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Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Date for Endocrine Disorders Body System Listings2018-May-222018-10867We are extending the expiration date of Endocrine Disorders body system in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations. We are making no other revisions to the body system in this final rule. This extension ensures that we will continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body system at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.
Treasury Department -- Regulatory Capital Rules: Implementation and Transition of the Current Expected Credit Losses Methodology for Allowances and Related Adjustments to the Regulatory Capital Rules and Conforming Amendments to Other Regulations2018-May-142018-08999The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, the agencies) are inviting public comment on a joint proposal to address changes to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP) described in Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13, Topic 326, Financial Instruments--Credit Losses (ASU 2016-13), including banking organizations' implementation of the current expected credit losses methodology. Specifically, the proposal would revise the agencies' regulatory capital rules to identify which credit loss allowances under the new accounting standard are eligible for inclusion in regulatory capital and to provide banking organizations the option to phase in the day-one adverse effects on regulatory capital that may result from the adoption of the new accounting standard. The proposal also would amend certain regulatory disclosure requirements to reflect applicable changes to U.S. GAAP covered under ASU 2016-13. In addition, the agencies are proposing to make amendments to their stress testing regulations so that covered banking organizations that have adopted ASU 2016-13 would not include the effect of ASU 2016-13 on their provisioning for purposes of stress testing until the 2020 stress test cycle. Finally, the agencies are proposing to make conforming amendments to their other regulations that reference credit loss allowances.
Social Security Administration -- Removal of Special Payments at Age 722018-May-102018-09910We are removing from the Code of Federal Regulations our ``Special Payments at Age 72'' rules because they are obsolete. We are removing these rules in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order (E.O.) 13777.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Musculoskeletal Disorders2018-May-072018-08889We propose to revise the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving musculoskeletal disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). These proposed revisions reflect our adjudicative experience, advances in medical knowledge and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, and recommendations from medical experts.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation -- Regulatory Capital Rules: Removal of Certain Capital Rules That Are No Longer Effective Following the Implementation of the Revised Capital Rules2018-Apr-242018-06881This final rule rescinds certain capital regulations of the FDIC's codified rules (superseded capital rules) that were no longer effective following the January 1, 2015 implementation of the revised capital rules. The final rule also makes conforming changes to sections in the FDIC's codified rules that refer to the superseded capital rules. The FDIC has concluded that good cause exists to publish this rule as final without a period of notice and comment and with an effective date as of the date of its publication in the Federal Register because this final rule rescinds the superseded capital rules and other sections of the FDIC's codified rules that refer to the superseded capital rules and imposes no new requirement on FDIC- supervised institutions.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicare Program; Contract Year 2019 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plan, Medicare Fee-for-Service, the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs, and the PACE Program2018-Apr-162018-07179This final rule will revise the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (Part C) regulations and Prescription Drug Benefit program (Part D) regulations to implement certain provisions of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) to further reduce the number of beneficiaries who may potentially misuse or overdose on opioids while still having access to important treatment options; implement certain provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act; support innovative approaches to improve program quality, accessibility, and affordability; offer beneficiaries more choices and better care; improve the CMS customer experience and maintain high beneficiary satisfaction; address program integrity policies related to payments based on prescriber, provider and supplier status in MA, Medicare cost plan, Medicare Part D and the PACE programs; provide an update to the official Medicare Part D electronic prescribing standards; and clarify program requirements and certain technical changes regarding treatment of Medicare Part A and Part B appeal rights related to premiums adjustments.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation -- Transferred OTS Regulations Regarding Fiduciary Powers of State Savings Associations and Consent Requirements for the Exercise of Trust Powers2018-Apr-102018-07227The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) proposes to rescind and remove from the Code of Federal Regulations the part entitled Fiduciary Powers of State Savings Associations and to amend current FDIC regulations regarding consent to exercise trust powers to reflect the applicability of these parts to both State savings associations and State nonmember banks.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Dates for Two Body System Listings2018-Apr-022018-06671We are extending the expiration dates of the following body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations: Special Senses and Speech and Congenital Disorders That Affect Multiple Body Systems. We are making no other revisions to these body systems in this final rule. This extension ensures that we will continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.
Corporation for National and Community Service -- Senior Corps: Senior Companion Program, Foster Grandparent Program, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program2018-Feb-142018-01462The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) proposes changes to existing regulations under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, as amended, for the following Senior Corps programs: Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), Senior Companion Program (SCP), and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). These amendments will increase flexibility in program administration while maintaining accountability at the local level, correct grammatical errors, update language that is currently used by CNCS, and streamline requirements for more effective administration of projects in local communities.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Sunset Date for Attorney Advisor Program2018-Jan-082018-00058We are extending for six months our rule authorizing attorney advisors to conduct certain prehearing proceedings and to issue fully favorable decisions. The current rule is scheduled to expire on February 5, 2018. In this final rule, we are extending the sunset date to August 3, 2018. We are making no other substantive changes.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Dates for Four Body System Listings2017-Dec-152017-27086We are extending the expiration dates of the following body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations: Musculoskeletal System, Cardiovascular System, Digestive System, and Skin Disorders. We are making no other revisions to these body systems in this final rule. This extension ensures that we will continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Streamlining Administrative Regulations for Multifamily Housing Programs and Implementing Family Income Reviews Under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act2017-Dec-122017-26697HUD published a final rule on March 8, 2016, containing changes to streamline regulatory requirements pertaining to certain elements of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), Public Housing (PH), and various multifamily housing (MFH) rental assistance programs. The goal of the final rule was to reduce the administrative burden on public housing agencies (PHAs) and MFH owners, including changes pertaining to annual income reviews in the HCV, PH, and Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) programs for families with sources of fixed income. On December 4, 2015, the President signed the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) into law. The law contained language that allowed PHAs and owners to conduct full income recertification for families with 90 percent or more of their income from fixed-income every 3 years instead of annually. This interim final rule amends the regulatory language to implement the FAST Act and to align the current regulatory flexibilities with those provided in the FAST Act. In addition, this interim final rule seeks to extend to certain MFH programs some of the streamlining changes that were proposed for and made only to the HCV and PH programs.
Labor Department -- Senior Community Service Employment Program; Performance Accountability2017-Dec-012017-25834The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (Department) is issuing this Interim Final Rule (IFR) revising performance accountability measures for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Revised measures are necessary because the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016 (OAA) amended the measures of performance for the SCSEP program in large part to align them with the performance measures mandated for programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This IFR revises the Performance Accountability subpart of the SCSEP regulations to reflect changes necessitated by the passage of the 2016 OAA. In addition, this rule makes minor, non-substantive amendments to other subparts of the SCSEP regulations to reflect the OAA amendments that aligned the SCSEP program statutory language with WIOA, such as updating outdated terminology and outdated references to the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), which WIOA superseded. This IFR solicits public comment on this IFR, which the Department will consider when it issues a Final Rule.
Agriculture Department -- Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements2017-Nov-302017-25799This interim final rule extends through school year 2018-2019 three menu planning flexibilities currently available to many Child Nutrition Program operators, giving them near-term certainty about Program requirements and more local control to serve nutritious and appealing meals to millions of children nationwide. These flexibilities include: Providing operators the option to offer flavored, low-fat (1 percent fat) milk in the Child Nutrition Programs; extending the State agencies' option to allow individual school food authorities to include grains that are not whole grain-rich in the weekly menu offered under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP); and retaining Sodium Target 1 in the NSLP and SBP. This interim final rule addresses significant challenges faced by local operators regarding milk, whole grains and sodium requirements and their impact on food development and reformulation, menu planning, and school food service procurement and contract decisions. The comments from the public on the long-term availability of these three flexibilities will help inform the development of a final rule, which is expected to be published in fall 2018 and implemented in school year 2019-2020.
Treasury Department -- Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Age in Programs and Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance From the Department of the Treasury2017-Oct-112017-21905This final rule sets out the Department of the Treasury's (Treasury) rules for implementing the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended (the Act). The Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance. The Act, which applies to persons of all ages, permits the use of certain age distinctions and factors other than age that meet the Act's requirements. This final rule follows publication of an August 4, 2015, proposed rule and takes into account the comments received.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B) Ethnicity and Race Information Collection2017-Oct-022017-20417The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is issuing a final rule that amends Regulation B to permit creditors additional flexibility in complying with Regulation B in order to facilitate compliance with Regulation C, adds certain model forms and removes others from Regulation B, and makes various other amendments to Regulation B and its commentary to facilitate the collection and retention of information about the ethnicity, sex, and race of certain mortgage applicants.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Neurological Disorders; Correction2017-Aug-222017-17724We published final rules in the Federal Register on July 1, 2016, that revised the Listing of Impairments (Listings) for the neurological body system. That document inadvertently omitted a reference. This document amends and corrects the final rule.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Inflation Catch-Up Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalty Amounts Final Rule and Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalty Amounts for 20172017-May-302017-11056This rule makes final the interim final rule, published on June 15, 2016, to amend HUD's civil monetary penalty (CMP) regulations. The interim final rule applied a new methodology to calculate civil money penalties as mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, starting with a ``catch up'' adjustment to correct previous inaccuracies; removed three obsolete civil monetary penalty provisions; and made a technical change to the existing codified regulation implementing the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act. The changes from the interim final rule made final by this final rule continue to be effective as of August 16, 2016. In addition, this rule provides for 2017 inflation adjustments of civil monetary penalty amounts required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, and makes three technical amendments and a conforming statutory change.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B) Ethnicity and Race Information Collection2017-Apr-042017-06195The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) proposes amendments to Regulation B to permit creditors additional flexibility in complying with Regulation B in order to facilitate compliance with Regulation C, to add certain model forms and remove others from Regulation B, and to make various other amendments to Regulation B and its commentary to facilitate the collection and retention of information about the ethnicity, sex, and race of certain mortgage applicants.
