Social Security changes & PWD (fwd)
fpennell at u.washington.edu
Wed Oct 30 13:44:20 PST 1996
Here is some information about changes in social security benefits brought
about by the Welfare Reform Act.
Frances E. Pennell
Policy & Funding Specialist
Washington Assistive Technology Alliance
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 30 Oct 96 16:22:44 EST
From: Jamal Mazrui <74444.1076 at CompuServe.COM>
To: BlindCopyReceiver: ;
Subject: Social Security changes & PWD
In the past year, Congress made significant changes to Social
Security benefit programs through welfare reform, immigration
reform, and other legislation. Since the incomes of many
families with disabilities will be affected, I am helping to
distribute information that answers common questions. This
document is a compilation of material about changes in benefits
for immigrants, children, substance abusers, and others with
National Council on Disability
Email: 74444.1076 at compuserve.com
MS. COLVIN'S OCTOBER 10, 1996 STATEMENT ON SSI AND WELFARE
REFORM IMPLEMENTATION BEFORE THE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE,
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE.
Madam Chairman and Members of the Committee:
I am Carolyn Colvin, Deputy Commissioner for Programs and
Policy of the Social Security Administration. I am pleased
to be in California to address your Committee on issues relating
to noncitizens and disabled children in the recently enacted
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation
Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193). I am accompanied by Mr.
Peter D. Spencer, San Francisco Assistant Regional Commissioner,
Management and Operations Support.
Since the function of the Office of Programs and Policy is
to direct the formulation of overall SSA policy, I am charged
with overseeing the implementation of all of the provisions
in P.L 104-193 that affect the Social Security--retirement,
survivors, and disability insurance--and the Supplemental
Security Income (SSI) programs. Today, my testimony will
focus on the effects of the new law on SSI benefits for noncitizens
and disabled children and how SSA plans to carry it out.
I understand that you are also interested in having some information
about our efforts to implement provisions that require the
removal of substance abusers from SSI rolls. Let me emphasize
that SSA is committed to implementing all these changes in
as humane a way as possible. I will begin with the noncitizen
At the outset, I would like to clarify the inter-relationship
of the eligibility changes brought about by the welfare reform
bill and those contained in the immigration reform bill.
The potential conflict in provisions in these two bills was
resolved when the Congress essentially removed the eligibility
provisions from the immigration bill and made amendments to
the welfare reform bill in certain areas. Later in my statement
I will point out what those changes affect.
SSI Benefit Eligibility
The SSI provisions in the welfare reform bill will have a
major effect on noncitizens by making many of them ineligible
for SSI. The only noncitizens, other than U.S. nationals,
who remain eligible are:
Refugees (eligibility limited to the 5-year period after
their arrival in the United States);
Asylees (eligibility limited to the 5-year period after
the date they are granted asylum);
Aliens who have had deportation withheld under section
243(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (eligibility
limited to the 5-year period after the date their deportations
Certain active duty Armed Forces personnel, honorably
discharged veterans, and their spouses and dependent children;
Lawful permanent residents (LPR) can be credited with
40 quarters of coverage. In addition, an LPR would be
credited with all quarters of coverage earned by his or
her parent in the period before the LPR attained age 18
and all quarters of coverage earned by his or her spouse
during their marriage provided that they are still married
or the marriage ended due to the spouse's death. After
December 1996, a quarter of coverage (either earned or
credited) would not count toward the 40-quarter requirement
if the LPR received public assistance benefits during the
period in which the quarter is credited. This provision
has no effect on the insured status requirements for Social
Security benefit eligibility.
Amendments made by the immigration law added to the definition
of "qualified alien" noncitizens who were battered spouses
or battered children. However, for SSI eligibility this change
would affect only military personnel, veterans, and their
family members who would not fall into one of the other categories
designated in the preceding paragraph as "qualified aliens."
With regard to noncitizens on the SSI rolls when the new law
was enacted (August 22, 1996), SSA is required to notify all
such noncitizens who may be affected by March 31, 1997, and
to redetermine their eligibility by August 22, 1997. These
redeterminations will be done using the new noncitizen eligibility
criteria, and if a noncitizen does not meet the new criteria,
his or her eligibility will end. I will discuss how we plan
to implement these requirements later in my statement.
