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Congressional Updates Archive

Two House Ways and Means Hearings

The House Ways and Means Committee held two hearings on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.  In the morning, the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee held a hearing entitled “Determining Eligibility for Disability Benefits: Challenges Facing the Social Security Administration,” which focused on SSA’s plan to reduce the hearing backlog and claimant wait times, other efforts to modernize and improve the disability determination process, and tools available to expedite decisions for those with certain severe conditions.  The hearing advisory has more detailed information.  Then, on Wednesday afternoon, the House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee held a hearing entitled “Missing from the Labor Force: Examining Declining Employment among Working-Age Men,” which examined the steady decline of men participating in the labor force and the impact it has on our society, the economy, and individual and family well-being.  The hearing advisory has more detailed information. 

SOCIAL SECURITY SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON SOCIAL SECURITY’S SOLVENCY CHALLENGE

House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) announced today that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled “Social Security’s Solvency Challenge: Status of the Social Security Trust Funds” on Friday, July 14, at 10:00 AM in room 2020 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  At the hearing, Members will discuss the status of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Federal Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds and the effects of delaying action to address Social Security’s future insolvency.  The hearing advisory has more detailed information.  We anticipate that the hearing will be livestreamed at https://waysandmeans.house.gov/live/.

SOCIAL SECURITY SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON STOPPING DISABILITY FRAUD

House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) announced on April 19, 2017 that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing, entitled “Stopping Disability Fraud: Risk, Prevention, and Detection,” on Wednesday, April 26, at 10:00 AM in room 2020 of the Rayburn House Office Building. At the hearing, Members will discuss the status of the Social Security Administration’s efforts to prevent disability fraud after several high-profile multi-million-dollar fraud schemes. On the day of the hearing, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) will release a new report to update Members on the SSA’s efforts to fight disability fraud. The hearing advisory has more detailed information. Watch the hearing livestream at https://waysandmeans.house.gov/live/.

SOCIAL SECURITY SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON REPRESENTATIVE PAYEES

House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) are holding a two-part joint hearing series on Social Security’s representative payee program, which helps certain individuals manage their benefits if the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines that they need assistance. The first hearing in the series, entitled “Examining the Social Security Administration’s Representative Payee Program: Determining Who Needs Help,” was on Tuesday, February 7, at 10:00 AM. At the hearing, Members examined how the SSA determines when an individual needs a representative payee to manage benefit payments on their behalf. They also discussed the NICS provision that would place certain recipients of Social Security benefits on a “no buy” list for guns. Invited Witnesses were Marianna LaCanfora, Acting Deputy Commissioner, Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Social Security Administration; Dr. Paul Appelbaum, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine & Law, Columbia University Testimony; Lindsay Nichols, Senior Attorney, The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence/Americans for Responsible Solutions; Gale Stallworth Stone Acting Inspector General, Social Security Administration.

A replay of the hearing is available at https://waysandmeans.house.gov/live/. The second hearing in this series, entitled “Examining the Social Security Administration’s Representative Payee Program: Who Provides Help,” will be held on Wednesday, March 22 in 1100 Longworth House Office Building at 10:00 AM.  This hearing will focus on how SSA selects and monitors those serving as representative payees.    

Social Security Subcommittee Hearing on SSA and CBO Solvency Projections   

On Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 10am, in Room B-318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the differences between economic projections in SSA’s Trustees’ Report and reports issued by the Congressional Budget Office. The hearing advisory has additional information. A livestream of the hearing is available at http://waysandmeans.house.gov/event/hearing-understanding-social-securitys-solvency-challenge/ and a recording of the hearing should be available at the committee’s YouTube page

Social Security Subcommittee Hearing on SSA’s Information Technology  

On Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 10am, in Room B-318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on modernizing SSA’s information technology infrastructure. The hearing advisory has additional information. A recording of the hearing can be viewed live at http://waysandmeans.house.gov/event/hearing-modernizing-social-securitys-information-technology-infrastructure/

Social Security Subcommittee Hearing on SSA Trustees’ Report  

On Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 2pm, in Room B-318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on SSA’s annual trustees’ report. The hearing advisory has more information. A livestream and recording of the event should be posted at the committee’s YouTube page.

Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing on SSA’s Information Systems 

On Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 9am, in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on SSA’s information technology systems. Witnesses should be posted on the hearing advisory page when they are announced. A livestream and recording of the event should be posted at the committee’s YouTube page.

