Western PSC is located.

PL 104-115 An Act to Guarantee the Continuing Full Investment of Social Security and Other Federal Funds in Obligations of the United States (enacted 3/12/96)

This Act extends to 3/30/96 the authority of the Treasury Sec. to issue to each Federal fund obligations of the US in the amount of what was deposited without this authority (yields an amount equal to benefits payable for the month.)

PL 104-121 Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996 (enacted 3/29/96)

Title I - Senior Citizens' Right to Work Act of 1996
Section 102 gradually increases, beginning in 1996, the earnings limit for the retirement earnings test (RET) for beneficiaries who have attained normal retirement age (NRA) to 30,000 by 2002. After 2002, the annual exempt amount would be indexed to growth in average wages. The substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount for individuals who are statutorily blind would no longer be linked to the RET exempt amount for individuals who are NRA but would continue to be adjusted annually based on the growth in averages; effective for tax years ending after 1995.
Section 103 provides additional funds to SSA for fiscal years 1996 through 2002 for the purpose of conducting CDRs and disability eligibility redeterminations by increasing the amount of funds available for appropriations under the discretionary spending cap, directs the COSS to ensure that such funds are used, to the greatest extent practicable, to maximize the combined savings to the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance (OASDI), SSI, Medicare and Medicaid programs, and requires the COSS to report to Congress annually on the number of CDRs, the amount of money spent on them and the resulting estimated program savings.
Section 103(e) establishes the Office of the Chief Actuary in SSA.
Section 104 provides that a stepchild would have to be receiving at least one-half support from the stepparent when the child's claim is filed in order to get benefits. (Eliminates finding dependency on the basis of "living with".) Effective for benefits of stepchildren who become entitled after June 1996. Also terminates the stepchild's benefits when the stepparent and natural parent divorce, effective the month after the divorce becomes final for divorces that become final after 3/29/96.
Section 105 prohibits eligibility as of 3/29/96 if DA&A is a contributing factor material to the finding of disability; allows the COSS to pay benefits to a RP of a DA&A individual who is otherwise disabled with a DA&A condition for applications filed beginning July 1996; provides for termination of benefits effective 1/1/97 for beneficiaries with no disabling condition other than DA&A. Requires the COSS to notify any affected individuals within 90 days of enactment and for any such affected beneficiary who reapplies within 120 days of enactment, requires the COSS to complete an entitlement redetermination(including a new medical determination) by 1/1/97.
Section 105 (c) provides an appropriation of $50 million for each FY 1997 and FY 1998, to carry out activities relating to treatment of drug and alcohol abuse under the Public Health Service Authority.
Section 106 requires the COSS to conduct a 2-year pilot study of the efficacy of providing certain individualized information
(in the form of annual statements designed to promote better understanding of their contributions and benefits) to beneficiaries under section 202 of the Social Security Act whose entitlement began in or after 1984; and requires the COSS to report the results Congress within 60 days of completion of the study.

PL 104-134 Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996 (enacted 4/26/96)

Title IV makes SSA appropriations for FY 1996, including payments to the Trust Funds, special benefits for disabled coal miners, SSI (including CDRs) and a state-of-the-art computing network.
Section 31001 contains the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA), which provides SSA and other Federal agencies with permanent debt collection authorities, including administratively offsetting other Federal benefit payments, offsetting Federal salaries, reporting delinquent debt to credit bureaus, using private collection agencies, and assessing late charges.
Subsection (x) of the DCIA requires the use of electronic funds transfer (EFT) for all Federal payments made to a person who becomes eligible more than 90 days after the date of enactment unless waived by the agency head or the Treasury Sec., and all Federal payments to be made by EFT after 1/1/99.

PL 104-177 Federal Employee Representation Improvement Act of 1996 (enacted 8/6/96)

Section 2 allows a Federal officer or employee to act, without compensation, as an agent or attorney for any person who is the subject of personnel administration proceedings or for a non-profit organization if a majority of the members are Federal or District of Columbia officers or employees.

PL 104-179 Office of Government Ethics Authorization Act of 1996 (enacted 8/6/96)

Section 4 repeals the requirement that the Code of Ethics for Government Service be displayed in Federal buildings.

PL 104-188 Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (enacted 8/20/96)

Section 1116 treats the crew members of some fishing boats as self-employed, if certain conditions are met; generally effective with remuneration paid after 12/31/94.
Section 1118 classifies those who deliver or distribute newspapers or shopping news, including directly related services, as direct sellers; effective with services performed beginning 1/1/96.
Section 1202 extends to May 31, 1997, the exclusion for Social Security and income tax purposes for certain employer-provided educational assistance.