Under pre-welfare reform law, amounts of an immigration sponsor's
income and resources remaining after specified amounts allocated
for the sponsors' family members are considered to be the
sponsored noncitizen's for a period of 3 years after the noncitizen
enters the country as a lawful permanent resident. This is
known as sponsor-to-immigrant deeming. Also under prior law,
sponsor-to-immigrant deeming did not apply in cases in which
the immigrant became blind or disabled after entering the
The new law requires that sponsor-to-immigrant deeming apply
until the noncitizen either becomes a U.S. citizen or the
noncitizen, spouse, or parent of the noncitizen (in the period
before the noncitizen attained age 18) is credited with 40
quarters of coverage. Unlike the previous deeming provision,
no allocations of the sponsor's income and resources are set
aside for the sponsor's use, and there is no exception for
individuals who become disabled after entry.
In addition to the "40 quarters" exception from sponsor-to-
immigrant deeming provided for under welfare reform, the recently
enacted immigration reform law exempts noncitizens whose income
from all sources (including the sponsor) is not sufficient,
in the absence of a cash assistance payment, to meet their
need for food and shelter, and noncitizens who were battered
spouses or battered children.
Although the deeming restrictions are much tighter than under
prior law, its effects on the SSI program will be relatively
insignificant since the most noncitizens to whom sponsor-to-
immigrant deeming applies--lawful permanent residents--will
not meet the new eligibility criteria. In effect, the new
deeming rules will come into play primarily in cases involving
sponsored noncitizen military personnel, veterans, and their
families who do not meet the "40 quarter" exception.
Most of these new provisions are effective for immigrants
who enter the country under new legally enforceable affidavits
of support also required by the new law. I understand that
the new legally enforceable affidavits will be used by INS
beginning in either February or March next year. Immigrants
in the country before then would continue to be covered by
the 3-year SSI sponsor-to-immigrant deeming rules.
Effects of the SSI Provisions
Perhaps some numbers will give you an idea of the scope of
the new law and its effect on noncitizens:
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 81,000
noncitizens would be cut from the SSI rolls by October 1,
1997, and 493,000 noncitizens would lose SSI by October
1, 1998. By the end of fiscal year 2002, the SSI baseline
caseload will have been reduced by 501,000 because of the
noncitizen provisions in the new law.
CBO also estimates that the bill would result in Federal savings
of $375 million in fiscal year (FY) 1997, $2.4 billion in
FY 1998, and $2.7 billion in FY 2002. The 7-year SSI program
savings (1996-2002) would be $13.275 billion.
Fully four-fifths of the lawful permanent residents currently
receiving SSI are at risk of losing their eligibility.
Less than 20 percent of lawful permanent residents on the
rolls might remain eligible because they meet the exception
for military personnel/veterans or by having 40 quarters
More than one-third of the total number of noncitizens affected
by the bill live in California.
Social Security Benefit Eligibility
I would like to take a moment to describe a provision in the
new law that does not affect SSI, but affects Social Security
benefits. Beginning with applications for retirement, survivors,
and disability insurance benefits filed in September 1996,
no Social Security benefits will be paid to any noncitizen
in the United States who the Attorney General determines is
not lawfully present. I mention this provision in the context
of the discussion of the SSI program because it means that
persons not lawfully present in the United States will no
longer have either the safety-net SSI or the social insurance
Social Security programs as a source of income.
NONCITIZEN IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY
In planning for carrying out the new law, SSA has put together
a team made up of representatives from nearly every SSA component.
The team has been meeting since August 1995 and has devoted
innumerable hours to policy and operational issues involved
with the noncitizen provisions. Although Commissioner Chater
has not made final decisions on all of the proposals in the
team's implementation plan, I can tell you generally how SSA
intends to proceed.
The first task that we face in implementing the new law is
to identify those SSI recipients who are to be made ineligible
by the legislation and to notify them of the new SSI eligibility
provisions before March 31, 1997, as required. We then must
obtain evidence of their current citizenship/alien status
and if they are noncitizens that do not meet the new criteria,
end their benefits by the statutory deadline of September
We plan to notify individuals on a staggered basis in February
and March 1997. The reason for the staggering is that SSA
district offices will be heavily impacted by the workloads
associated with the notices. As of August 1996, we estimate
that of the total 1.1 million notices that will be sent nationwide,
391,690 such notices will be sent to SSI beneficiaries in
California. It is likely that these numbers will be reduced
somewhat by our pending records' match with INS, and if feasible,
through screening with SSA's earnings data.
Individuals who provide evidence that enables us to determine
that they meet the new eligibility criteria will continue
to receive benefits beyond August, 1997.
