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House Panel Passes Social Security Online Tools Act

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The House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security and Tax Policy passed on Wednesday the “Social Security Online Tools Innovation Act,” H.R. 3309, which requires the Social Security Administration to provide online tools to help individuals assess their disability benefits.

The bill, which was reported to the full House, requires the Social Security commissioner to make publicly available online tools allowing individuals that are eligible for disability benefits “to assess the impact of earnings on the individual’s eligibility for, and amount of, benefits received through federal and state benefit programs.”

(Related: 12 Best States for Retirement: 2018)

House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson, R-Texas, announced the same day that he plans to hold a hearing on Wednesday to examine changes to the Social Security disability appeals process.

The hearing will examine recent and planned changes affecting the Social Security Administration’s disability appeals process, the metrics the SSA uses to evaluate process changes, and the progress the SSA has made to address the appeals backlog.

“Recently, the Social Security Administration made a major decision to change the disability appeals process in certain states that could have real-life consequences for Americans,” Johnson said in announcing the hearing. “A decision of this magnitude should be made by a Senate-confirmed commissioner, which we currently do not have. In the meantime, it is Congress’ duty to examine whether this change makes sense for disability claimants and taxpayers.”


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