PL 104-191 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (enacted 8/21/96)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) addresses the security and privacy of health data.  While SSA is a "non-covered entity" under this Act and its privacy rule, SSA is impacted by this legislation because SSA deals with persons and organizations who are covered by this Act or its privacy rule.  HIPAA creates mechanisms for standards in these areas:

Transactions and Code Sets - requires industry standards to enable efficient transfer of health data electronically; permits electronic transfer of medical evidence for documentation of claims or payments; supports broader e-health activities.
Privacy - protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information (IIHI) by guaranteeing patient rights.
Security - protects the confidentiality, integrity and availability of IIHI.
Electronic Signature - for use in e-health business whenever a signature is required.
National Identifiers - provide unique identifying numbers to all parties of a health care transaction; allows for electronic data exchange.

PL 104-193 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (enacted 8/22/96)








Title I - Block Grants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Section 111(a) directs the COSS to develop a prototype counterfeit-resistant Social Security card.
Section 111(b) requires the COSS to conduct a study on methods of improving Social Security cards (including costs, workload, etc.) and report findings to Congress within 1 year of enactment.
Section 113 requires COSS, along with HHS Sec., to submit to Congress proposed technical or conforming amendments to this title not later than 90 days after enactment.

Title II - Supplemental Security Income
Section 201 denies SSI benefits for 10 years following conviction for fraudulent misrepresentation of residence for purposes of obtaining benefits in 2 or more States; as soon as practicable, court officials shall notify the COSS of such conviction; effective 8/22/96; Title XVI provision repealed by 207(c) of PL 106-169; effective 12/14/99.
Section 202(a) denies SSI benefits to fugitives and probation/parole violators; effective 8/22/96.
Section 202(b) provides for the exchange of SSI information with Federal and local law enforcement officials in furtherance of officer’s official duties; effective 8/22/96.
Section 203(a) authorizes the COSS to enter into agreements with interested State or local penal and mental institutions whereby such institutions shall receive incentive payments for providing the COSS, on a monthly basis, with inmates’ individual confinement data, which results in the suspension of inmates’ SSI benefits; authorizes the COSS to provide such data to other Federal assistance  programs for purposes of determining eligibility; states that incentive payments shall be considered direct spending for budget purposes; effective for individuals whose confinement commences on or after the first day of the seventh month beginning after month of enactment.
Section 203(b) requires the COSS to conduct a study on the feasibility and cost of (A) establishing a system whereby Federal, State and local courts provide such information on individuals subject to court orders or currently incarcerated as the COSS may need to carry out section 1611(e)(1) of the Social Security Act, and (B) requiring State and local jails to furnish such information by means of electronic information exchange systems; requires the COSS to report results to Congress by 8/97.
Section 203(c) requires the COSS submit to Congress, no later than 10/1/98, a list of institutions that are/are not providing information under section 1611(e)(1)(I) of the Social Security Act.
Section 204(a) provides that application for Title XVI benefits becomes effective on first day of month following date application is filed or first day of month following date which applicant becomes eligible, whichever is later.
Section 204(b) permits the COSS to make to any presumptively eligible individual initially applying for benefits who is faced with a financial emergency a cash advance against Title XVI benefits, including any Federally-administered State supplementary payments, in an amount not exceeding the monthly amount that would be payable to an eligible individual with no other income for the first month of such presumptive eligibility, and provides that presumptive eligibility can start the month following filing an application; requires such advance be repaid through proportionate reductions in benefits over a period of not more than 6 months; effective 8/22/96.
Section 211(a) revises the statutory definition of disability for individuals under 18 seeking SSI payment and provides that an individual will be considered disabled where he/she has a medically determinable impairment that meets the statutory duration requirement and that results in "marked and severe functional limitations;" applies to individuals who apply for SSI or have their claim finally adjudicated on or after 8/22/96.
Section 211(b) requires SSA to eliminate some references to maladaptive behavior from the listing of impairments, and discontinues individualized functional assessments for children; applies to individuals who apply for SSI or have their claim finally adjudicated on or after 8/22/96.
Section 211(c) modifies medical improvement review standards for individuals under 18 to conform to the revised definition of disability for children and/or to account for instances where substantial evidence demonstrates medical improvement or improved diagnostic techniques demonstrate that individual is not as disabled as previously believed; effective 8/22/96.
