Continuing Appropriations Resolutions

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

PL 108-2 (1/11/03 -1/31/03) (enacted 1/10/03)
PL 108-4 (1/31/03 - 2/7/03) (enacted 1/31/03)
PL 108-5 (2/7/03 - 2/20/03) (enacted 2/7/03)
Making continuing appropriations for FY 2003 at FY 2002 levels until enactment of permanent FY 2003 appropriations.

PL 108-7 Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003 (enacted 2/20/03)

Division G - Depts. of Labor, HHS and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2003

Title IV makes SSA appropriations for FY 2003, including payments for the Trust Funds, special benefits for disabled coal miners, SSI and LAE, which specifies that any unused FY 2003 funds remain available for information technology and telecommunications hardware and software infrastructure and that any unobligated balances of FY 2002 funds be available to continue Federal-State partnerships that evaluate means to promote Medicare buy-in programs; effective 2/20/03.

Division J - Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2003

Title I provides $10 million to reimburse SSA for the costs of implementing section 1090 of PL 105-34.

PL 108-83 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act (enacted 9/30/03)

Section 3615 makes special benefits for disabled coal miners available under Title IV of PL 108-7 subject to PL 107-275; effective 9/30/03.

Continuing Appropriations Resolutions

PL 108-84 (10/1/03 - 10/31/03) (enacted 9/30/03)
PL 108-104 (10/31/03 - 11/7/03) (enacted 10/31/03)
PL 108-107 (11/7/03 - 11/21/03) (enacted 11/7/03)
PL 108-135 (11/21/03 - 1/31/04) (enacted 11/22/03)
Making continuing appropriations for FY 2004 at FY 2003 levels until enactment of permanent FY 2004 appropriations.

PL 108-136 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (enacted 11/24/03)

Section 1113 extends entitlement to 22 days of military leave each year to employees who are activated to perform full-time military service as a result of a call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation; effective for military service on or after 11/24/03.

PL 108-156 The Basic Pilot Program Extension and Expansion Act of 2003 (enacted 12/3/03)

Section 2 extends the operation of the pilot programs for employment eligibility verification an additional 5 years (to a total of 11 years).

Section 3(a) expands the operation of the Employment Eligibility Verification pilot programs to all 50 States not later than 12/1/04; provides that employers in all States must be able to participate in the pilot program.

Section 3(b) requires the Sec. of HS to complete and submit a report not later than 6/1/04 to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House and Senate describing any additional actions the Sec. needs to take before undertaking the expansion of the program.

PL 108-173 The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (enacted 12/8/03)

Section 101  amends Title XVIII of the Social Security Act by adding the following sections:

Sections 1860D-14(a)(1)and 1860D-14(a)(3)(D)(i) provide Part D prescription drug premium and co-payment subsidies for low-income individuals with income below 135 percent of the poverty guidelines for a family of the applicable size and resources of less than 3 times the SSI resource limits, indexed for inflation, would be eligible for a 100 percent premium subsidy.

Sections 1860 D-14(a)(2) and 1860 D-14(a)(3)(E)(i) provide premium subsidy assistance for individuals with income between 135 percent and 150 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines for a family of the applicable size; the resources of an individual cannot exceed $10,000, or $20,000 in the case of a couple, and are indexed for inflation; the amount of the subsidy will gradually decline until it is completely phased out for those at 150 percent of the poverty guidelines.

Sections 1860D-14(a)(3)(B)(i) and 1860D-14(a)(3)(B)(ii) require that the determination of whether a Part D eligible individual is a subsidy eligible individual be made by the State plan under Title XIX or by the COSS and shall be effective beginning with the month in which the individual applies for a determination and shall remain in effect for a period specified by the Sec., not to exceed 1 year; SSA is appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the determination of eligibility.

Section 1860D-14(a)(3)(B)(iv) requires that whichever entity, SSA or the State, that made the initial determination of subsidy eligibility will conduct any redetermination and appeal of the case; the COSS is required to establish procedures for appeals of SSA determinations similar to the current hearing procedures in the SSI program; SSA redeterminations of eligibility would be made at such time as provided by the COSS.