Education Department -- Open Licensing Requirement for Competitive Grant Programs2017-Mar-212017-05723In accordance with a directive from the memorandum entitled ``Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,'' published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017 (Memorandum), the Secretary further delays until May 22, 2017, the effective date of the final regulations entitled Open Licensing Requirement for Competitive Grant Programs (Open Licensing), published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017 (82 FR 7376). The current effective date is March 21, 2017. The additional delay will allow the Department the opportunity for further review of the final regulations.
Education Department -- Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act-Accountability and State Plans; Open Licensing Requirement for Competitive Grant Programs; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act2017-Jan-302017-02056In accordance with the memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled ``Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,'' published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017, the Department delays the effective dates of the following regulations until March 21, 2017: Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act-- Accountability and State Plans (ESSA Accountability and State Plans), RIN 1810-AB27; Open Licensing Requirement for Competitive Grant Programs (Open Licensing), RIN 1894-AA07; and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Education Department -- Open Licensing Requirement for Competitive Grant Programs2017-Jan-192017-00910The Secretary amends the regulations of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in order to require, subject to certain categorical exceptions and case-by-case exceptions, that Department grantees awarded competitive grant funds openly license to the public copyrightable grant deliverables created with Department grant funds.
Social Security Administration -- Revisions to Rules Regarding the Evaluation of Medical Evidence2017-Jan-182017-00455We are revising our medical evidence rules. The revisions include redefining several key terms related to evidence, revising our rules about acceptable medical sources (AMS), revising how we consider and articulate our consideration of medical opinions and prior administrative medical findings, revising our rules about medical consultants (MC) and psychological consultants (PC), revising our rules about treating sources, and reorganizing our evidence regulations for ease of use. These revisions conform our rules to the requirements of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA), reflect changes in the national healthcare workforce and in the manner that individuals receive medical care, and emphasize the need for objective medical evidence in disability and blindness claims. We expect that these changes will simplify our rules to make them easier to understand and apply, and allow us to continue to make accurate and consistent disability determinations and decisions.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Nondiscrimination in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Assistance From the Environmental Protection Agency2017-Jan-092017-00050The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing a proposed rule for which the EPA no longer intends to issue a final rule. This document identifies the proposed rule and explains the EPA's decision to withdraw the proposal. The withdrawal of this proposed rule does not preclude the EPA from initiating the same or similar rulemaking at a future date. It does, however, close out the entry for this proposed rule in the EPA Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda, published as part of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Unified Agenda). Should the EPA decide at some future date to initiate the same or similar rulemaking, it will add an appropriate new entry to the EPA Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda to reflect the initiation of the action.
Peace Corps -- Eligibility and Standards for Peace Corps Volunteer Service2017-Jan-052016-30442The Peace Corps issues this final rule to restate and update the requirements for eligibility for Peace Corps Volunteer service, and the factors considered in the assessment and selection of eligible applicants for training and service. The requirements and factors for eligibility and selection were last published in 1984. A revision of the regulation is necessary to conform to changes in Federal laws and regulations, particularly with respect to those prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, and to reflect policy changes made by the Peace Corps.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- Affirmative Action for Individuals With Disabilities in Federal Employment2017-Jan-032016-31397The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) is issuing its final rule to amend the regulations that require federal agencies to engage in affirmative action for individuals with disabilities. These changes clarify the obligations that the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 imposes on federal agencies, as employers, that are over and above the obligation not to discriminate on the basis of disability. The regulation does not apply to the private sector or to state or local governments.
Health and Human Services Department -- State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs2016-Dec-202016-30455In the February 11, 2015 Federal Register, we published a final rule in order to implement provisions of the Older Americans Act (the Act) regarding States' Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs (Ombudsman programs). The effective date was July 1, 2016. This correcting amendment corrects a limited number of technical and typographical errors identified in the February 11, 2015 final rule.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Narrowing the Digital Divide Through Installation of Broadband Infrastructure in HUD-Funded New Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation of Multifamily Rental Housing2016-Dec-202016-30708Through this rule, HUD continues its efforts to narrow the digital divide in low-income communities served by HUD by providing, where feasible and with HUD funding, broadband infrastructure to communities in need of such infrastructure. In this final rule, HUD requires installation of broadband infrastructure at the time of new construction or substantial rehabilitation of multifamily rental housing that is funded or supported by HUD, the point at which such installation is generally easier and less costly than when undertaken as a stand-alone effort. The rule, however, recognizes that installation of broadband infrastructure may not be feasible for all new construction or substantial rehabilitation, and, therefore, it allows limited exceptions to the installation requirements. Installing unit-based broadband infrastructure in multifamily rental housing that is newly constructed or substantially rehabilitated with or supported by HUD funding will provide a platform for individuals and families residing in such housing to participate in the digital economy and increase their access to economic opportunities.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Modernizing HUD's Consolidated Planning Process To Narrow the Digital Divide and Increase Resilience to Natural Hazards2016-Dec-162016-30421HUD's Consolidated Plan is a planning mechanism designed to help States and local governments to assess their affordable housing and community development needs and to make data-driven, place-based investment decisions. The Consolidated Planning process serves as the framework for a community-wide dialogue to identify housing and community development priorities that align and focus funding from HUD's formula block grant programs. This rule amends HUD's Consolidated Plan regulations to require that jurisdictions consider two additional concepts in their planning efforts. The first concept is how to address the need for broadband access for low- and moderate-income residents in the communities they serve. Broadband is the common term used to refer to a high-speed, always-on connection to the Internet. Such connection is also referred to as high-speed broadband or high-speed Internet. Specifically, the rule requires that States and localities that submit a Consolidated Plan describe the broadband access in housing occupied by low- and moderate- income households. If low-income residents in the communities do not have such access, States and jurisdictions must consider providing broadband access to these residents in their decisions on how to invest HUD funds. The second concept added to the Consolidated Plan process requires jurisdictions to consider incorporating resilience to natural hazard risks, taking care to anticipate how risks will increase due to climate change, into development of the plan in order to begin addressing impacts of climate change on low- and moderate-income residents.