Section 211(d)(2) requires the COSS to re-determine eligibility of children under 18 whose benefits may terminate as result of provisions in this section; apply new eligibility criteria to all new applicants; give redetermination priority over CDRs; notify individuals affected by this section of the changes in the law; effective 8/22/96.
Section 211(d)(3) requires the COSS to report to Congress regarding the progress of implementation of these provisions within
180 days of enactment.
Section 211(d)(5) appropriates additional funds for CDRs and redeterminations required by this Act; adjusts caps under section. 251(b)(2)(H) of PL 99-177, as amended by section 103(b) of PL 104-121; effective 8/22/96.
Section 212(a) requires the COSS to perform a CDR not less than once every 3 years of all individuals under 18 who have impairments that are likely to improve; requires the RP to demonstrate that recipient is receiving necessary treatment; permits the COSS to suspend payments to RP who refuses to comply with this section without good cause and provide payments to alternate RP as consistent with recipient's medical interests.
Section 212(b) requires the COSS re-determine eligibility of individuals eligible for disability in the month preceding the month such persons reach 18 within 1 year of 18th birthday and with initial eligibility criteria.
Section 212(c) provides that the COSS will conduct a CDR within 12 months of the birth of any individual whose low birth weight was a contributing factor material to the initial disability determination; such review is considered a substitute for all other reviews required by other provisions of this subparagraph; requires RP demonstrate that recipient is receiving necessary treatment; permits the COSS to suspend payments to RP who refuses to comply with this section and provide payments to alternate RP as consistent with recipient’s medical interests; applies to benefits for months beginning on or after 8/22/96.
Section 213(a) requires RPs of individuals under age 18 establish a bank account into which past-due benefits are paid; permits the use of the account only for specified expenses including education, therapy, rehabilitation and other expenses related to the impairment; RP liable to the COSS for any misappropriated funds; requires the COSS to create a system of accountability monitoring which obliges RP to report his/her use of funds; applies to payments made after 8/22/96.
Section 213(b) excludes these funds (and interest and earnings) from SSI resource calculations; applies to payments made after 8/22/96.
Section 213(c) excludes these funds (and interest and earnings) from SSI income calculations; applies to payments made after 8/22/96.
Section 214 reduces SSI payments to institutionalized children whose medical costs are covered in whole or in part by private insurance; effective with respect to benefits for 12/96 and after.
Section 215 requires the COSS to prescribe regulations necessary to implement this subtitle within 3 months of enactment. 
Section 221 provides for the payment, not to exceed 3 installments in 6-month intervals, of past-due monthly SSI benefits totaling more than 12 times the maximum monthly benefit; effective December 1996. 
Section 222 requires the COSS to prescribe regulations necessary to implement subtitle within 3 months of enactment.
Section 231 requires the COSS to make annual report, no later than May 30 of each year, to the President and Congress on SSI including (but not limited to) reports on denial and allowance rates, projections on recipients and costs, number of redeterminations and CDRs, and summaries on relevant research.
Section 316(f) adds new sections to 42 USC 653 relating to Child Welfare and Parent Location Services, requires SSA to correct, supply, or verify the accuracy of information provided including: name, SSN, birth date and EIN of each employer (if applicable); provides the COSS with all information in the National Directory; reimburses the COSS for costs incurred during verification.

Title IV - Restricting Welfare and Public Benefits for Aliens
Section 401 makes unqualified aliens ineligible for Federal public benefits (with exceptions for medical assistance under Title XIX, disaster relief, immunizations, housing assistance and programs specified by the AG).
Section 402(a)(1) makes qualified aliens ineligible (with exceptions for asylees, refugees, certain permanent residents, veterans and aliens already enrolled in the next subsection) for SSI or food stamps.
Section 402(a)(2)(D) requires the COSS to redetermine eligibility of aliens receiving Title XVI benefits within 1 year from date of enactment.
Section 403 creates 5-year ineligibility period for qualified aliens (with exceptions for asylees, refugees, and veterans) seeking Federal means-tested public benefits. 
Section 404(a) requires SSA to provide information to public and program recipients regarding changes in eligibility.
Section 404(c) requires the COSS to report information on illegal aliens to INS.
Section 421 includes ineligibility determinations and amount calculations for any Federal means-tested public benefit to a qualified alien, I&R of sponsor and sponsor’s spouse (if any).
Section 430 defines "qualified" alien for purposes of this title.
Section 435 clarifies how to determine number of qualifying quarters of coverage under Title II to be credited to an alien.

PL 104-204 Depts. of VA and HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1997 (enacted 9/26/96)

Section 421 provides benefits for children of Vietnam veterans who were born with spina bifida, including a monetary allowance that is not considered I&R for SSI purposes; effective 1/1/97.