Section 1860D-14(a)(3)(B)(v) automatically treats SSI recipients and  individuals not eligible for SSI but eligible for full Medicaid coverage as subsidy eligible individuals.

Section 1860 D-14(a)(3)(D)(i) provides that subsidy eligible individual’s resources (as determined under section 1613 of the SSI program) cannot exceed 3 times the maximum amount of allowable SSI resources for 2006, and will be indexed in the future for inflation.

Section 1860 D-14(a)(3)(D)(ii) provides that individuals eligible for premium subsidies will also qualify for lower co-payments when purchasing drugs.

Section 1860(D-14(a)(3)(E)(ii) requires the Sec. of HHS, jointly with the COSS, to develop a simplified application form for determination and verification of a Part D eligible individual’s I&R and provide the form to the States; the application is to include an individual’s attestation under penalty of perjury regarding the value of resources and recent statements from financial institutions, if any, in support of the application; matters attested to in the application shall be subject to appropriate methods of verification.

Section 1860 D-31(f)(3)(B)(ii) establishes the Self-Certification for Drug Discount Card and Transitional Assistance Program; the Sec. shall establish methods to verify eligibility for individuals who enroll in an endorsed program; SSA is required to make arrangements with HHS to provide financial information from its records for this purpose; States provide the Medicaid information and the Sec. of Treasury provides HHS with tax information; effective no later than 6 months after date of enactment.

Section 1860D-42(b) requires the Sec. to submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a legislative proposal providing for such technical and conforming amendments, not later than 6 months after the date of enactment.

Section 1860D-42(e)(6) provides the COSS with access to tax information to carry out low-income determinations under Part D as is currently available under the SSI program.

Section 102(a)(1)(B)(ii) provides that the initial 6-month enrollment period for Part D enrollment begins on 11/15/05 and ends 5/15/06.

Section 103 amends Title XVIII of the Social Security Act by adding the following 2 sections:

Section 1935(g) requires COSS to identify and notify individuals of potential eligibility for Part D subsidies and the transitional drug assistance program;

Section 1935(g) requires COSS to furnish appropriate State agencies with the names and addresses of individuals residing in the State who may be eligible for Part D subsidies or transitional drug assistance based on information in SSA’s records.

Section 222(c)(2) provides individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage programs the option of having their Medicare premiums deducted from their Social Security payment or by an electronic funds transfer mechanism such as automatic charges of an account at a financial institution or a credit or debit card account or other means as the Sec. may specify.

Section 222(c)(3) requires, in order to carry out the provision in Section 222(c)(2), the Sec. to transmit to COSS by the beginning of each year the name, SSN, consolidated monthly beneficiary premium owed by each enrollee for each month during the year and other information determined appropriate by the Sec. in consultation with COSS; the Sec. shall transmit to COSS, periodically throughout the year, information to update the information previously transmitted for the year. 

Section 811(a) provides, beginning in 2007, Part B Medicare beneficiaries with modified adjusted gross incomes over $80,000 for an individual and $160,000 for married couples will pay a higher Part B premium than individuals with lesser incomes; the amount of the increased premium is based on ranges of income specified in the statute.

Section 811(a)(4)(B) requires SSA to make determinations as to the amount of an individual’s Part B premium if his or her income is above the applicable threshold.

Section 811(c)(2)(A) authorizes the Sec. of Treasury, upon written request from the COSS, to disclose to SSA tax return information of a taxpayer whose premium may be subject to adjustment and lists the specific items on a tax return that can be disclosed to SSA.

Section 811(a)(B)(ii) provides that if, as of 10/15 before a CY, the Sec. of Treasury does not have adequate data for the individual for the taxable year, the individual’s adjusted gross income will be determined using data from the previous year.

Section 811(a)(B) requires the COSS, in consultation with the Sec. of Treasury, to prescribe regulations to provide for an increased premium if an individual does not file a tax return and there is information that the individual’s modified adjusted gross income exceeds the threshold.