Social Security Administration -- Ensuring Program Uniformity at the Hearing and Appeals Council Levels of the Administrative Review Process2016-Dec-162016-30103We are revising our rules so that more of our procedures at the hearing and Appeals Council levels of our administrative review process are consistent nationwide. We anticipate that these nationally consistent procedures will enable us to administer our disability programs more efficiently and better serve the public.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Housing Counseling: New Certification Requirements2016-Dec-142016-29822HUD's housing counseling program provides housing counseling to consumers seeking information about financing, maintaining, renting, or owning a home. The housing counseling statute was amended to improve the effectiveness of housing counseling in HUD programs by, among other things: establishing the Office of Housing Counseling and giving this office the authority over the establishment, coordination, and administration of all regulations, requirements, standards, and performance measures under programs and laws administered by HUD that relate to housing counseling; requiring that organizations providing housing counseling required under or in connection with HUD programs be approved to participate in the Housing Counseling Program (Housing Counseling Agencies, or HCAs) and have all individuals providing such housing counseling certified by HUD as competent to provide such services; prohibiting the distribution of housing counseling grant funds awarded to agencies participating in HUD's Housing Counseling Program that are found in violation of Federal election laws or that have employees found in violation of Federal election laws; and requiring the reimbursement to HUD of housing counseling grant funds that HUD finds were misused. HUD issued a proposed rule on September 13, 2013, to establish in regulation the statutory changes made to the housing counseling program and solicited public comment. This final rule revises HUD's Housing Counseling Program regulations to adopt the new requirements established in the housing counseling statute. Additionally, this rule amends HUD's general and other program regulations to clarify for grantees the requirement that housing counseling under Other HUD Programs must be provided by HCAs. HUD will issue a separate Federal Register notice to announce the start of the testing and certification process, and entities and individuals providing housing counseling will have 36 months to be approved or certified by the Office of Housing Counseling.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Changes to HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program Commitment Requirement2016-Dec-022016-28591This rule changes the method by which HUD will determine participating jurisdictions' compliance with the statutory 24-month commitment requirement. Beginning with Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 grants, HUD will implement a grant-specific method for determining compliance with these requirements. This rule also establishes a method of administering program income that will prevent participating jurisdictions from losing appropriated funds when they expend program income.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection and for Evaluating Functional Limitations in Immune System Disorders2016-Dec-022016-28843We are revising the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). We also are revising the introductory text of the listings that we use to evaluate functional limitations resulting from immune system disorders. The revisions reflect our program experience, advances in medical knowledge, our adjudicative experience, recommendations from a commissioned report, and comments from medical experts and the public.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act; Revisions to the Indian Housing Block Grant Program Formula2016-Nov-222016-27208This final rule revises the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Program allocation formula authorized by section 302 of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996, as amended (NAHASDA). Through the IHBG Program, HUD provides federal housing assistance for Indian tribes in a manner that recognizes the right of Indian self-determination and tribal self-government. HUD negotiated this final rule with active tribal participation and using the procedures of the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990. The regulatory changes reflect the consensus decisions reached by HUD and the tribal representatives on ways to improve and clarify the current regulations governing the IHBG Program formula.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Equal Access to Housing in HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian Programs-Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity2016-Nov-172016-27196As the Nation's housing agency, HUD has the unique charge to promote the Federal goal of providing decent housing and a suitable living environment for all. In February 2012, HUD issued a final rule requiring HUD programs to make eligibility determinations for individuals seeking admission to HUD-assisted or -insured housing without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. The 2012 rule did not, however, cover HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs. Through this final rule, HUD revises its Native American and Native Hawaiian program regulations to ensure all eligible individuals and families, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, have access to these programs. This final rule seeks to provide consistency across HUD programs and restates the Department's commitment that eligibility for admission and continued occupancy in HUD-assisted and -insured housing is not based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013: Implementation in HUD Housing Programs2016-Nov-162016-25888This final rule implements in HUD's regulations the requirements of the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies for all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and which must be applied consistent with all nondiscrimination and fair housing requirements. The 2013 reauthorization (VAWA 2013) expands housing protections to HUD programs beyond HUD's public housing program and HUD's tenant-based and project- based Section 8 programs (collectively, the Section 8 programs) that were covered by the 2005 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA 2005). Additionally, the 2013 law provides enhanced protections and options for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Specifically, this rule amends HUD's generally applicable regulations, HUD's regulations for the public housing and Section 8 programs that already pertain to VAWA, and the regulations of programs newly covered by VAWA 2013. In addition to this final rule, HUD is publishing a notice titled the Notice of Occupancy Rights under the Violence Against Women Act (Notice of Occupancy Rights) that certain housing providers must give to tenants and applicants to ensure they are aware of their rights under VAWA and these implementing regulations, a model emergency transfer plan that may be used by housing providers to develop their own emergency transfer plans, a model emergency transfer request form that housing providers could provide to tenants requesting an emergency transfer under these regulations, and a new certification form for documenting incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking that must be used by housing providers. This rule reflects the statutory changes made by VAWA 2013, as well as HUD's recognition of the importance of providing housing protections and rights to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. By increasing opportunities for all individuals to live in safe housing, this will reduce the risk of homelessness and further HUD's mission of utilizing housing to improve quality of life.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2017; Medicare Advantage Bid Pricing Data Release; Medicare Advantage and Part D Medical Loss Ratio Data Release; Medicare Advantage Provider Network Requirements; Expansion of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Model; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements2016-Nov-152016-26668This major final rule addresses changes to the physician fee schedule and other Medicare Part B payment policies, such as changes to the Value Modifier, to ensure that our payment systems are updated to reflect changes in medical practice and the relative value of services, as well as changes in the statute. This final rule also includes changes related to the Medicare Shared Savings Program, requirements for Medicare Advantage Provider Networks, and provides for the release of certain pricing data from Medicare Advantage bids and of data from medical loss ratio reports submitted by Medicare health and drug plans. In addition, this final rule expands the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program model.
Agriculture Department -- Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010; Corrections2016-Nov-012016-26339This document contains technical corrections to the final rule published in the Federal Register on April 25, 2016, ``Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.''
Social Security Administration -- Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowance Determinations2016-Oct-242016-25565We are extending, until December 28, 2018, the expiration date of our disability examiner authority (DEA) rule, which authorizes State agency disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations without the approval of a State agency medical or psychological consultant in claims that we consider under our quick disability determination (QDD) and compassionate allowance (CAL) processes. This is our last extension of this rule because we will phase out the use of DEA during the extension period under section 832 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA). This extension provides us the time necessary to take all of the administrative actions we need to take in order to reinstate uniform use of medical and psychological consultants. The current rule will expire on November 11, 2016. In this final rule, we are changing the November 11, 2016 expiration or ``sunset'' date to December 28, 2018, extending the authority for 2 years and 1 month. This is the final extension of our DEA rule. On December 28, 2018, at the conclusion of this extension, the authority for this test will terminate. We are making no other changes.
Transportation Department -- General Technical, Organizational, Conforming, and Correcting Amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations2016-Oct-042016-22996FMCSA amends its regulations by making technical corrections throughout. The Agency is making minor changes to correct errors and omissions, ensure conformity with Office of the Federal Register style guidelines, update cross references, and improve clarity and consistency of certain regulatory provisions. Further, this set of amendments removes all remaining instances of the term ``common carrier'' and ``contract carrier'' as required by the ICC Termination Act (ICCTA) and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). This rule does not make any substantive changes to the affected regulations, except to remove obsolete provisions.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Mental Disorders2016-Sep-262016-22908We are revising the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving mental disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). The revisions reflect our program experience, advances in medical knowledge, recommendations from a commissioned report, and public comments we received in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
Social Security Administration -- Evidence From Excluded Medical Sources of Evidence2016-Sep-232016-22909In accordance with section 812 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA section 812), these rules explain how we will address evidence furnished by medical sources that meet one of BBA section 812's exclusionary categories (excluded medical sources of evidence) as described below. Under these new rules, we will not consider evidence furnished by an excluded medical source of evidence unless we find good cause to do so. We identify five circumstances in which we may find good cause. In these rules, we also require excluded medical sources of evidence to notify us of their excluded status under section 223(d)(5)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act (Act), as amended, in writing each time they furnish evidence to us that relates to a claim for initial or continuing benefits under titles II or XVI of the Act. These rules will allow us to fulfill obligations that we have under BBA section 812.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Equal Access in Accordance With an Individual's Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs2016-Sep-212016-22589Through this final rule, HUD ensures equal access for individuals in accordance with their gender identity in programs and shelter funded under programs administered by HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD). This rule builds upon HUD's February 2012 final rule entitled ``Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity'' (2012 Equal Access Rule), which aimed to ensure that HUD's housing programs would be open to all eligible individuals and families regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. The 2012 Equal Access Rule, however, did not address how transgender and gender non- conforming individuals should be accommodated in temporary, emergency shelters, and other buildings and facilities used for shelter, that have physical limitations or configurations that require and that are permitted to have shared sleeping quarters or shared bathing facilities. This final rule follows HUD's November 2015 proposed rule, which addressed this issue and solicited public comment on measures to ensure that recipients and subrecipients of CPD funding--as well as owners, operators, and managers of shelters and other buildings and facilities and providers of services funded by CPD--grant equal access to such facilities and services to individuals in accordance with an individual's gender identity. This rule amends HUD's definition of ``gender identity'' to more clearly reflect the difference between actual and perceived gender identity and eliminates the prohibition on inquiries related to sexual orientation or gender identity, so that service providers can ensure compliance with this rule. The removal of the prohibition on inquiries related to sexual orientation or gender identity does not alter the requirement to make housing assisted by HUD and housing insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Lastly, without changing the scope of the requirement to provide equal access without regard to sexual orientation, this rule makes a technical amendment to the definition of ``sexual orientation,'' which HUD adopted from the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) definition of the term in 2012, to conform to OPM's current definition. In order to ensure that individuals are aware of their rights to equal access, HUD is publishing elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register for public comment, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a document entitled ``Equal Access Regardless of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, or Marital Status'' for owners or operators of CPD-funded shelters, housing, facilities, and other buildings to post on bulletin boards and in other public spaces where information is typically made available.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers2016-Sep-162016-21404This final rule establishes national emergency preparedness requirements for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating providers and suppliers to plan adequately for both natural and man-made disasters, and coordinate with federal, state, tribal, regional, and local emergency preparedness systems. It will also assist providers and suppliers to adequately prepare to meet the needs of patients, residents, clients, and participants during disasters and emergency situations. Despite some variations, our regulations will provide consistent emergency preparedness requirements, enhance patient safety during emergencies for persons served by Medicare- and Medicaid- participating facilities, and establish a more coordinated and defined response to natural and man-made disasters.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act2016-Sep-142016-21868This final rule amends HUD's fair housing regulations to formalize standards for use in investigations and adjudications involving allegations of harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability. The rule specifies how HUD will evaluate complaints of quid pro quo (``this for that'') harassment and hostile environment harassment under the Fair Housing Act. It will also provide for uniform treatment of Fair Housing Act claims raising allegations of quid pro quo and hostile environment harassment in judicial and administrative forums. This rule defines ``quid pro quo'' and ``hostile environment harassment,'' as prohibited under the Fair Housing Act, and provides illustrations of discriminatory housing practices that constitute such harassment. In addition, this rule clarifies the operation of traditional principles of direct and vicarious liability in the Fair Housing Act context.
Social Security Administration -- Revisions to Rules Regarding the Evaluation of Medical Evidence2016-Sep-092016-21358We are proposing several revisions to our medical evidence rules. The proposals include redefining several key terms related to evidence, revising our list of acceptable medical sources (AMS), revising how we consider and articulate our consideration of medical opinions and prior administrative medical findings, revising who can be a medical consultant (MC) and psychological consultant (PC), revising our rules about treating sources, and reorganizing our evidence regulations for ease of use. These proposed revisions would conform our rules with the requirements of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA), reflect changes in the national healthcare workforce and in the manner that individuals receive primary medical care, simplify and reorganize our rules to make them easier to understand and apply, allow us to continue to make accurate and consistent decisions, and emphasize the need for objective medical evidence in disability and blindness claims.