PL 104-208 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 (enacted 9/30/96)




Title IV establishes SSA's FY 1997 appropriations, including payments to the Trust Funds, special benefits for disabled coal miners, SSI (including CDRs) and a state-of-the-art computing network.

Division A - Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government Appropriations Act, 1997.

Section 802 requires agencies to implement and maintain financial management systems that comply substantially with Federal financial management systems requirements, applicable Federal accounting standards and the US standard general ledger at the transaction level; requires the COSS to annually determine whether SSA's financial management systems comply with these requirements this is generally known as the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act.

Division C - Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

Section 404 requires the AG, in consultation with the COSS and INS Commissioner, to provide a secondary verification process pilot program for an employment eligibility verification system; the COSS is required to establish a method to verify the name and SSN in the inquiry against SSA's information and to update/correct any information provided.
Section 414(a) requires the COSS to report to Congress within 3 months of the end of the FY the aggregate quantity of SSNs issued to aliens not authorized to work for which earnings were reported beginning with FY 1996 (by 12/30/96).
Section 414(a) also requires the COSS to report to the AG the name and address of any alien not authorized to work whose SSN has earnings reported on or after 1/1/97, the name and address of the person reporting the earnings is also to be included.
Section 414(b) requires the COSS to report to the AG within 1 year on the extent to which aliens use SSNs and cards for fraudulent purposes (by 9/30/97).
Section 501 extends the definition of qualified alien to include certain battered aliens; effective 10/2/96.
Section 503 prohibits the payment of Social Security benefits to any non-citizen in the US for any month in which the non-citizen is not lawfully present in the US; effective for applications for benefits filed on or after 12/1/96.
Section 506 requires the COSS and Education Sec. to jointly submit a report on the computer matching program of the Education Dept. within one year of enactment of this Act.
Section 551 says a sponsor's affidavit of support for an alien is no longer enforceable once the alien has worked 40 qualifying quarters of coverage under Title II of the Social Security Act and provides that all qualifying quarters shall be credited to the alien if worked by a parent (if the alien is under 18) or the spouse of the alien, provided the parent or spouse did not receive any Federal means-tested benefit, and requires the sponsor's SSN on the affidavit; effective 60 days after the AG formulates the form for such affidavits; this section also requires the agency to request reimbursement from sponsors for any assistance provided to a non-citizen.
Section 552 provides that only the amount of income and resources actually provided to indigent non-citizens from sponsors will be counted for deeming purposes. It also provides for a 12-month exclusion from deeming for non-citizen exposed to severe cruelty by family members.
Section 656(a) imposes standards for acceptance by agencies of birth certificates to be developed by agencies selected by the President to consult with the States and to be the subject of regulations issued by the lead of those agencies within 1 year of enactment of this Act.
Section 656(b) imposes standards for acceptance by agencies of State-issued drivers' licenses or comparable identification documents, which must include a SSN unless otherwise directed by the State, to be the subject of regulations issued by the Transportation Sec. within 1 year of enactment of this Act.
Section 657 requires the COSS to develop a prototype counterfeit-resistant Social Security card, with assistance from the AG, and requires the COSS and Comptroller General to conduct a study and issue a report to Congress that examines methods for improving the process of applying for a Social Security card within 1 year of enactment of this Act.

PL 104-231 Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996 (enacted 10/2/96)

Section 3 provides that information in an electronic format is covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); effective 180 days after enactment.
Section 7 allows agencies to promulgate regulations providing for multi-track processing of requests for records based on the amount of work or time involved; effective 10/2/97.
Section 8 requires agencies to promulgate regulations providing for expedited processing of a records request when a person demonstrates a compelling need and in other cases determined by the agency; effective 10/2/97.
Section 10 requires agencies to report by February 1st for the preceding FY to the AG regarding FOIA requests received, responses made, court decisions upholding agency determinations, processing times, fees collected and number of staff devoted to processing FOIA requests; effective 180 days after enactment.
Section 11 requires agencies to prepare and make available reference materials and guides for requesting information from the agency, including an index of all of the agency's major information systems; effective 180 days after enactment.

PL 104-320 Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996 (enacted 10/19/96)

Section 4 amends the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act and the Labor Management Relations Act to require consultation with the agency or interagency committee designated by the President instead of the Administrative Conference of the US.
Section 11 reauthorizes the Negotiated Rulemaking Act and allows agencies involved in negotiated rulemaking to consult with the newly designated agency or committee.