Section 811(a)(C) requires the COSS, in consultation with the Sec. of Treasury, to establish procedures to use more recent year’s tax information at the request of the individual and an appropriate method for aggregating or disaggregating information from tax returns in the case of marriage or divorce; also requires the COSS, in consultation with the Sec. of Treasury, to promulgate regulations about using more recent tax information in the event of an individual’s life-changing events.

Section 924 requires the Sec. to establish a 3-year demonstration project in at least 6 SSA offices or areas under which Medicare specialists employed by HHS provide advice and assistance to individuals entitled to benefits under Part A of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, or enrolled under Part B of such title, or both; in selecting the offices and areas, the Sec. will provide preference for offices with a high volume of visits by individuals entitled to Medicare; the Sec. is required to select at least 2 rural areas, and the Medicare specialists will travel between local offices in a rural area on a scheduled basis. 

Section 924(d)(1) requires the Sec. to provide an evaluation of the demonstration program, including an analysis of utilization and satisfaction of the individuals served by the Medicare specialists.

Section 924(d)(2)requires the Sec. to submit a report to Congress on the evaluation of the project, including recommendations regarding the feasibility of permanently out-stationing Medicare specialists at SSA field offices.

Section 931(a) requires SSA and HHS to provide a plan to Congress and GAO for transferring the ALJ Medicare hearings function from SSA to HHS no later than 4/1/04; the plan shall address the following:
  • workload and staffing requirements;
  • funding requirements;
  • transition timetable;
  • regulations;
  • case tracking system;
  • feasibility of developing a process to give DAB decisions binding precedential authority;
  • feasibility of filing appeals with ALJs electronically and conducting hearings using teleconferencing or video-conferencing technologies;
  • steps that should be taken to ensure the independence of ALJs;
  • steps that should be taken to provide for an appropriate geographic distribution of ALJs throughout the United States;
  • steps that should be taken to hire ALJs and support staff;
  • appropriateness of establishing performance standards for ALJs;
  • steps that should be taken to carry out any needed shared resources with SSA;
  • training; and,
  • any additional recommendations for further Congressional action.

Section 931(a)(4) provides that GAO is to evaluate the plan and submit a report to Congress on its evaluation no later than 6 months after the date on which it receives the plan.

Section 931(b)(1)  provides that not earlier than 7/1/05, and not later than 10/1/05, the COSS and the Sec. shall implement the transition plan and transfer the ALJ Medicare hearings function from SSA to HHS.

Section 931(b)(5) provides that amounts payable under law to SSA for the ALJ Medicare hearings function shall be payable to the Sec.

Section 931(b)(6) provides that the Sec. and the COSS may, if appropriate, enter into arrangements with respect to shared office space, support staff and other resources with appropriate reimbursement.

Section 1012(g)(5) provides that the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of that department or agency to the "Commission on Systemic Interoperability" (established by the Sec. in section 1012(a)).

Section 1014(j)(3) provides that any Federal department or agency shall directly supply any information to the "Citizens' Health Care Working Group" (established by the Sec. in section 1014(c)) this group deems necessary to carry out this section.

Section 1015 appropriates through 9/30/05, $500 million to SSA and $1 billion to CMS to carry out provisions of this statute.

PL 108-203 Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (enacted 3/2/04)

Title I - Protection of Beneficiaries

Section 101 amends Titles II, VIII and XVI of the Social Security Act to authorize COSS to reissue payments to beneficiaries or to their alternative representative payees (RPs) in the amount of any previous benefits that have been misused by a prior, organizational RP or an individual RP serving 15 or more beneficiaries; effective for determinations of misuse by the COSS on or after 1/1/95.

Section 102(a) amends Titles II and XVI to require non-governmental fee-for-service RPs to be both bonded and state-licensed provided that licensing is available in the State; effective on April 1, 2005.

Section 102(b) amends Titles II, VIII and XVI to direct the COSS to provide for periodic onsite review for all nonprofit fee-for-service payees, organizational payees (both governmental and non-governmental) representing 50 or more beneficiaries and individual RPs representing 15 or more beneficiaries and to report to Congress annually on the results of the review; requires reports to include the number and result of reviews, the number of cases where misuse was discovered and how the COSS dealt with such misuse.