Health and Human Services Department -- Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalties for Inflation2016-Sep-062016-18680The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing a new regulation to adjust for inflation the maximum civil monetary penalty amounts for the various civil monetary penalty authorities for all agencies within HHS. We are taking this action to comply with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the Inflation Adjustment Act), as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. In addition, this interim final rule includes updates to certain agency-specific regulations to identify their updated information, and note the location of HHS-wide regulations.
Agriculture Department -- Civil Monetary Penalties2016-Aug-232016-19954The Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) is implementing its civil monetary penalty provision. Currently, the Agency is limited to severe actions, such as acceleration and foreclosure, as a remedy for non-monetary compliance violations, actions that may not be in the best interest of the government. New Civil Monetary Penalties regulations will enable the Agency to target the non-monetary default issues and elicit compliance by the borrower without such a drastic step as foreclosure. By implementing procedures for Civil Monetary Penalties, the Agency will be provided an important tool to enforce compliance with the regulations.
Education Department -- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Miscellaneous Program Changes2016-Aug-192016-16046The Secretary amends the regulations governing a number of programs administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to implement changes to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Act) made by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, signed on July 22, 2014. The Secretary also implements changes to the Act made by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, signed on August 7, 1998, that have not previously been implemented in regulations, and otherwise updates, clarifies, and improves RSA's current regulations.
Social Security Administration -- Revisions to Rules of Conduct and Standards of Responsibility for Appointed Representatives2016-Aug-162016-19384We propose to revise our rules of conduct and standards of responsibility for representatives. We also propose to update and clarify procedures we use when we bring charges against a representative for violating our rules of conduct and standards of responsibilities for representatives. These changes are necessary to better protect the integrity of our administrative process and further clarify representatives' currently existing responsibilities in their conduct with us. The changes to our rules are not meant to suggest that any specific conduct is permissible under our existing rules; instead, we seek to ensure that our rules of conduct and standards of responsibility are clearer as a whole and directly address a broader range of inappropriate conduct.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)2016-Aug-162016-19153This proposed rule would revise and update the requirements for the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The proposed rule addresses application and waiver procedures, sanctions, enforcement actions and termination, administrative requirements, PACE services, participant rights, quality assessment and performance improvement, participant enrollment and disenrollment, payment, federal and state monitoring, data collection, record maintenance, and reporting. The proposed changes would provide greater operational flexibility, remove redundancies and outdated information, and codify existing practice.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Dates for Four Body System Listings2016-Aug-032016-18051We are extending the expiration dates of the following body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations: Musculoskeletal System, Cardiovascular System, Digestive System, and Skin Disorders. We are making no other revisions to these body systems in this final rule. This extension ensures that we will continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2017; Medicare Advantage Pricing Data Release; Medicare Advantage and Part D Medical Low Ratio Data Release; Medicare Advantage Provider Network Requirements; Expansion of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Model2016-Jul-152016-16097This major proposed rule addresses changes to the physician fee schedule and other Medicare Part B payment policies, such as changes to the Value Modifier, to ensure that our payment systems are updated to reflect changes in medical practice and the relative value of services, as well as changes in the statute. This proposed rule also includes proposals related to the Medicare Shared Saving Program, and the release of certain pricing data from Medicare Advantage bids and medical loss ratio reports from Medicare health and drug plans. In addition, this rule proposes to expand the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program model.
Social Security Administration -- Ensuring Program Uniformity at the Hearing and Appeals Council Levels of the Administrative Review Process2016-Jul-122016-16265We propose to revise our rules so that more of our procedures at the administrative law judge (ALJ) and Appeals Council levels of our administrative review process are consistent nationwide. We anticipate that these nationally consistent procedures will enable us to administer our disability programs more efficiently and better serve the public.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Neurological Disorders2016-Jul-012016-15306We are revising the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate disability claims involving neurological disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). These revisions reflect our program experience; advances in medical knowledge, treatment, and methods of evaluating neurological disorders; comments we received from medical experts and the public at an outreach policy conference; responses to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM); and public comments we received in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and a Federal Register notice that reopened the NPRM comment period.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Effective Date for Temporary Pilot Program Setting the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge2016-Jun-242016-14974We are extending for one year our pilot program that authorizes the agency to set the time and place for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Extending the pilot program continues our commitment to improve the efficiency of our hearing process and to maintain a hearing process that results in accurate, high-quality decisions for claimants. The current pilot program will expire on August 12, 2016. In this final rule, we are extending the effective date to August 11, 2017. We are making no other changes.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Inflation Catch-Up Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalty Amounts2016-Jun-152016-14060This interim final rule amends HUD's civil monetary penalty regulations by making inflation adjustments as mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. HUD also removes three obsolete civil monetary penalty regulations previously authorized under statutes for which either HUD no longer has enforcement authority or the program is no longer active. Lastly, HUD makes a technical change to the regulation language implementing the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act which, due to a typographical error under the last civil money penalty adjustment, failed to include language assigning a penalty for causing a false claim or statement to be made.
Social Security Administration -- Evidence From Statutorily Excluded Medical Sources2016-Jun-102016-13744In accordance with section 812 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA section 812), we propose to revise our rules to explain how we would address evidence furnished by medical sources that meet one of BBA section 812's exclusionary categories (statutorily excluded medical sources). Under this proposed rule, we would not consider evidence furnished by a statutorily excluded medical source unless we find good cause to do so. We propose several circumstances in which we would find good cause, and we also propose to require statutorily excluded medical sources to notify us of their excluded status when they furnish evidence to us. These rules would allow us to fulfill obligations that we have under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA).
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Respiratory System Disorders2016-Jun-092016-13275We are revising the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving respiratory disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). The revisions reflect our program experience and advances in medical knowledge since we last comprehensively revised this body system in 1993, as well as comments we received from medical experts and the public.
Health and Human Services Department -- Administration for Community Living-Regulatory Consolidation2016-Jun-032016-13138The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is amending its regulations to reflect the creation of ACL in 2012 and consolidate all of its regulations under a single subchapter. No substantive changes to the text of the regulations are being made by this rule.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act; Revisions to the Indian Housing Block Grant Program Formula2016-May-312016-12596This proposed rule would revise the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Program allocation formula authorized by section 302 of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996, as amended (NAHASDA). Through the IHBG Program, HUD provides federal housing assistance for Indian tribes in a manner that recognizes the right of Indian self-determination and tribal self-government. HUD negotiated the proposed rule with active tribal participation and using the procedures of the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990. The proposed regulatory changes reflect the consensus decisions reached by HUD and the tribal representatives on ways to improve and clarify the current regulations governing the IHBG Program formula.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Dates for Two Body System Listings2016-May-242016-12182We are extending the expiration dates of the following body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations: Endocrine Disorders and Immune System Disorders. We are making no other revisions to these body systems in this final rule. This extension ensures that we will continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Narrowing the Digital Divide Through Installation of Broadband Infrastructure in HUD-Funded New Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation of Multifamily Rental Housing2016-May-182016-11352Through this proposed rule, HUD continues its efforts to narrow the digital divide in low-income communities served by HUD by providing, where feasible and with HUD funding, broadband infrastructure to communities in need of such infrastructure. Broadband is the common term used to refer to a very fast connection to the Internet. Such connection is also referred to as high-speed broadband, broadband Internet, or high-speed Internet. In this proposed rule, HUD proposes to require installation of broadband infrastructure at the time of new construction or substantial rehabilitation of multifamily rental housing that is funded or supported by HUD. Installation of broadband infrastructure at the time of new construction or substantial rehabilitation is generally easier and less costly than when such installation is undertaken as a stand-alone effort. The proposed rule, however, recognizes that installation of broadband infrastructure may not be feasible for all new construction or substantial rehabilitation, and, therefore, the proposed rule allows limited exceptions to the installation requirements. Installing unit-based broadband infrastructure in multifamily rental housing that is newly constructed or substantially rehabilitated with or supported by HUD funding will provide a platform for individuals and families residing in such housing to participate in the digital economy, and increase their access to economic opportunities.