Under our long-standing due-process rules, individuals who
do not meet the new criteria or those who do not respond to
our requests to provide information on their citizenship/alien
status will receive a notice of planned action before their
benefits stop. This notice will tell them why their benefits
are being stopped and advise them of their appeal rights.
If an individual requests appeal within 10 days of receipt
of the second notice, benefits will be continued until a decision
is made at the initial level of appeal. Although benefit continuation
applies only if the individual files an appeal within 10 days,
he or she may appeal the determination at anytime within 60
days after receipt of the notice.
The decision to stop an individual's benefits will be treated
as a suspension of eligibility rather than a termination.
This treatment will permit us to reinstate the individual's
eligibility if, within 12 months of our decision, he or she
becomes naturalized. The reinstatement would be effective
with the date of naturalization. This decision illustrates
SSA's commitment to implementing these changes in a way that
is fair and causes as little stress as possible.
CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
The same commitment applies to our efforts to implement the
changes in eligibility rules for children, and I would like,
now, to turn to that subject.
You have asked also for information about the magnitude and
timing of the welfare reform changes to the SSI program for
children with disabilities.
The new law makes changes to the childhood disability program
by requiring that children meet more stringent criteria to
be found disabled and thereby qualify for SSI. These new criteria
change the definition of disability, change the way we consider
maladaptive behaviors in evaluating mental disorders, and
discontinue the individualized functional assessment established
following a 1990 Supreme Court ruling.
As a result of these changes, which became effective August
22, 1996, some children may no longer be considered disabled.
The law requires us to review the cases of certain children
who are now eligible for SSI to see if they are disabled under
the new definition of disability. Children who are currently
receiving SSI and do not meet the new criteria will not lose
benefits before July 1, 1997.
SSA is required to notify all children potentially affected
by the changes in the criteria by January 1, 1997. Notices
will be sent to about 300,000 children nationwide telling
them that we may look at their cases. There are approximately
78,000 children in the State of California who are currently
receiving SSI. About 17,000 of them will have their cases
reevaluated under the new criteria. Before we conduct a review,
we will request the child's representative payee to provide
information about the child's condition. Any child whom we
determine is not disabled based on the new law will be able
to appeal this decision. The appeal will include an opportunity
for a face-to-face interview with a decisionmaker and a hearing
before an administrative law judge. Again, in accordance with
due-process requirements, benefits will continue at least
through the face-to-face interview.
In addition to the changes that require children to meet the
more stringent criteria to qualify for SSI childhood disability,
the new law also places restrictions on how certain, large
retroactive payments to these children may be used.
There is another important task that SSA is currently in the
midst of. It involves implementing legislation that prohibits
payment of disability benefits to individuals who are disabled
because of drug addiction or alcoholism. Although not mentioned
in your letter of invitation, I understand that there is some
interest in our efforts in this area.
The Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996, enacted
March 29, 1996, prohibits SSI disability benefits to individuals
whose drug addiction or alcoholism is material to the finding
of disability. "Material" means that an individual would
not be disabled if drug or alcohol use were to stop. This
change became effective for persons who apply for benefits
on or after March 29, 1996.
On January 1, 1997, benefits will stop for those individuals
who were receiving benefits based on drug addiction or alcoholism
before the legislation was enacted. All of these beneficiaries
have been notified and given an opportunity to request a new
medical determination to see if they are disabled based on
a medical impairment other than drug or alcohol addiction;
if so benefits will continue. Also, SSI recipients who requested
an appeal of their benefit termination within 10 days after
receiving their notice can qualify for benefit continuation
through the date of the appeal decision.
Nationally, about 207,000 beneficiaries were notified about
how these new provisions will affect them. In California,
over 44,000 beneficiaries were sent notices and more than
27,000 beneficiaries have responded, the highest numbers of
any State. To accommodate this workload, SSA has committed
significant resources both nationally and in California--much
of it to the State disability determination services--to process
medical redetermination requests.
Our most recent data indicate that decisions have been made
on about 20 percent of the medical redeterminations pending
nationally. Of those cases, we have found that slightly less
than half of the beneficiaries are disabled due to another
impairment, with the rate in California a little lower than
the national average. However, we caution against drawing
any conclusion from these numbers since it is still early
in the process.
I want to emphasize that DAA beneficiaries who request a medical
redetermination and are found to be disabled based on another
impairment, will not be removed from the disability rolls.