Full House Ways and Means Committee Hearing on “Moving America’s Families Forward” 

On Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 10am, in Room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on “setting priorities for reducing poverty and expanding opportunity.”  It is possible that SSDI and/or SSI will be discussed. Witnesses should be posted on the hearing advisory page when they are announced. A recording of the event should be posted at the committee’s YouTube page.

Social Security Subcommittee Hearing about Preventing Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

On Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 10am, in Room B-318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the House Ways and Means Committee Social Security Subcommittee held a hearing on “protecting Social Security from Waste, Fraud, and Abuse.” The only witness was SSA’s Inspector General, Patrick P. O’Carroll. The hearing advisory page has additional information. An archive of the event should be posted at the committee’s YouTube page.

Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Hearing about Due Process in Social Security Hearings

On Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 9m, in Room 342 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a hearing on “the independence of federal agency judges and the due process afforded to individuals appearing before them.” A central focus of the hearing was SSA’s hearing backlog reduction plan, known as CARES, particularly the proposal to have AAJs rather than ALJs conduct certain hearings. Scheduled witnesses include Deputy Commissioner of ODAR Theresa Gruber, ALJ Marilyn Zahm, and Joseph Kennedy of the Office of Management and Budget. The hearing advisory page should also feature a live stream of the event or information about where it can be viewed.

Senate Finance Committee Hearing about Renomination of Public Trustees 

On Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 3pm, in Room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the Senate Finance Committee discussed the renomination of Charles Blahous III and Robert Reischauer as public trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. The hearing advisory page also features a live stream of the event.

House Social Security Subcommittee Hearing about Social Security and Public Servants 

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 10am, in Room B-318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing entitled “Social Security and Public Servants: Ensuring Equal Treatment.” The hearing advisory notes that the focus will be on Social Security provisions that affect certain public employees, as well as proposals for calculating public employees’ benefits in a proportional manner. The witnesses have not yet been announced. The hearing was live streamed here.

Senate Finance Committee Hearing about Nomination for Deputy Commissioner of SSA 

On Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 10am, in Room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing regarding the nomination of Andrew LaMont Eanes as Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. Several other nominations for non-SSA positions were also discussed.  The hearing advisory and a live stream of the hearing were available here.

Joint Economic Committee Hearing about Ensuring Success for SSDI

On Wednesday, November 4 2015 at 2:30PM, in Room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the Joint Economic Committee held a hearing entitled “Ensuring Success for the Social Security Diability Insurance Program and Its Beneficiaries.”  The witnesses were Patrick O’Carroll, SSA’s Inspector General; Rebecca Vallas of the Center for American Progress; and Mark Duggan of Stanford University. The hearing advisory is here. The hearing was recorded on the JEC Majority YouTube channel.  

Ways and Means Hearing About Coordinating Welfare Programs

On Tuesday, November 3 at 10:00AM, in Room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building, the House Committee on Ways and Means, Human Resources Subcommittee held a hearing about better coordinating welfare benefits to serve families in need.  SSI was not the primary topic of discussion but it was mentioned.  The hearing advisory is here, and a video of the hearing is available on the Ways and Means Committee YouTube channel.  

Ways and Means Hearing About Promoting Work Opportunities

On Thursday, July 9 at 10:00AM, in Room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building, the House Committee on Ways and Means will hold a hearing about promoting work opportunities for SSDI beneficiaries. More information about the hearing is available in the hearing advisory.  The witnesses at the hearing will be: Jill Houghton, US Business Leadership Network; John Kregel, Virginia Commonwealth University; James Smith, Vermont Agency for Human Services; Paul Van de Water, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and Mike Zeller, The Disability Network. A video of the hearing should be available here

Ways and Means Hearing About Returning to Work

On Tuesday, June 16 at 2:00PM, in B-316 Rayburn House Office Building, the House Committee on Ways and Means, Social Security Subcommittee held a hearing about SSA’s processing of earnings reports from SSDI beneficiaries who have returned to work. More information about the hearing, including the list of witnesses, is available on the Ways and Means website. A video of the hearing should be available here

Ways and Means Hearing About Program Integrity

On Wednesday, June 3 at 10:00 AM, in 1100 Longworth House Office Building, the House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Human Resources, held a hearing on “Protecting the Safety Net from Waste, Fraud, and Abuse.” The hearing reviewed multiple bills related to Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Unemployment Insurance (UI), and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). More information about the hearing is available on the Ways and Means website. The hearing was recorded and it should be available here.

Two Hearings in Two Days

The House Committee on Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee held a hearing about SSDI trust fund solvency on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 in Rayburn B-318 at 2pm.  The list of witnesses and a link where the hearing will be webcast are not currently available. More information may be posted at http://waysandmeans.house.gov/.

