I. Statement of Regulatory Priorities

We administer the Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance programs under title II of the Social Security Act (Act), the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program under title XVI of the Act, and the Special Veterans Benefits program under title VIII of the Act. As directed by Congress, we also assist in administering portions of the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Act. Our regulations codify the requirements for eligibility and entitlement to benefits and our procedures for administering these programs. Generally, our regulations do not impose burdens on the private sector or on State or local governments, except for the States' Disability Determination Services. We fully fund the Disability Determination Services in advance or via reimbursement for necessary costs in making disability determinations.

The entries in our regulatory plan (plan) represent issues of major importance to the Agency. Through our regulatory plan, we intend to:

A. Update the medical criteria used to evaluate disability applications to keep pace with medicine, science, technology, and workforce changes;

B. Reduce the hearings backlog and improve the disability appeals process;

C. Update SSA disability evaluation criteria and the frequency of continuing disability reviews;

D. Combat Social Security fraud, impose civil monetary penalties for specific violations of the Social Security Act, and clarify that electronic and internet communications are included in the prohibitions against misusing SSA's names, symbols, and emblems; and

E. Update our Freedom of Information Act and Privacy and Disclosure rules.

Regulatory Reform

We designate all of the proposed regulations in this plan as "fully or partially exempt" under Executive Order (EO) 13771. In compliance with the Administration's Regulatory Reform efforts, as prescribed by EO 13771 and EO 13777, SSA is committed to engaging in regulatory activity only when strictly necessary and to reducing regulatory burden wherever possible. Accordingly, our Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan include only those regulatory activities needed to administer our Social Security benefits and payments programs. Moreover, the Agenda includes an item to remove outdated regulatory sections from the Code of Federal Regulations. Finally, we remain committed to innovate in ways that ease burden on the public even outside the realm of formal deregulation, such as through developing online reporting and application tools.

II. Regulations in the Proposed Rule Stage

Our regulations will:

III. Regulations in the Final Rule Stage

Our regulation in the final rule stage will:

Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

Pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563, "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review" (January 18, 2011), SSA regularly engages in retrospective review and analysis for multiple existing regulatory initiatives. These initiatives may be proposed or completed actions, and they do not necessarily appear in The Regulatory Plan. You can find more information on these completed rulemakings in past publications of the Unified Agenda at in the "Completed Actions" section for the Social Security Administration.