I want to assure you that SSA is doing everything in its power
to implement these changes certainly within the context of
the law but, more importantly, with compassion, fairness,
and in a manner that causes as little stress as possible to
those affected. We will do everything possible to assure
that individual's rights are protected because we recognize
that these changes affect some of the poorest and most vulnerable
members of our society.
I would be glad to answer any questions that the Committee
may have concerning my statement.
ANew Definition Of Disability For Children
On August 22, 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Reconciliation Act of 1996 changed the definition of disability
for children under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The new definition of disability for children:
requires a child to have a physical or mental condition
or conditions that can be medically proven and which result
in marked and severe functional limitations;
requires that the medically proven physical or mental condition
or conditions must last or be expected to last at least
12 months or be expected to result in death;
says that a child may not be considered disabled if he or
she is working at a job that we consider to be substantial
The new law also changes the way we consider certain behavior
problems caused by a child's condition or conditions.
Some Children Who Are Now Eligible May Be Affected
Because of these changes, we may no longer consider some children
disabled. The law requires us to review the cases of certain
children who are now eligible for SSI to see if they are disabled
under the new definition of disability for children.
What We Will Do
We will send letters to the representative payees for these
children before January 1, 1997, telling them that we expect
to review their cases.
Before the review starts, we will contact each child's representative
payee for information about the child's condition.
After we review the case, we may decide that the child is
still disabled, or we may decide that he or she is not
disabled because of the new law. If we find the child is
not disabled because of the new law, we will stop the child's
SSI. SSI will not stop before July 1, 1997, as long as
the child meets all other eligibility rules.
When we make our decision, we will send another notice
to explain it. That letter will also explain the right
to appeal the decision and will discuss continuation of
benefits during the appeal.
If a child is getting Medicaid based on SSI, Medicaid should
continue as long as he or she gets SSI. Even after SSI ends
some children can qualify for Medicaid under state programs.
The Law Requires Us To Do Continuing Disability Reviews To
Determine Whether Or Not The Child Is Still Disabled
The continuing disability reviews (CDRs) must be done at least
every three years for recipients under age 18 whose conditions
are likely to improve; and The CDRs must be done not later
than 12 months after birth for babies whose disability is
based on their low birth weight. We also may do CDRs for recipients
under age 18 whose conditions are not likely to improve.
Representative Payees Must Provide Evidence Of Treatment
At the time we do a CDR, the representative payee must present
evidence that the child is and has been receiving treatment
considered medically necessary and available for his or her
disabling condition. This is true in every case unless we
determine that requiring such evidence would be inappropriate
or unnecessary. If the child's representative payee refuses
without good cause to provide such evidence when requested,
we will suspend payment of benefits to the representative
payee and select another representative payee if it is in
the best interest of the child. Or we may pay the child directly,
if he or she is old enough.
These rules apply to benefits for months beginning on or after
the date of the enactment of the new law.
The Law Requires A Disability Redetermination At Age 18
Any individual who was eligible as a child in the month before
he or she attained age 18 must have his or her eligibility
redetermined. The redetermination will be done during the
one year period beginning on the individual's 18th birthday.
We will use the rules for adults filing new claims to do the
Important Note About Children In Certain Medical Care Facilities
In addition to the new definition of disability, the new law
affects children under age 18 who live, throughout an entire
calendar month, in certain institutions where a private health
insurance pays for their care. The monthly SSI payment for
these children will be limited to $30. Previously, the $30
SSI payment limit applied only when Medicaid paid more than
one half of the cost of their care.
For More Information
You can get more information 24 hours a day by calling Social
Security's toll-free telephone number 1-800-772-1213. If you
want to speak to a representative, you should call between
the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Our
lines are busiest early in the week and early in the month,
so it's best to call at other times. Please have your Social
Security number handy when you call. Our representatives can
give you the address and telephone number of your local Social
Security office if you would like to visit the office.
If you have a touch-tone phone, recorded information and services
are available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our toll-free
"TTY" number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on
Monday through Friday.
The Social Security Administration treats all calls confidentially-
-whether they're made to our toll-free numbers or to one of
our offices. We also want to be sure that you receive accurate
and courteous service. That is why we have a second Social
Security representative monitor some incoming and outgoing
Social Security information is also available on the Internet
Social Security Administration
SSA Publication No. 05-11053
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION LETTER SENT TO ADVOCACY GROUPS,
OCTOBER 24, 1996
DESCRIBING NEW ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND TIMEFRAMES FOR
On August 22, 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Reconciliation Act of 1996 was signed. This law contains
several provisions affecting the payment of Supplemental Security
Income (SSI) benefits to noncitizens. The Administration
is committed to working to ensure the new law is implemented
in a manner that fully protects the rights of those affected.
