42 U.S. Code § 434 - Demonstration project authority

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(a) Authority
(1) In general
The Commissioner of Social Security (in this section referred to as the “Commissioner”) shall develop and carry out experiments and demonstration projects designed to determine the relative advantages and disadvantages of—
(A) various alternative methods of treating the work activity of individuals entitled to disability insurance benefits under section 423 of this title or to monthly insurance benefits under section 402 of this title based on such individual’s disability (as defined in section 423 (d) of this title), including such methods as a reduction in benefits based on earnings, designed to encourage the return to work of such individuals;
(B) altering other limitations and conditions applicable to such individuals (including lengthening the trial work period (as defined in section 422 (c) of this title), altering the 24-month waiting period for hospital insurance benefits under section 426 of this title, altering the manner in which the program under this subchapter is administered, earlier referral of such individuals for rehabilitation, and greater use of employers and others to develop, perform, and otherwise stimulate new forms of rehabilitation); and
(C) implementing sliding scale benefit offsets using variations in—
(i) the amount of the offset as a proportion of earned income;
(ii) the duration of the offset period; and
(iii) the method of determining the amount of income earned by such individuals,
to the end that savings will accrue to the Trust Funds, or to otherwise promote the objectives or facilitate the administration of this subchapter.
(2) Authority for expansion of scope
The Commissioner may expand the scope of any such experiment or demonstration project to include any group of applicants for benefits under the program established under this subchapter with impairments that reasonably may be presumed to be disabling for purposes of such demonstration project, and may limit any such demonstration project to any such group of applicants, subject to the terms of such demonstration project which shall define the extent of any such presumption.
(b) Requirements
The experiments and demonstration projects developed under subsection (a) of this section shall be of sufficient scope and shall be carried out on a wide enough scale to permit a thorough evaluation of the alternative methods under consideration while giving assurance that the results derived from the experiments and projects will obtain generally in the operation of the disability insurance program under this subchapter without committing such program to the adoption of any particular system either locally or nationally.
(c) Authority to waive compliance with benefits requirements
In the case of any experiment or demonstration project initiated under subsection (a) of this section on or before December 17, 2005, the Commissioner may waive compliance with the benefit requirements of this subchapter and the requirements of section 1320b–19 of this title as they relate to the program established under this subchapter, and the Secretary may (upon the request of the Commissioner) waive compliance with the benefits requirements of subchapter XVIII of this chapter, insofar as is necessary for a thorough evaluation of the alternative methods under consideration. No such experiment or project shall be actually placed in operation unless at least 90 days prior thereto a written report, prepared for purposes of notification and information only and containing a full and complete description thereof, has been transmitted by the Commissioner to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Finance of the Senate. Periodic reports on the progress of such experiments and demonstration projects shall be submitted by the Commissioner to such committees. When appropriate, such reports shall include detailed recommendations for changes in administration or law, or both, to carry out the objectives stated in subsection (a) of this section.
(d) Reports
(1) Interim reports
On or before June 9 of each year, the Commissioner shall submit to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Finance of the Senate an annual interim report on the progress of the experiments and demonstration projects carried out under this subsection  [1] together with any related data and materials that the Commissioner may consider appropriate.
(2) Termination and final report
The authority to initiate projects under the preceding provisions of this section shall terminate on December 18, 2005. Not later than 90 days after the termination of any experiment or demonstration project carried out under this section, the Commissioner shall submit to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Finance of the Senate a final report with respect to that experiment or demonstration project.


[1]  So in original. Probably should be “section”.

Source

(Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, title II, § 234, as added Pub. L. 106–170, title III, § 301(a),Dec. 17, 1999, 113 Stat. 1900; amended Pub. L. 108–203, title IV, § 401,Mar. 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 525.)
Amendments

2004—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108–203, § 401(1), substituted “initiated under subsection (a) of this section on or before December 17, 2005” for “conducted under subsection (a) of this section”.
Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 108–203, § 401(2), substituted “The authority to initiate projects under the preceding provisions of this section shall terminate on December 18, 2005.” for “The authority under the preceding provisions of this section (including any waiver granted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section) shall terminate 5 years after December 17, 1999.”
Demonstration Projects Providing for Reductions in Disability Insurance Benefits Based on Earnings