Section 103(a)-(c) disqualify from service as a RP for Title II, VIII or XVI benefits any individual that has been convicted of an offense resulting in imprisonment for more than 1 year (unless the COSS deems appointment as a RP would be appropriate notwithstanding conviction), or an individual fleeing prosecution, custody or confinement; direct the COSS to share information with law enforcement on persons disqualified from service as a RP; effective April 1, 2005.

Section 103(e) requires the COSS, in consultation with the IG, to submit a report to Congress within 270 days of enactment, evaluating current procedures and reviews for qualifications of RPs.

Section 104 amends Titles II and XVI to require forfeiture of fees received by a RP that has been found by either the COSS or a court, to have misused an individual's benefits; directs that such fees that are received are to be calculated as additional misused funds; effective for determinations of benefit misuse made by the COSS or a court after 180 days from enactment.

Section 105 provides that misused benefits by a non-governmental payee shall be treated as overpayments to the RP, subject to current overpayment recovery authorities; directs that any amounts recovered that are not re-issued under the provision of Sec. 101 will be refunded to the beneficiary or his/her alternative RP; effective for determinations of benefit misuse made after 180 days after enactment.

Section 106 amends Titles II, VIII and XVI to permit the COSS to require RPs who fail to provide a required accounting to appear in person at their local SSA field office in order to receive payments; effective 180 days from enactment.

Section 107 appropriates $8.5 million to be used by the COSS to conduct a study to determine how payments made to RPs under Titles II and XVI are managed and utilized on behalf of the beneficiaries for whom the benefits are paid; requires report to Congress not later than 18 months after the date of enactment; effective 3/2/04.

Section 111 authorizes the imposition of civil monetary penalties for the misuse of benefits under Title II, VIII, and XVI by a RP; the penalty is up to $5000 for each violation; further provides that any such RP is subject to an assessment of up to twice the value of any misused or converted payments; effective for violations committed after 3/2/04.

Title II - Program Protections

Section 201 authorizes civil monetary penalties for any individual who withholds facts material for the determination of initial or continuing benefits under Titles II, VIII or XVI; if the individual knows, or should know, that the withholding of such information is misleading; would also allow imposition of administrative sanctions for this offense with regard to Title II and Title XVI benefits; effective for violations occurring after the implementation of the computer file described in section 202 of this Act.

Section 202 directs the COSS, until a centralized computer file recording the date of information submission is in place, to issue a receipt to the beneficiary or RP each time such individual submits documentation or reports to COSS on a change in status; effective by 3/05.

Section 203 denies Title II benefits for individuals fleeing prosecution ("fleeing" relates to a crime that is a felony or, in jurisdictions that do not define crimes as felonies, a crime punishable by death or imprisonment for more than one year), custody or confinement, or for violating a condition of probation or parole; permits the COSS to pay withheld OASDI benefits shown if the individual has been found not guilty, the charges have been dropped, the warrant revoked or a similar exonerating action taken or where an individual was wrongly identified in connection with a criminal offense by reason of identification fraud; further permits the COSS the discretion to find good cause based on mitigating circumstances to pay withheld benefits where the offense or probation or parole violation was nonviolent and not drug-related, required the COSS to furnish law enforcement agencies with information regarding such individuals; effective January 2005.

Section 204 prohibits anyone from offering for a fee information provided free of charge by SSA unless such individual makes clear that the information or service is available for free from SSA and complies with standards prescribed by the COSS regarding placement, visibility and legibility; restriction does not apply to offers to serve as a claimant representative in connection with claims under Titles II or VIII or to help prepare an individual's plan for achieving self-support under Title XVI; effective 7 months from date the COSS promulgates notice requirements provided under this subsection but no later than 3/2/05.

Section 205 entitles the COSS, after notice and opportunity for hearing, to refuse to recognize as a representative, or disqualify as a representative, an attorney who has been disbarred or disqualified from appearing before any federal program or agency; further permits the COSS to refuse to recognize as a non-attorney representative any attorney who has been disbarred; representatives who have been disqualified as a result of collecting or receiving fees in excess of the authorized amount are barred from appearing before SSA as a representative until they have made full restitution to the claimant; effective 3/2/04.