These provisions affect noncitizens who are currently receiving
SSI benefits, as well as noncitizens who may apply for benefits
in the future. We want to inform you of our plans for implementing
the major provisions of the law so you are equipped to provide
help to any legal immigrants with whom your groups works.
The new law prohibits payment of SSI to many noncitizens.
The law is effective upon enactment for noncitizens applying
for SSI benefits after August 22, 1996. For those currently
receiving SSI benefits, their benefits will continue until
we have reviewed their case, which will occur next Spring
and Summer. Only the following noncitizens remain eligible
Refugees, asylees and noncitizens whose deportation has
been withheld (subject to 5-year eligibility limit).
Certain active duty Armed Forces personnel and honorably
discharged veterans. Their spouses/children also may
Lawfully admitted aliens who have 40 qualifying work
quarters (quarters earned by spouse/parents may also count).
It would be helpful if you would inform your constituents
who are immigrants about the new law. In particular, to
avoid alarming SSI beneficiaries that their benefits will
terminate immediately under the new law, you can assist us
in informing noncitizens currently receiving SSI that their
benefits will not be stopped until the following steps have
They receive a notice (sometime in February or March 1997)
from the Social Security Administration (SSA) telling
them we will be reviewing their citizenship or immigration
status and they have 90 days to respond.
After the 90-day-period, if they are not in one of the eligibility
categories, they will receive another letter from
SSA telling them when their benefits will be stopped.
This letter will explain how they can appeal the decision
and how they can have their benefits continued
during their appeal.
Ageneral informational fact sheet describing how the new
law affects noncitizens is enclosed.
Supplemental Security Income For Noncitizens
New laws change the way we pay Supplemental Security Income
(SSI) benefits to noncitizens. The new laws apply to
people who are already receiving SSI benefits and to people
who are applying for benefits.
What The Laws Say
Under the new laws, only United States (U.S.) citizens and
nationals and certain noncitizens can get SSI benefits.
Who may get SSI on or after August 22, 1996?
Citizens or nationals of the U.S.
Noncitizens who were already getting SSI on August
22, 1996, may continue to get benefits until we review
their case (see "When Will Your Benefits Stop?" on the
back of this factsheet).
Noncitizens who have been lawfully admitted to the U.S.
for permanent residence and have a total of 40 qualifying
Work credits earned by your spouse or parent may also
count toward the 40 credits. (These work credits count
for SSI eligibility, but not for Social Security benefit
Work credits earned after December 31, 1996, cannot be
counted if the noncitizen, spouse, or parent received
certain types of federally funded benefits based on
limited income and resources during that period.
Certain noncitizens who are active duty members, or who
are honorably discharged veterans, of the U.S. Armed Forces,
their spouses, and unmarried dependent children.
Certain other noncitizens may be eligible for five years
the date of admission as a refugee under Section 207
of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);
the date granted asylum under Section 208 of the INA;
the date deportation is withheld under Section 243(h)
of the INA.
Your local Social Security office can tell you whether you
Proof Of Your Status Is Required
If you file a new application for SSI benefits, you must
give us proof of your U.S. citizenship or noncitizen
status. Noncitizens who have served in the U.S. Armed
Forces may also need to give us proof of military service.
Although procedures have not been finalized, here are some
examples of the kind of information you may need to
As proof of citizenship a U.S. birth certificate, passport,
or naturalization certificate;
As proof of your noncitizen status an unexpired Form I-
94 or I-551 from the Immigration and Naturalization Service
As proof of military service U.S. military discharge
papers (DD Form 214) showing honorable discharge not based
on your noncitizen status.
If you were receiving SSI as of August 22, 1996, you may
also need to give us proof of citizenship or noncitizen
When Will Your Benefits Stop?
For noncitizens who are getting SSI as of August 22, 1996,
the new law requires that we look at your case within 12
months to make sure that you are eligible under the new law.
During February and March 1997, we will send you a letter
telling you about the law and what you have to do to prove
that you are in one of the eligibility categories. If you
are unable to prove that you are in one of the eligibility
categories, we will send you a second letter telling you
when your SSI benefits will stop.