Health and Human Services Department -- Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities2016-May-182016-11458This final rule implements Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Section 1557). Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities. The final rule clarifies and codifies existing nondiscrimination requirements and sets forth new standards to implement Section 1557, particularly with respect to the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex in health programs other than those provided by educational institutions and the prohibition of various forms of discrimination in health programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS or the Department) and entities established under Title I of the ACA. In addition, the Secretary is authorized to prescribe the Department's governance, conduct, and performance of its business, including, here, how HHS will apply the standards of Section 1557 to HHS-administered health programs and activities.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Modernizing HUD's Consolidated Planning Process To Narrow the Digital Divide and Increase Resilience to Natural Hazards2016-May-182016-11350HUD's Consolidated Plan is a planning mechanism designed to help States and local governments to assess their affordable housing and community development needs and to make data-driven, place-based investment decisions. The consolidated planning process serves as the framework for a community-wide dialogue to identify housing and community development priorities that align and focus funding from HUD's formula block grant programs. This proposed rule would amend HUD's Consolidated Plan regulations to require that jurisdictions consider two additional concepts in their planning efforts. The first concept is how to address the need for broadband access for low- and moderate-income residents in the communities they serve. Broadband is the common term used to refer to a high-speed, always on connection to the Internet. Such connection is also referred to as high-speed broadband or high-speed Internet. Specifically, the proposed rule would require that States and localities that submit a consolidated plan describe the broadband access in housing occupied by low- and moderate-income households. If low-income residents in the communities do not have such access, States and jurisdictions must consider providing broadband access to these residents into their decisions on how to invest HUD funds. The second concept to be added to the Consolidated Plan process would require jurisdictions to consider incorporating resilience to natural hazard risks, taking care to anticipate how risks will increase due to climate change, into development of the Plan in order to begin addressing impacts of climate change on low- and moderate-income residents.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Equal Access to Housing in HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian Programs-Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity2016-May-092016-10753This proposed rule would revise regulations for HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs to incorporate existing rules that require HUD programs to be open to all eligible individuals and families regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. Since HUD promulgated the ``Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity'' final rule in February, 2012, HUD has required that HUD-assisted and HUD- insured housing be made available in accordance with program eligibility requirements and without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, and has generally prohibited inquiries into sexual orientation or gender identity. In applying these non-discrimination requirements to HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian programs, this proposed rule would further the Federal goal of providing decent housing and a suitable living environment for all.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Health Care Facilities2016-May-042016-10043This final rule will amend the fire safety standards for Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals, critical access hospitals (CAHs), long-term care facilities, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF-IID), ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), hospices which provide inpatient services, religious non-medical health care institutions (RNHCIs), and programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE) facilities. Further, this final rule will adopt the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code (LSC) and eliminate references in our regulations to all earlier editions of the Life Safety Code. It will also adopt the 2012 edition of the Health Care Facilities Code, with some exceptions.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Finalization of Interim Final Rules (Subject to Any Intervening Amendments) Under Consumer Financial Protection Laws2016-Apr-282016-09431Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) transferred rulemaking authority for a number of consumer financial protection laws from seven Federal agencies to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) as of July 21, 2011. In December 2011, the Bureau republished the existing regulations implementing those laws, as previously adopted by the seven predecessor agencies, as interim final rules (December 2011 IFRs) with technical and conforming changes to reflect the transfer of authority and certain other changes made by the Dodd-Frank Act. The December 2011 IFRs did not impose any new substantive obligations on persons subject to the existing regulations. This final rule adopts the December 2011 IFRs as final, subject to any intervening final rules published by the Bureau.
Agriculture Department -- Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 20102016-Apr-252016-09412This final rule updates the meal pattern requirements for the Child and Adult Care Food Program to better align them with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This rule requires centers and day care homes participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program to serve more whole grains and a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, and reduces the amount of added sugars and solid fats in meals. In addition, this final rule supports mothers who breastfeed and improves consistency with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and with other Child Nutrition Programs. Several of the changes are extended to the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Special Milk Program. These changes are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, science-based recommendations made by the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies), cost and practical considerations, and stakeholder's input. This is the first major revision of the Child and Adult Care Food Program meal patterns since the Program's inception in 1968. These improvements to the meals served in the Child and Adult Care Food Program are expected to safeguard the health of young children by ensuring healthy eating habits are developed early, and improve the wellness of adult participants.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of the Workers' Compensation Offset From Age 65 to Full Retirement Age-Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act2016-Apr-042016-07602This final rule adopts, with one additional change, the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that we published in the Federal Register on January 4, 2016. This final rule revises our rules by incorporating changes made by the ABLE Act to section 224(a) of the Social Security Act (Act). Under this final rule, the age at which disability insurance benefits (DIB) are no longer subject to reduction (offset) based on receipt of workers' compensation or public disability benefits (WC/PDB) changes from age 65 to the day the individual attains full retirement age.
Education Department -- Federal Agency Final Regulations Implementing Executive Order 13559: Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships With Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations2016-Apr-042016-07339The Agencies publishing this final rule amend or establish their regulations to implement Executive Order 13279, as amended by Executive Order 13559. Executive Order 13279 established fundamental principles to guide the policies of Federal agencies regarding the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in programs that the Federal agencies administer. Executive Order 13559 amended Executive Order 13279 to clarify those principles and add certain protections for beneficiaries of Federal social service programs.
Agriculture Department -- Child Nutrition Program Integrity2016-Mar-292016-06801This rule proposes to codify several provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 affecting the integrity of the Child Nutrition Programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the Special Milk Program for Children, the School Breakfast Program, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and State Administrative Expense Funds. The Department is proposing to establish criteria for assessments against State agencies and program operators who jeopardize the integrity of any Child Nutrition Program; establish procedures for termination and disqualification of entities in the SFSP; modify State agency site review requirements in the CACFP; establish State liability for reimbursements incurred as a result of a State's failure to conduct timely hearings in the CACFP; establish criteria for increased State audit funding for CACFP; establish procedures to prohibit the participation of entities or individuals terminated from any of the Child Nutrition Programs; establish serious deficiency and termination procedures for unaffiliated sponsored centers in the CACFP; eliminate cost-reimbursement food service management company contracts in the NSLP; and establish procurement training requirements for State agency and school food authority staff in the NSLP. In addition, this rulemaking would make several operational changes to improve oversight of an institution's financial management and would also include several technical corrections to the regulations. The proposed rule is intended to improve the integrity of all Child Nutrition Programs.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Streamlining Administrative Regulations for Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Multifamily Housing, and Community Planning and Development Programs2016-Mar-082016-04901The Department of Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2014 (2014 Appropriations Act), made several changes to the United States Housing Act of 1937 (1937 Act). Section 243 of the 2014 Appropriations Act authorized HUD to implement these changes through notice, followed by notice-and-comment rulemaking. Notices implementing the changes were published on May 19, 2014, and June 25, 2014. HUD issued a proposed rule on January 6, 2015, to codify these changes in regulation. In addition, the January 2015 rule proposed changes to streamline regulatory requirements pertaining to certain elements of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), Public Housing (PH), and various multifamily housing (MFH) rental assistance programs; to reduce the administrative burden on public housing agencies (PHAs) and MFH owners; and to align, where feasible, requirements across programs, including the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), which are administered by HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD). HUD also issued an interim rule on September 8, 2015, implementing changes to flat rents in the Public Housing program made by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2015 (2015 Appropriations Act). This final rule makes changes to the regulatory text as presented in the January 2015 proposed rule, including additional changes in response to public comment as well as further consideration by HUD of changes proposed in January 2015, and finalizes the regulatory changes contained in the September 2015 interim rule.
Agriculture Department -- Environmental Policies and Procedures2016-Mar-022016-03433Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture comprised of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereafter referred to as the Agency, has unified and updated the environmental policies and procedures covering all Agency programs by consolidating two existing Agency regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable environmental requirements. These final rules supplement the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation(ACHP), associated environmental statutes, Executive Orders and Departmental Regulations. The majority of the changes to the existing rules relate to the categorical exclusion provisions in the Agency's procedures for implementing NEPA. These changes consolidate the provisions of the Agency's two current NEPA rules, and better conform the Agency's regulations, particularly for those actions listed as categorical exclusions, to the Agency's current activities and recent experiences and to CEQ's Memorandum for Heads of Federal Departments and Agencies entitled ``Establishing, Applying, and Revising Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act'' issued on November 23, 2010.
Treasury Department -- Expanded Examination Cycle for Certain Small Insured Depository Institutions and U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks2016-Feb-292016-03877The OCC, Board, and FDIC (collectively, the agencies) are jointly issuing and requesting public comment on interim final rules to implement section 83001 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which was enacted on December 4, 2015. Section 83001 of the FAST Act permits the agencies to examine qualifying insured depository institutions with less than $1 billion in total assets no less than once during each 18-month period. Prior to enactment of the FAST Act, only qualifying insured depository institutions with less than $500 million in total assets were eligible for an 18-month on-site examination cycle. The interim final rules generally would allow well capitalized and well managed institutions with less than $1 billion in total assets to benefit from the extended 18-month examination schedule. In addition, the interim final rules make parallel changes to the agencies' regulations governing the on-site examination cycle for U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks, consistent with the International Banking Act of 1978. Finally, the FDIC is integrating its regulations regarding the frequency of safety and soundness examinations for State nonmember banks and State savings associations.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- Affirmative Action for Individuals With Disabilities in the Federal Government2016-Feb-242016-03530The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (``EEOC'' or ``Commission'') proposes to amend its regulations requiring the federal government to engage in affirmative action for individuals with disabilities. These changes will clarify the obligations that the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 imposes on federal agencies as employers, in addition to the obligation not to discriminate on the basis of disability. An initial economic analysis indicates that the regulations will have a moderate economic impact of less than $100 million per year on federal agencies. Because the proposed regulation does not apply to the private sector, it will have no impact, economic or otherwise, on private businesses.