Section 206 establishes a criminal penalty fine up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to 3 years for using force or attempting to use force to obstruct or impede any SSA officer, employee or contractor while carrying out official activities; offenses committed with only threats of force are punishable by a fine not more than $3,000 and a prison sentence of up to 1 year.

Section 207 includes several new terms to the prohibition on misuse of symbols, emblems or names in reference to Social Security and Medicare, including "Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services", "CMS", and "Federal Benefit Information"; effective 180 days from enactment.

Section 208 disqualifies from payment of Title II benefits upon an individual's conviction by a Federal court for fraudulently concealing work activity during a trial work period; effective with regard for work activity performed after 3/2/04.

Section 209 amends Titles II, VIII and XVI to permit Federal courts to demand restitution for individuals suffering financial loss as a result of a defendant's violation of the Social Security Act or for the COSS if defendant's violation resulted in the improper payment of benefits or in a beneficiary's loss which resulted from the defendant's violations in the capacity of the individual's RP; requires restitution funds paid to the COSS be deposited in the appropriate Trust Fund or into the General Treasury Fund; directs the COSS, upon receipt of  funds on behalf of a defrauded beneficiary to certify for payment to the individual the lesser of the amount of restitution paid or the individual's financial loss, minus the amount of any OPs of benefits owed by the individual; effective for violations occurring on or after 3/2/04.

Section 210 permits the COSS to recover overpayments (O/Ps) paid under Titles II, VIII or XVI from the benefits paid under any of these programs; permits withholding up to 100 percent of any underpayment; limits the amounts by which the COSS can decrease ongoing monthly benefits to 10 percent in the case of Titles II and VIII benefits and, for Title XVI benefits, an amount no greater than the lesser of (1) the amount of benefits payable to the individual for the month or (2) an amount equal to 10 percent of the individual's monthly income; effective 3/2/04.

Section 211 prohibits the payment of Title II benefits based on the earnings of any noncitizen unless the noncitizen (1) had ever been issued an SSN indication authorization to work in the U.S. or (2) at the time any quarters of coverage were earned, was admitted to the U.S. under a B1 or D visa; effective with respect to SSNs issued on or after 1/1/04.

Title III - Attorney Representative Fee Payment System Improvements

Section 301 amends Title II to set a cap on assessments at the greater of $75 or 6.3 percent of attorney's fees; requires such adjustment of dollar amounts under the procedures used to adjust benefit amounts; requires such adjustments be based on the higher of $75 or the previously adjusted amount in effect for December of the preceding year; effective with respect to fees for representation on or after September 1, 2004.

Section 302 temporarily extends the attorney fee payment system to Title XVI claims: effective by March 2, 2005, and sunsets 5 years after implementation.

Section 303 requires COSS to conduct a demonstration project to allow non-attorneys the option of fee withholding under both Titles II and XVI; COSS must implement the project by March 2, 2005.

Section 304 requires a GAO report to evaluate the results of the demonstration project, assess the potential results of making the fee withholding procedures permanent (after making any necessary revisions to procedures) and consult with beneficiaries/interested parties in writing this report, which is to be submitted within 3 years of the initial written notice from COSS to Congress.

Title IV Miscellaneous and Technical Amendments

Section 401extends the demonstration authority to 12/17/05 and would allow projects initiated on or before that date to be completed thereafter.

Section 402 permits COSS to waive requirements of section 1148 of the Social Security Act for the mandated demonstration projects; effective March 2, 2004.

Section 403 permits COSS to determine the funds to be drawn from in order to complete the demonstration projects required under this section; effective March 2, 2004.

Section 404 amends the Federal Work Incentives Outreach Program and State Grants for Work Incentives Assistance by defining 'disabled beneficiary'; effective March 2, 2004.