If you can receive SSI benefits for only five years because
of your particular noncitizen status, we will send you a
letter telling you when the five-year period ends. We will
also send you a letter before we stop your benefits.
When we send you a letter about stopping your benefits, we
will tell you how to appeal our decision and how to have
your benefits continued during your appeal.
Information About Medicaid
If you are getting Medicaid based on your SSI, your
Medicaid should continue as long as you are eligible for
SSI. If we find that you are not eligible for SSI under the
new law, the letter we send you about that decision will
tell you more about your Medicaid.
You Can File A New Claim
If your SSI benefits stop because you are not an eligible
noncitizen, you can apply again. Contact us right away if
you become a U.S. citizen, your immigration status changes
and you become an eligible noncitizen, or you have gained
40 qualifying work credits (because of your work and/or
that of a spouse or parent). You will need to provide your
naturalization certificate or other documents that show
your immigration status.
If You Have A Sponsor
When you entered the U.S., you may have had someone sign an
agreement to provide support for you. This agreement is
called an affidavit of support and the person who signed it
is called your sponsor.
If you have a sponsor, we generally will count his or her
income and resources (and his/her spouse's) as your income
and resources for a certain period of years from the time
you arrive in the U.S.
Your local Social Security office can give you more
information about these rules and how they apply in your
Becoming A Citizen
You can get more information about becoming a citizen by
writing or visiting a local Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) office or call 1-800-870-3676 to get an
application for naturalization (N-400 Form).
For More Information About SSI
You can get more information 24 hours a day by calling
Social Security's toll-free telephone number 1-800-
772-1213. If you want to speak to a representative,
you should call between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on
Monday through Friday. Our lines are busiest early in the
week and early in the month, so it's best to call at other
times. Please have your Social Security number handy when
you call. Our representatives can give you the address and
telephone number of your local Social Security office if
you would like to visit the office.
If you have a touch-tone phone, recorded information and
services are available 24 hours a day, including weekends
and holidays. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may
call our toll-free "TTY" number, 1-800-325-0778 between 7
a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
The Social Security Administration treats all calls
confidentially whether they're made to our toll-free
numbers or to one of our offices. We also want to be sure
that you receive accurate and courteous service. That is
why we have a second Social Security representative monitor
some incoming and outgoing telephone calls.
Cost-of-Living Adjustment and Wage-Indexed Amounts for 1997
Payments from Social Security's Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability
Insurance (OASDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
programs are affected by automatic cost-of-living adjustments.
In addition, certain other parameters affecting the OASDI
program are indexed by increases in national average wages.
This document provides information concerning the following
automatic increases that were determined in October 1996.
A 2.9 percent COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT (COLA) in OASDI
BENEFITS and in Federal maximum SSI MONTHLY PAYMENT AMOUNTS
The NATIONAL AVERAGE WAGE INDEX for 1995 is $24,705.66
The OASDI CONTRIBUTION AND BENEFIT BASE is $65,400 for remuneration
paid in 1997 and self-employment income earned in taxable
years beginning in 1997
The annual exempt amounts under the OASDI program's RETIREMENT
EARNINGS TEST for taxable years ending in calendar year
1997 is $8,640 for beneficiaries under age 65 and, as specified
by new legislation, $13,500 for beneficiaries age 65 through
The dollar amounts used in the FORMULA FOR COMPUTING THE
PRIMARY INSURANCE AMOUNT (the basis for benefits) for workers
who become eligible for benefits in 1997 are $455 and $2,
The dollar amounts used in the FORMULA FOR COMPUTING MAXIMUM
FAMILY BENEFITS are $581, $839, and $1,094
The amount of earnings a person must have to be credited
with a QUARTER OF COVERAGE in 1997 is $670
The "OLD-LAW" CONTRIBUTION AND BENEFIT BASE is $48,600 for
The DOMESTIC WORKER COVERAGE THRESHOLD is $1,000 for 1997
The SUBSTANTIAL GAINFUL ACTIVITY amount for statutorily
blind beneficiaries is $1,000 per month in 1997
A table of automatic cost-of-living adjustments (benefit increases),
average wages, and certain wage-indexed OASDI program amounts
for years after 1984 provides a partial history of the PRINCIPAL
AUTOMATIC ADJUSTMENT PARAMETERS that affect both income to,
and benefits paid from, the OASDI Trust Funds.
More information about the Wash-at