Social Security Administration -- Returning Evidence at the Appeals Council Level2016-Feb-052016-02267This final rule adopts the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that we published in the Federal Register on October 21, 2015. This final rule revises our rules regarding returning evidence at the Appeals Council (AC) level. Under this final rule, the AC will no longer return additional evidence it receives when the AC determines the additional evidence does not relate to the period on or before the date of the administrative law judge (ALJ) decision.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of the Workers' Compensation Offset From Age 65 to Full Retirement Age-Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act2016-Jan-042015-33036We propose to amend our regulations to incorporate changes made by the ABLE Act to section 224(a) of the Social Security Act. The ABLE Act amends section 224(a) by changing the age at which disability insurance benefits (DIB) are no longer subject to reduction (offset) based on receipt of workers' compensation or public disability benefits (WC/PDB), from age 65 to the day the individual attains full retirement age. This change will make our rules consistent with the provisions of the Act, as amended by the ABLE Act.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Nondiscrimination in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency2015-Dec-142015-31050The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to amend its regulations with regard to compliance information, post-award compliance reviews, and complaint investigations. This proposed rule will improve the EPA's ability to ensure that recipients of federal financial assistance comply with their affirmative obligation under the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and other nondiscrimination statutes not to discriminate, while also ensuring that the EPA has sufficient flexibility and discretion to carry out its nondiscrimination compliance work.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards: Conforming Amendments2015-Dec-072015-29692On December 19, 2014, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a joint, Governmentwide interim rule with all Federal award-making agencies, entitled ``Federal Awarding Agency Regulatory Implementation of Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.'' In that rule, all Federal award-making agencies, including HUD, implemented the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. HUD also amended its administrative requirements for grants and cooperative agreements. This final rule conforms HUD's regulations to OMB's rule, revises cross references within affected HUD regulations, and makes other conforming changes and corrections.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing: Defining “Chronically Homeless”2015-Dec-042015-30473This final rule establishes the definition of ``chronically homeless'' that will be used in HUD's Continuum of Care Program, and in the Consolidated Submissions for Community Planning and Development Programs. This definition has been the subject of significant public comment which has guided HUD in establishing the definition of ``chronically homeless'' that will be used in its homeless assistance programs. The final rule also establishes the necessary recordkeeping requirements that correspond to the definition of ``chronically homeless'' for the Continuum of Care Program. Historically, other programs within HUD, as well as other agencies such as the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Department of Veteran Affairs, have adopted HUD's definition of chronically homeless and may also choose to adopt the definition of ``chronically homeless'' included in this final rule, however, it is not required.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission -- Miscellaneous Corrections2015-Dec-012015-30153The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its regulations to make miscellaneous corrections. These changes include renaming the Office of Information Services, renaming the Computer Security Office and removing it as a standalone office, capitalizing the words Tribe, Tribes, and Tribal, correcting a Web site address, correcting a misspelling, removing a submission requirement, correcting an email address, correcting a room number, removing a Federal Register notice requirement, and adding missing information collection references. This document is necessary to inform the public of these non-substantive changes to the NRC's regulations.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Equal Access in Accordance With an Individual's Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs2015-Nov-202015-29342As the Nation's housing agency, HUD administers programs designed to meet the goal of ensuring decent housing and a suitable living environment for all. In furtherance of this goal, in February 2012, HUD promulgated a final rule entitled ``Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity'' (Equal Access Rule), which requires that HUD-assisted and HUD-insured housing be made available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, and which generally prohibits inquiries into sexual orientation or gender identity for the purpose of determining eligibility for such housing or otherwise making such housing available. HUD's Equal Access Rule provides a limited exception for inquiries about the sex of an individual to determine eligibility for housing provided or to be provided to the individual when the housing is a temporary, emergency shelter that involves the sharing of sleeping areas or bathrooms, or for inquiries made for the purpose of determining the number of bedrooms to which a household may be entitled. At that time, HUD decided not to set national policy regarding how transgender persons would be accommodated in temporary, emergency shelters that involve shared sleeping quarters or shared bathing facilities, but instead decided to monitor and review its programs to determine if transgender individuals had greater access to temporary, emergency shelters as a result of the rule or if additional guidance or a national policy was warranted. HUD also committed to review the prohibition on inquiries contained in the Equal Access Rule. HUD has now monitored and reviewed its programs and, based on that review, is proposing this rule to require recipients and subrecipients of assistance from HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD), as well as owners, operators, and managers of shelters, buildings, and other facilities and providers of services covered by CPD's programs, to provide transgender persons and other persons who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth with access to programs, benefits, services, and accommodations in accordance with their gender identity. This proposed rule would also amend the definition of ``gender identity'' included in HUD's Equal Access Rule so the definition more clearly reflects the difference between actual and perceived gender identity. Finally, HUD has completed its review of the inquiries provision, and the proposed rule would eliminate the Equal Access Rule's current prohibition on inquiries related to sexual orientation or gender identity, while maintaining the prohibition against discrimination on those bases.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Changes to Accounting Requirements for the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) Program2015-Nov-122015-28700This rule makes several changes to the existing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program regulations in order to better track the use of grant funds and improve accounting procedures in the program. Through this rule, HUD requires grantees to commence tracking the obligations and expenditures of funds for each specific fiscal year grant, rather than track such information cumulatively. In order to effectively implement this accounting change, changes are needed to the regulations applicable to affected grants, such as the program-specific regulations, consolidated plan regulations, and methods to calculate the cap on administrative and planning expenses. While amending these regulations to conform to and support this accounting practice in applicable regulations, HUD is also making certain grammatical and other technical corrections in those regulations.
Education Department -- Open Licensing Requirement for Direct Grant Programs2015-Nov-032015-27930The Secretary proposes to amend the regulations regarding the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in order to require that all Department grantees awarded direct competitive grant funds openly license to the public all copyrightable intellectual property created with Department grant funds. These proposed changes would increase the Department's ability to be more strategic with limited resources, broadening the impact of its investments by allowing stakeholders, such as local educational agencies (LEAs), State educational agencies (SEAs), institutions of higher education (IHEs), and other entities, to benefit from these investments, even if they are not themselves recipients of Department funds. An open licensing requirement would also allow the Department to sustain innovations beyond the grant period by encouraging subject matter experts and users to adapt, update, and build upon grant products, stimulating quality and innovation in the development of educational resources. Finally, the proposed requirement would promote equity and access to Department-funded technology and materials and increase transparency and accountability for the Department and its grantees.
Social Security Administration -- Returning Evidence at the Appeals Council Level2015-Oct-212015-26747We propose to amend our regulations by revising our rules regarding the return of evidence at the Appeals Council (AC) level. Our current rules state that the AC will return to the claimant additional evidence it receives when the AC finds the evidence does not relate to the period on or before the date of the administrative law judge's (ALJ) hearing decision. We are proposing these revisions to give the AC discretion in returning additional evidence that it receives when the AC determines the additional evidence does not relate to the period on or before the date of the ALJ decision.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act2015-Oct-212015-26587Through this rule, HUD proposes to amend its fair housing regulations to formalize standards for use in investigations and adjudications involving alleged harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status or disability under the Fair Housing Act. The proposed standards would specify how HUD would evaluate complaints of quid pro quo (``this for that'') harassment and hostile environment harassment and provide for uniform treatment of Fair Housing Act claims raising such allegations in the federal courts. This proposed rule defines ``quid pro quo'' and ``hostile environment harassment,'' as prohibited under the Fair Housing Act, and adds illustrations of discriminatory housing practices that constitute such harassment. In addition, the proposed rule clarifies the operation of traditional principles of direct and vicarious liability under the Fair Housing Act.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowance Determinations2015-Oct-192015-26488We are extending the expiration date of our rule that authorizes State agency disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations without the approval of a State agency medical or psychological consultant in claims that we consider under our quick disability determination (QDD) and compassionate allowance (CAL) processes. The current rule will expire on November 13, 2015. In this final rule, we are changing the November 13, 2015 expiration or ``sunset'' date to November 11, 2016, extending the authority for 1 year. We are making no other substantive changes.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- Apprenticeship Programs; Corrections2015-Oct-072015-25491The EEOC is correcting a cross-reference in its regulation concerning the procedures for requesting an exemption for apprenticeship programs from the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) pursuant to Section 9 of the Act.
Homeland Security Department -- Adoption of Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; States and Tribal Mitigation Planning Regulations Change2015-Oct-022015-24584On December 19, 2014, all Federal award-making agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), published a joint interim final rule implementing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)'s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. DHS and FEMA now adopt, with one change, the interim final rule as final. The change restores language in the FEMA State and Tribal mitigation planning regulations that was inadvertently removed by the interim final rule.
Social Security Administration -- Vocational Factors of Age, Education, and Work Experience in the Adult Disability Determination Process2015-Sep-142015-22839We are soliciting public input about how we should consider the vocational factors of age, education, and work experience in adult disability claims under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). There have been significant changes in technology use and workforce demographics since we first adopted our vocational factor regulations in 1978. We are requesting public comments, along with any supporting data, to assist in our efforts to streamline, simplify, and ensure the ongoing relevance of our disability determination programs.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Streamlining Administrative Regulations for Public Housing: Revisions to Public Housing Flat Rents2015-Sep-082015-22022Section 238 of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2015 (2015 Appropriations Act) amended the requirements in the United States Housing Act of 1937 (1937 Act) for public housing agencies (PHAs) to set flat rents in public housing. These requirements were previously amended by Department of Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2014 (2014 Appropriations Act). This interim rule amends HUD regulations implementing the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 statutory language regarding public housing flat rents to allow PHAs to take advantage of the FY 2015 authority that provides PHAs with more flexibility in setting flat rents. This interim rule supersedes the portion of a proposed rule issued by HUD earlier this year that addressed the issue of setting flat rents in public housing, and HUD continues to seek comment on this issue.