Section 405 clarifies that employers who hire Ticket beneficiaries are eligible for tax credits already available to businesses who hire individuals from targeted groups; applies to individuals who began work for employer after June 30. 1999.

Section 406 requires a GAO report (regarding the Ticket To Work program) which examines the annual and interim reports issued by COSS and other vested parties, assesses the effectiveness of the program and recommends changes to improve effectiveness; report is due by March 2, 2005.

Section 407 extends the authorization to provide appropriate funding for the BPAO program and the State protection and advocacy (P&A) systems program established by the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 through FY 2009.

Section 411 eliminates the transcript requirement in remand cases which are fully favorable; effective March 2, 2004.

Section 412 ends the exemption from nonpayment of benefits to aliens who are removed from the U.S. for smuggling other aliens into the U.S. effective with respect to removal notices received from the Attorney General (AG) or the Sec. of Homeland Security after the date of enactment.

Section 413 amends PL 104-66 to reinstate requirements for certain reports, including the annual reports of the Board of Trustees on the OASDI, HI, and SMI Trust Funds, CDRs, and disability determinations.

Section 414 provides a limited exception to the 9 month duration-of-marriage requirement for widow(er)s benefits under Title II in cases in which the marriage was postponed by legal impediments caused by State restrictions on divorce due to mental incompetence or similar incapacity; effective March 2, 2004.

Section 415 clarifies FICA and SECA tax exemptions for individuals whose earnings are subject to the laws of a totalization agreement partner.

Section 416 extends to Kentucky and Lousiana the authority to operate a divided retirement system.

Section 417 amends Title VII to provide compensation for members of the Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB) at the rate of pay for level IV of the Executive Schedule; effective 1/1/03 (retroactive).

Section 418 requires such State and local government employees to be covered by Social Security throughout the last 5 years of their government employment in order to be exempt from the government pension offset provision. Generally effective for applications filed after the month of enactment. 

Section 419 requires SSA to send a modified Social Security Statement to non-covered employees that describes the potential benefit reductions that may result from receipt of a pension based on non-covered government employment effective 1/1/07; further requires government employers to notify non-covered employees hired on or after 1/1/05 of the possible effect of non-covered work on the employee's Social Security benefits.

Section 420 directs the Sec. of Treasury, in satisfaction of outstanding deemed wage credit obligations, to transfer $624.9 million from the General Fund to the OASI Trust Fund, $105.3 million into the Federal DI Trust Fund and $173.3 million to the Federal HI Trust Fund; effective no later than 7/1/04.

Section 420A eliminates the disincentive to return to work for childhood disability beneficiaries by permitting re-entitlement of childhood disability benefits after the 84-month re-entitlement period where beneficiary's previous entitlement terminated due to the performance of SGA; effective with respect to benefits payable on or after October 1, 2004.

Section 421 amends Title XI to make the COSS responsible for sending Social Security statements to appropriate individuals.

Section 422 makes technical corrections relating to the retirement benefits of ministers to exclude from net earnings the rental value of any parsonage or any parsonage allowances.

Section 423 makes technical corrections relating to domestic employment.

Section 424 makes technical corrections of outdated references by correcting the citation respecting tax deductions relating to health insurance costs of self-employed individuals and eliminating references to the obsolete 20-day agricultural work test.

Section 425 makes technical corrections relating to self-employment income in community property states.

Section 426 makes technical corrections relating to PL 107-90 including changes relating to quorum rules, the powers of the Board of Trustees and State and local taxes; effective 3/2/04.

Section 433 would permit one-time, non-recurring income be counted only in the month in which it was received in the transition to retrospective monthly accounting during the first 3 months of an individual's SSI eligibility; provides that payments in varying amounts from the same or similar source for the same or similar purpose shall not be considered to be nonrecurring; effective with respect to benefits payable beginning 1 year from enactment.

Section 434 removes the restriction on payment of benefits to children who are born blind or disabled or who become so after their military parents are stationed overseas; effective with respect to benefits payable one month after 3/2/04.

Section 435 excludes from income gifts provided for tuition and other education expenses; excludes for 9 months, any grants, scholarships, fellowships or gifts used for tuition and other education-related expenses which come from an individual's countable resources; effective with respect to benefits payable 90 days after enactment.