On Thursday February 26, 2015 at 10am, the House Committee on Appropriation subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will held an oversight hearing entitled “The Vital Responsibility of Serving the Nation’s Aging and Disabled Communities” with witnesses including Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn Colvin. There is not currently a link to watch the hearing online, but one may be posted at http://appropriations.house.gov/calendar/?CatagoryID=34777

Senate Budget Committee Hearing: Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund Insolvency

On February 11, 2015, the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing about the future of the SSDI trust fund.  After opening remarks by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), who chairs the committee, and ranking member Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn Colvin testified and answered questions from many Senators of both parties. Acting Commissioner Colvin’s testimony was followed by statements from Dr. Mark Duggan of Stanford University, Dr. Phillip DeJong of the University of Amsterdam, and Kate Lang of the National Senior Citizens Law Center. NOSSCR’s Washington office staff helped Ms. Lang locate an SSDI recipient in her 60s who was willing to have her story featured as an example of the value SSDI has for older Americans.  The hearing can be viewed here.

Senate Finance Committee Hearing: Women and Social Security 

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing, entitled “Social Security: Is a Key Foundation of Economic Security Working for Women?” which included statements from Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Hatch (R-UT) and four witnesses.  

The Senators’ and witnesses’ statements and a recording of the hearing is available here:http://www.finance.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=852d0c21-5056-a032-524d-4ba121611a10.The witnesses and Senators largely focused on Social Security retirement benefits, with some discussion about disability and survivors’ benefits.

Senate Finance Committee Hearing: Social Security Disability Insurance

On Thursday, July 24, the Senate Finance Committee held its first hearing about Social Security Disability Insurance in seven years. The hearing entitled “Social Security: A Fresh Look at Workers’ Disability Insurance” included statements from Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Hatch (R-UT) and four witnesses, including Stephen Goss, Chief Actuary for the Social Security Administration.

A recording of the hearing is available here: http://www.finance.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=c0515365-5056-a032-52ff-a46da139d2d6. The NOSSCR Twitter account @NOSSCRNews included updates and live tweets from inside the hearing room.

The Full House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings

Tuesday 6/10 and Wednesday 6/11 entitled Social Security Oversight: Examining the Integrity of the Disability Determination Appeals Process. Information and recordings of the hearings can be found at http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/social-security-administration-oversight-examining-integrity-disability-determination-appeals-process-part/. Senator Coburn and 4 ALJs were the witnesses on June 10, and Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin was the only witness at the June 11th hearing.

House Committee Considers Improvements to Disability Review Process

The House Government Oversight Committee’s Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements subcommittee held a hearing on this topic on April 9.  Witness statements, as well as a recording and transcript of the hearing, are available at http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/examining-ways-social-security-administration-can-improve-disability-review-process/.  Witnesses included Patrick O’Carroll, Jr., SSA’s Inspector General;  Marianna LaCanfora, SSA’s Acting Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy; Jennifer Nottingham, President of the National Assocation of Disability Examiners; Daniel Bertoni, Director of GAO’s Education, Workforce, and Income Security division; and Jennifer Shaw Lockhart, the State Director of Sooner SUCCESS at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

House Continuines Oversight of SSA’s Management of Federal Disability Programs

The House Government Oversight Committee’s Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements subcommittee held a hearing November 19, 2013.  Witness statements, as well as a recording and transcript of the hearing, are available at http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/continuing-oversight-social-security-administrations-mismanagement-federal-disability-programs/.  Witnesses included Patrick O’Carroll, Jr., SSA’s Inspector General; Glenn Sklar, SSA’s Deputy Commissioner for Disability Adjudication and Review; and Jasper Bede, Regional Chief ALJ for Region 3 ODAR.

House Oversight Committee Considers Number of SSDI Claims and the Role of ALJs

The House Government Oversight Committee’s Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements subcommittee held a hearing on this topic on June 27, 2013.  Witness statements, as well as a recording and transcript of the hearing, are available at http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/oversight-of-rising-social-security-disability-claims-and-the-role-of-administrative-law-judges/NOSSCR board member Thomas Sutton was one of the witnesses; others included Sen. Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK); Glenn Sklar, SSA’s Deputy Commissioner for Disability Adjudication and Review; SSA ALJs Larry Butler and Thomas Snook; and Department of Labor ALJs Drew Swank and J.E. Sullivan.

Read NOSSCR board member Thomas Sutton’s testimony.

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