Health and Human Services Department -- Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities2015-Sep-082015-22043The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS or ``the Department'') is issuing this proposed rule on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Section 1557). Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities. Section 1557(c) of the ACA authorizes the Secretary of the Department to promulgate regulations to implement the nondiscrimination requirements of Section 1557. In addition, the Secretary is authorized to prescribe regulations for the Department's governance, conduct, and performance of its business, including, here, how HHS will apply the standards of Section 1557 to HHS-administered health programs and activities.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Listings for Growth Disorders and Weight Loss in Children; Correcting Amendments2015-Aug-122015-19825We published a document in the Federal Register revising our rules on April 13, 2015. That document inadvertently included incorrect values in table II of listing 105.08(B)(1)(c) of appendix 1 to subpart P of 20 CFR part 404. This document corrects the final regulation by revising this table.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Equal Participation of Faith-Based Organizations in HUD Programs: Implementation of E.O. 135592015-Aug-062015-18258This rule proposes to revise HUD's regulation that covers the equal participation of faith-based (religious) organizations in HUD Programs, including all of HUD's Native American Programs, as well as several program-specific regulations regarding the equal participation of faith-based organizations. These revisions are being undertaken to implement Executive Order 13559, Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships with Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations. Executive Order 13559 revised Executive Order 13279, Equal Protection of the Laws for Faith-Based and Community Organizations, which provides the legal basis for HUD's current equal participation regulations. This rule implements changes to Executive Order 13279 made by Executive Order 13559, including changes to specific terminology, additional beneficiary protections, and clarifications on the responsibilities of intermediaries. In addition to proposing regulatory amendments to implement Executive Order 13559, HUD is also publishing for public comment a sample notice of beneficiary protections for use by faith-based organizations.
Treasury Department -- Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Age in Programs and Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance From the Department of the Treasury2015-Aug-042015-19096This proposed rule sets out the Department of the Treasury's (Treasury) rules for implementing the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended (the Act). The Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The Act, which applies to persons of all ages, permits the use of certain age distinctions and factors other than age that meet the Act's requirements. The Act and the related general, government-wide regulations require all agencies that extend federal financial assistance to issue agency-specific regulations implementing the Act. Treasury recipients have been subject to the Act and the government-wide regulations since their effective date in 1979. Accordingly, today's proposed rule does not substantially change Treasury recipients' existing duty to refrain from discrimination on the basis of age. This proposal fulfills the obligation on Treasury to issue agency-specific rules under the Act, clarifies the responsibilities of Treasury recipients under the Act, and describes the Treasury investigation, conciliation, and enforcement procedures to ensure compliance.
Peace Corps -- Eligibility and Standards for Peace Corps Volunteer Service2015-Jul-312015-18789This proposed regulation would restate and update the requirements for eligibility for Peace Corps Volunteer service, and the factors considered in the assessment and selection of eligible applicants for training and service. The requirements and factors for eligibility and selection were last published in 1984. A revision of the regulation is necessary to conform to changes in Federal laws and regulations, particularly with respect to those prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, and to reflect policy changes made by the Peace Corps.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing2015-Jul-162015-17032Through this final rule, HUD provides HUD program participants with an approach to more effectively and efficiently incorporate into their planning processes the duty to affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act, which is title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The Fair Housing Act not only prohibits discrimination but, in conjunction with other statutes, directs HUD's program participants to take significant actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, achieve truly balanced and integrated living patterns, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination. The approach to affirmatively furthering fair housing carried out by HUD program participants prior to this rule, which involved an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice and a certification that the program participant will affirmatively further fair housing, has not been as effective as originally envisioned. This rule refines the prior approach by replacing the analysis of impediments with a fair housing assessment that should better inform program participants' planning processes with a view toward better aiding HUD program participants to fulfill this statutory obligation. Through this rule, HUD commits to provide states, local governments, public housing agencies (PHAs), the communities they serve, and the general public, to the fullest extent possible, with local and regional data on integrated and segregated living patterns, racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty, the location of certain publicly supported housing, access to opportunity afforded by key community assets, and disproportionate housing needs based on classes protected by the Fair Housing Act. Through the availability of such data and available local data and knowledge, the approach provided by this rule is intended to make program participants better able to evaluate their present environment to assess fair housing issues such as segregation, conditions that restrict fair housing choice, and disparities in access to housing and opportunity, identify the factors that primarily contribute to the creation or perpetuation of fair housing issues, and establish fair housing priorities and goals.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Effective Date for Temporary Pilot Program Setting the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge2015-Jul-022015-16397We are extending for one year our pilot program that authorizes the agency to set the time and place for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Extending of the pilot program continues our commitment to improve the efficiency of our hearing process and to maintain a hearing process that results in accurate, high-quality decisions for claimants. The current pilot program will expire on August 10, 2015. In this final rule, we are extending the effective date to August 12, 2016. We are making no other substantive changes.
National Credit Union Administration -- Member Business Loans; Commercial Lending2015-Jul-012015-15466As part of NCUA's Regulatory Modernization Initiative, the NCUA Board (Board) proposes to amend its member business loans (MBL) rule to provide federally insured credit unions with greater flexibility and individual autonomy in safely and soundly providing commercial and business loans to serve their members. The proposed amendments would modernize the regulatory requirements that govern credit union commercial lending activities by replacing the current rule's prescriptive requirements and limitations--such as collateral and security requirements, equity requirements, and loan limits--with a broad principles-based regulatory approach. As such, the amendments would also eliminate the current MBL waiver process, which is unnecessary under a principles-based rule. The Board emphasizes that the proposed rule represents a change in regulatory approach and supervisory expectations for safe and sound lending would change accordingly. With adoption of a final rule, NCUA would publish updated supervisory guidance to examiners, which would be shared with credit unions, to provide more extensive discussion of expectations in relation to the revised rule.
Agriculture Department -- Reserve Account2015-Jun-172015-14783The Rural Housing Service (RHS or ``Agency'') is amending its regulation to change the requirements of the reserve account for direct Multifamily Housing (MFH) loans. The intended effect of this action is to address the reserve account requirement of the Agency to countersign with the borrower when a Section 538 guaranteed loan is involved, and to also clarify that reserve account funds cannot be used to pay for fees associated with the Section 538 guaranteed loan program.
Social Security Administration -- Sixty-Month Period of Employment Requirement for Government Pension Offset Exemption2015-Jun-152015-14509This final rule adopts, with clarifying changes, the proposed rule we previously published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2007. This final rule revises our Government Pension Offset (GPO) regulations to reflect changes to the Social Security Act (``Act'') made by section 9007 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987) and section 418 of the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (SSPA). These regulations explain how and when we will reduce the Social Security spouse's benefit for some people who receive Federal, State, or local government pensions if Social Security did not cover their government work.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Sunset Date for Attorney Advisor Program2015-Jun-052015-13768We are extending for 2 years our rule authorizing attorney advisors to conduct certain prehearing procedures and to issue fully favorable decisions. The current rule will expire on August 7, 2015. In this final rule, we are extending the sunset date to August 4, 2017. We are making no other substantive changes.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)2015-May-202015-11923We are revising the criteria in parts A and B of the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases) under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). These revisions reflect our adjudicative experience, advances in medical knowledge, recommendations from medical experts we consulted, and public comments we received in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Hematological Disorders2015-Apr-172015-08849We are revising the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate cases involving hematological disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). These revisions reflect our adjudicative experience, advances in medical knowledge, diagnosis, and treatment, and public comments we received in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
Education Department -- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Miscellaneous Program Changes2015-Apr-162015-05535The Secretary proposes to amend the regulations governing a number of programs administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to implement changes to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Act) made by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, enacted on July 22, 2014. The Secretary also proposes to implement changes to the Act made by the Workforce Investment Act, enacted on August 7, 1998, that have not previously been implemented in regulations, and to otherwise update, clarify, and improve RSA's current regulations.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013: Implementation in HUD Housing Programs2015-Apr-012015-06781This proposed rule would amend HUD's regulations to fully implement the requirements of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as reauthorized in 2013 under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013). VAWA 2013 provides enhanced statutory protections for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. VAWA 2013 also expands VAWA protections to HUD programs beyond HUD's public housing and Section 8 programs, which were covered by the reauthorization of VAWA in 2005 (VAWA 2005). In addition to proposing regulatory amendments to fully implement VAWA 2013, HUD is also publishing for public comment two documents concerning tenant protections required by VAWA 2013--a notice of occupancy rights and an emergency transfer plan. Although VAWA refers to women in its title, the statute makes clear that the protections are for all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, regardless of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age.