Section 436 treats military pay as if received in the month in which it was earned; effective for benefits payable for months beginning after 5/31/04.

PL 108-275 Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act (enacted 7/15/04)


Section 2 prescribes a sentence of two years' imprisonment for knowingly transferring, processing, or using, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person during and in relation to specified felony convictions, including: 1) violations of 18 U.S. C. 641; (2) violations of section 1107 (b) of the Social Security, Special Veterans' Benefits and SSI programs; and (3) violations of section 1107 (b) of the Social Security Act, relating to misrepresentation. It also prohibits a court from placing on probation any individual convicted of a violation of this section, reducing any sentence for the related felony and take into account the sentence imposed for such a violation, and provides for concurrent terms of imprisonment for a violation of this Act and any other violation, except, in court's discretion, an additional violation of this section. In addition, it expands the existing identity theft prohibition to cover possession of a means of identification of another with intent to commit specified unlawful activity, increase penalties for violations and include acts of domestic terrorism within the scope of a prohibition against facilitating an act of international terrorism; effective upon enactment.

Section 4 provides for aggregating the amounts from all counts for which the defendant is convicted in a single case.

Continuing Appropriations Resolutions

PL 108-309 (10/1/04 - 11/20/04) (enacted 9/30/04)
PL 108-416
(11/21/04 - 12/3/04) (enacted 11/21/04)
PL 108-434 (12/4/04 - 12/8/04) (enacted 12/3/04)
Making continuing appropriations for FY 2005 at FY 2004 levels until enactment of permanent FY 2004 appropriations.

PL 108-411 Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004 (enacted 10/30/04)

Title I makes reforms to federal human capital management related to recruitment, relocation expenses and retention bonuses; effective on the first day of the applicable pay period beginning on or after the 180th day after the date of enactment.

Title II makes changes to federal employee career development and benefits related to agency training, annual leave enhancements and compensatory time off for travel; effective in the earlier of the effective date of any regulation prescribed to carry out such amendments or the 90th day after the date of enactment.

Title III makes corrections to pay administration; effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after the 180th day after the date of enactment.

PL 108-447 Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 (enacted 12/8/04)

Division F - Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2005 Title II HHS to transfer $50,000,000 to SSA for processing Medicare appeals in FY 2005.

Title IV makes SSA appropriations for FY 2005, including payments for the Trust Funds, special benefits for disabled coal miners, SSI and LAE, to remain available until expended.

Division J - Other Matters Title I - Miscellaneous Provisions and Offsets

Section 111 requires the head of each Federal agency or department to provide: (1) each new employee of the agency or department with educational and training materials concerning the U.S. Constitution as part of the orientation materials provided to the new employee; and (2) educational and training materials concerning the U.S. Constitution to each of its employee on September 17 of each year.

PL 108-458 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (enacted 12/17/04)

Section 7211 requires the Sec. of HHS in consultation with the COSS and others, within 1 year of date of enactment, to promulgate regulations establishing minimum standards for birth certificates; the standards shall include, among other things, a requirement for proof and verification of identity as a condition of issuance of a birth certificate; beginning 2 years after promulgation of regulations, no Federal agency can accept, for any official purpose, a birth certificate that does not conform to the standards; requires States to certify to HHS that they are in compliance with these requirements, and HHS, with the concurrence of the COSS, may prescribe regulations establishing the frequency and manner of such certifications; require the Sec. HHS, in coordination with COSS and other appropriate Federal agencies, shall award grants to States to assist them in computerizing their birth and death records, and to develop the capability to match birth and death records within and among States, and to note the fact of death on the birth certificates of deceased persons.

Section 7212 (b)(1)(A) no Federal agency may accept, for any official purpose, a driver's license or personal identification card newly issued by a State more than 2 years after the promulgation of the minimum standards unless the driver's license or personal identification card conforms to such minimum standards.

Section 7212 (b)(1)(B) Sec. of Transportation, in consultation with the Sec of DHS, shall establish a date after which no driver's license or personal identification card shall be accepted by a Federal agency for any official purpose unless such documents conform to the minimum standards.