Pub. L. 106–170, title III, § 302,Dec. 17, 1999, 113 Stat. 1902, as amended by Pub. L. 108–203, title IV, §§ 402, 403,Mar. 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 525, provided that:
“(a) Authority.—The Commissioner of Social Security shall conduct demonstration projects for the purpose of evaluating, through the collection of data, a program for title II disability beneficiaries (as defined in section 1148(k)(3) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1320b–19 (k)(3)]) under which benefits payable under section 223 of such Act [42 U.S.C. 423], or under section 202 of such Act [42 U.S.C. 402] based on the beneficiary’s disability, are reduced by $1 for each $2 of the beneficiary’s earnings that is above a level to be determined by the Commissioner. Such projects shall be conducted at a number of localities which the Commissioner shall determine is sufficient to adequately evaluate the appropriateness of national implementation of such a program. Such projects shall identify reductions in Federal expenditures that may result from the permanent implementation of such a program.
“(b) Scope and Scale and Matters To Be Determined.—
“(1) In general.—The demonstration projects developed under subsection (a) shall be of sufficient duration, shall be of sufficient scope, and shall be carried out on a wide enough scale to permit a thorough evaluation of the project to determine—
“(A) the effects, if any, of induced entry into the project and reduced exit from the project;
“(B) the extent, if any, to which the project being tested is affected by whether it is in operation in a locality within an area under the administration of the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program established under section 1148 of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1320b–19]; and
“(C) the savings that accrue to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, and other Federal programs under the project being tested.
The Commissioner shall take into account advice provided by the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel pursuant to section 101(f)(2)(B)(ii) of this Act [set out as a note under section 1320b–19 of this title].
“(2) Additional matters.—The Commissioner shall also determine with respect to each project—
“(A) the annual cost (including net cost) of the project and the annual cost (including net cost) that would have been incurred in the absence of the project;
“(B) the determinants of return to work, including the characteristics of the beneficiaries who participate in the project; and
“(C) the employment outcomes, including wages, occupations, benefits, and hours worked, of beneficiaries who return to work as a result of participation in the project.
The Commissioner may include within the matters evaluated under the project the merits of trial work periods and periods of extended eligibility.
“(c) Waivers.—The Commissioner may waive compliance with the benefit provisions of title II of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.) and the requirements of section 1148 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1320b–19) as they relate to the program established under title II of such Act, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services may waive compliance with the benefit requirements of title XVIII of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.), insofar as is necessary for a thorough evaluation of the alternative methods under consideration. No such project shall be actually placed in operation unless at least 90 days prior thereto a written report, prepared for purposes of notification and information only and containing a full and complete description thereof, has been transmitted by the Commissioner to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Finance of the Senate. Periodic reports on the progress of such projects shall be submitted by the Commissioner to such committees. When appropriate, such reports shall include detailed recommendations for changes in administration or law, or both, to carry out the objectives stated in subsection (a).
“(d) Interim Reports.—Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 17, 1999], and annually thereafter, the Commissioner of Social Security shall submit to the Congress an interim report on the progress of the demonstration projects carried out under this subsection together with any related data and materials that the Commissioner of Social Security may consider appropriate.
“(e) Final Report.—The Commissioner of Social Security shall submit to the Congress a final report with respect to all demonstration projects carried out under this section not later than 1 year after their completion.
“(f) Expenditures.—Administrative expenses for demonstration projects under this section shall be paid from funds available for the administration of title II or XVIII of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 401 et seq., 1395 et seq.], as appropriate. Benefits payable to or on behalf of individuals by reason of participation in projects under this section shall be made from the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, as determined appropriate by the Commissioner of Social Security, and from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund, as determined appropriate by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, from funds available for benefits under such title II or XVIII.”
Study by General Accounting Office of the Impact of the Substantial Gainful Activity Limit on Return to Work

Pub. L. 106–170, title III, § 303(c),Dec. 17, 1999, 113 Stat. 1904, provided that, as soon as practicable after Dec. 17, 1999, the Comptroller General was to undertake a study of the substantial gainful activity level applicable as of that date to recipients of benefits under sections 402 and 423 of this title and the effect of such level as a disincentive for those recipients to return to work, to address the merits of increasing the substantial gainful activity level applicable to recipients and the rationale for not yearly indexing that level to inflation, and not later than 2 years after Dec. 17, 1999, to transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a written report presenting the results of the Comptroller General’s study conducted pursuant to this subsection and appropriate recommendations for legislative or administrative changes.
Study by the Government Accountability Office of Social Security Administration’s Disability Insurance Program Demonstration Authority

Pub. L. 106–170, title III, § 303(e),Dec. 17, 1999, 113 Stat. 1905, provided that, as soon as practicable after Dec. 17, 1999, the Comptroller General of the United States was to undertake a study to assess the results of the Social Security Administration’s efforts to conduct disability demonstrations authorized under prior law as well as under 42 U.S.C. 434 and, not later than 5 years after Dec. 17, 1999, to transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a written report presenting the results of the Comptroller General’s study conducted pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 434 and a recommendation as to whether the demonstration authority authorized under 42 U.S.C. 434 should be made permanent.

 

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