Section 7212 (b)(2) within 18 months of enactment, the DOT, in consultation with DHS, are required to promulgate regulations establishing minimum standards for driver's licenses or personal identification cards issued by States.

Section 7212 (c)(1) requires the Sec. of Transportation to award grants to States to meet such standards.

Section 7213 (a)(1) not later than 1 year after date of enactment the COSS shall;

  • restrict the issuance of multiple replacement social security cards to any individual to 3 per year and 10 for the life of the individual, except that the COSS may allow for reasonable exceptions from the limits on a case-by-case basis in compelling circumstances;
  • establish minimum standards for the verification of documents or records submitted by an individual to establish eligibility for an original or replacement social security card, other than for purposes of enumeration at birth;
  • require independent verification of any birth record submitted by an individual to establish eligibility for a SSN, other than for purposes of enumeration at birth, except the COSS may allow for reasonable exceptions from the requirement for independent verification on a case-by-case basis in compelling circumstances.
  • Notwithstanding section 205(r)of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S. C. 405(r)] and any agreement entered into thereunto, not later than 18 months after date of enactment with respect to death indicators and not later than 36 months after date of enactment with respect to fraud indicators, add death and fraud indicators to the SSN verification systems for employers, State agencies issuing driver's licenses and identity cards, and other verification routines that the COSS determines appropriate.

Section 7213(b) the COSS, in consultation with the Sec. of DHS, shall form an interagency task force for the purpose of further improving the security of social security cards and numbers. Not later than 18 months after date of enactment, the task force shall establish, and the COSS shall provide for the implementation of security requirements, including standards: for safeguarding cards from counterfeiting, tampering, alteration, and theft; for verifying documents submitted for the issuance of replacements; and actions to increase enforcement against the fraudulent use of issuance of SSNs and cards.

Section 7213(c) as soon as practicable after the date of enactment, the COSS shall undertake to make improvements to the enumeration at birth program for the issuance of SSNs to newborns. Such improvements shall be designed to prevent; the assignment of SSNs to unnamed children; the issuance of more than 1 SSN to the same child; and other opportunities for fraudulently obtaining a SSN.

Section 7213 9(c) (2) Not later than 1 year after date of enactment, the COSS shall transmit to each House of Congress, a report specifying in detail the extent to which the improvements have been made.

Section 7213(d) requires the COSS to conduct a study to determine options for ensuring the integrity of the process for enumeration at birth. Study shall include an examination of available methods of reconciling hospital birth records with birth registrations submitted to agencies of States and political subdivisions thereof and with information provided by the COSS as part of the process for enumeration at birth. Results of the study are to be submitted to the House Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committee no later than 18 months after date of enactment. The report is also to include recommendations for legislative changes as the COSS considers necessary to implement needed improvements in the process for enumeration at birth.

Section 7214 Prohibits Federal, State, and local governments from displaying SSNs, or any derivative thereof, on driver's licenses, motor vehicle registrations, or other identification documents issued by State departments of motor vehicles; effective with respect to licenses, registrations, and identification cards issued or reissued 1 year after date of enactment.

Section 8403(c)(2)(A) not later than 180 days after enactment, requires the head of each agency to submit a Presidential appointment reduction plan to the President, the House Committee on Government Reform, and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.

Section 8403 (c)(2)(B) the plan shall provide for the reduction of the number of positions within each agency that requires an appointment by the President with Senate confirmation, and the number of levels of such positions within the agency.

PL 108-469 Thrift Savings Plan Open Elections Act of 2004 (enacted 12/21/04)

Section 1 provides for Federal employees to make elections to make, modify, and terminate contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan at any time.

PL 108-496 Federal Employee Dental and Vision Benefits Enhancement Act of 2004 (enacted 12/23/04)

Section 2 provides for the establishment of an enhanced dental benefit program for Federal employees, retirees, and their dependents.

Section 3 provides for the establishment of an enhanced vision benefits program for federal employees, retirees, and their dependents.