Social Security Administration -- Submission of Evidence in Disability Claims2015-Mar-202015-05921We are clarifying our regulations to require you to inform us about or submit all evidence known to you that relates to your disability claim, subject to two exceptions for certain privileged communications. This requirement includes the duty to submit all evidence that relates to your disability claim received from any source in its entirety, unless you previously submitted the same evidence to us or we instruct you otherwise. We are also requiring your representative to help you obtain the information or evidence that we require you to submit under our regulations. These modifications to our regulations will better describe your duty to submit all evidence that relates to your disability claim and enable us to have more complete case records on which to make more accurate disability determinations and decisions.
Agriculture Department -- Rural Development Regulations-Update to FmHA References and to Census References2015-Feb-242015-01571Rural Development (RD) is amending its regulations by updating references to the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) and clarifying and updating references to the census data. These actions will provide consistency in terminology between program regulations. In addition, clarifying and updating references to census data is needed to account for changes to the decennial Census, which, starting with the 2010 decennial Census is no longer reporting income and unemployment data. Additional revisions are being implemented to show the regulations that do not apply to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and to remove outdated or unnecessary language.
Health and Human Services Department -- State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs2015-Feb-112015-01914The Administration on Aging (AoA) of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing this final rule in order to implement provisions of the Older Americans Act (the Act) regarding States' Long- Term Care Ombudsman programs (Ombudsman programs). Since its creation in the 1970s, the functions of the Nursing Home Ombudsman program (later, changed to Long-Term Care Ombudsman program) have been delineated in the Act; however, regulations have not been promulgated specifically focused on States' implementation of this program. In the absence of regulation, there has been significant variation in the interpretation and implementation of these provisions among States. HHS expects that a number of States may need to update their statutes, regulations, policies, procedures and/or practices in order to operate the Ombudsman program consistent with Federal law and this final rule.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Housing Trust Fund2015-Jan-302015-01642The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) establishes a Housing Trust Fund (HTF) to be administered by HUD. The purpose of the HTF is to provide grants to State governments to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low- and very low-income families, including homeless families, and to increase homeownership for extremely low- and very low-income families. This rule establishes the regulations that will govern the HTF. HUD is issuing this rule as an interim rule. It is HUD's intention to open this interim rule for public comment to solicit comments once funding is available and the grantees gain experience administering the HTF program.
Agriculture Department -- Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 20102015-Jan-152015-00446This rule proposes changes to the meal pattern requirements for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to better align the meal patterns with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). The proposed changes are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, science-based recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in the report Child and Adult Care Food Program: Aligning Dietary Guidance for All, and input from stakeholders, as well as cost and practical considerations for CACFP institutions and facilities. In addition, this proposal would make additional revisions to the health and wellness components of CACFP to reflect several requirements set forth in the HHFKA, including making changes to the purpose of the Program and making water available to Program participants. Several of these changes would be extended to the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Special Milk Program to increase consistency across all Child Nutrition Programs. Implementation of this proposed rule would serve as a step towards more nutritious meals that improve the dietary habits of participants in day care.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Streamlining Administrative Regulations for Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Multifamily Housing, and Community Planning and Development Programs2015-Jan-062014-30504Section 243 of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2014 (2014 Appropriations Act), authorized HUD to implement certain statutory changes to the United States Housing Act of 1937 (1937 Act) made by the 2014 Appropriations Act through notice, followed by notice and comment rulemaking. Notices implementing the changes were published on May 19, 2014, and June 25, 2014. Consistent with statutory direction, this proposed rule commences the rulemaking process to codify in regulation the statutory changes made to the 1937 Act by the 2014 Appropriations Act and to solicit comment on HUD's implementation of these changes through the published notices. HUD intends to address the FY14 provision on consortia through separate rulemaking. In addition, this rulemaking also proposes changes to streamline regulatory requirements pertaining to certain elements of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), Public Housing (PH), and various multifamily housing (MFH) rental assistance programs; to reduce the administrative burden on public housing agencies (PHAs) and MFH owners; and to align, where feasible, requirements across programs. One of the proposed changes would also affect the HOME Investment Partnerships program, Continuum of Care program, and the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program which are administered by HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development.
Social Security Administration -- Revisions to Direct Fee Payment Rules2015-Jan-062014-30921We are adopting, with two revisions, our interim final rules that implemented amendments to the Social Security Act (Act) made by the Social Security Disability Applicants' Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010 (PRA). The interim final rules made permanent the direct fee payment rules for eligible non-attorney representatives under titles II and XVI of the Act and for attorney representatives under title XVI of the Act. They also revised some of our eligibility policies for non-attorney representatives under titles II and XVI of the Act. Based on public comment and subsequent inquiries, we are revising our rules to clarify that an eligible non- attorney representative's liability insurance policy must include malpractice coverage. We are also reaffirming that a business entity legally permitted to provide the required insurance in the States in which the non-attorney representative conducts business must underwrite the policies.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Dates for Several Body System Listings2015-Jan-022014-30739We are extending the expiration dates of the following body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations: Growth Impairment, Musculoskeletal System, Respiratory System, Cardiovascular System, Digestive System, Hematological Disorders, Skin Disorders, Neurological, and Mental Disorders. We are making no other revisions to these body systems in this final rule. This extension will ensure that we continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.
National Credit Union Administration -- Appraisals-Availability to Applicants and Requirements for Transactions Involving an Existing Extension of Credit2014-Dec-192014-29635As part of NCUA's Regulatory Modernization Initiative, the NCUA Board (Board) is revising two of NCUA's regulations regarding appraisals. In response to a recent amendment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Regulation B, the Board is eliminating from NCUA's regulations the now duplicative requirement that federal credit unions (FCUs) make available, to any requesting member, a copy of the appraisal used in connection with that member's application for a loan secured by a first lien on a dwelling. Also, the Board is amending NCUA's appraisal regulations by expanding the current exemption for certain transactions involving an existing extension of credit. More specifically, under the expanded exemption, a federally insured credit union (FICU) will be permitted to refinance or modify a real estate- related loan held by the FICU, without having to obtain another appraisal, if there is no advancement of new monies or if there is adequate collateral protection even with the advancement of new monies. Lastly, the Board is making a minor technical amendment to the definition of the term ``application.''
Executive Office of the President -- Federal Awarding Agency Regulatory Implementation of Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards2014-Dec-192014-28697This joint interim final rule implements for all Federal award-making agencies the final guidance Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on December 26, 2013. This rule is necessary in order to incorporate into regulation and thus bring into effect the Uniform Guidance as required by OMB. Implementation of this guidance will reduce administrative burden and risk of waste, fraud, and abuse for the approximately $600 billion per year awarded in Federal financial assistance. The result will be more Federal dollars reprogrammed to support the mission, new entities able to compete and win awards, and ultimately a stronger framework to provide key services to American citizens and support the basic research that underpins the United States economy.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Section 232 Healthcare Facility Insurance Program-Aligning Operator Financial Reports With HUD's Uniform Financial Reporting Standards2014-Dec-162014-29464On September 16, 2014, HUD published an interim rule that revised the financial reporting deadlines for operators participating in FHA's program for insurance of health care facilities under section 232 of the National Housing Act (Section 232 program) to bring them in- line with the reporting periods prescribed in HUD's Uniform Financial Reporting Standards, to which owners and borrowers participating in the Section 232 program are subject. HUD received no public comments in response to its solicitation of comment in the September 16, 2014, rule, and is therefore adopting the interim rule without change.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Genitourinary Disorders2014-Oct-102014-24114These final rules revise the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate cases involving genitourinary disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). The revisions reflect our program experience and address adjudicator questions we have received since we last comprehensively revised this body system in 2005.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Supportive Housing and Services for the Elderly and Persons With Disabilities: Implementing Statutory Reforms2014-Oct-072014-23276This proposed rule would implement amendments made by the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Act of 2010 (Section 202 Act of 2010) and the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010 (Melville Act) to the authorizing statutes for HUD's supportive housing for the elderly program, known as the Section 202 program, and the supportive housing for persons with disabilities program, known as the Section 811 program. These two statutes were enacted on January 4, 2011, and made important reforms to the Section 202 and Section 811 programs, several of which have already been implemented through separate issuances, as discussed in the Supplementary Information section of this rule. In addition to proposing regulations to implement reforms of these two statutes, this proposed rule would implement several other changes to align with the amendments made by the January 4, 2011, statutes, and streamline the Section 202 and Section 811 programs to better provide supportive housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities. This proposed rule would establish the requirements and procedures for the use of new project rental assistance for supportive housing for persons with disabilities; the implementation of an enhanced project rental assistance contract; allowance of a set-aside for a number of units for elderly individuals with functional limitations or other category of elderly persons as defined in the notice of funding availability (NOFA); make significant changes for the prepayment of certain loans for supportive housing for the elderly; implement a new form of rental assistance called Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contracts (SPRACs); modernize the capital advance for supportive housing for persons with disabilities; and provide grant assistance for applicants without sufficient capital to prepare a site for a funding competition. This rule also proposes to establish the regulations for the Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing program and the Assisted Living Conversion program.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Section 232 Healthcare Facility Insurance Program-Aligning Operator Financial Reports With HUD's Uniform Financial Reporting Standards2014-Sep-162014-22069Through a final rule published on September 7, 2012, HUD revised the regulations for FHA's program for insurance of health care facilities under section 232 of the National Housing Act (Section 232 program). In the September 7, 2012, final rule, HUD retained the longstanding requirement that owners and borrowers participating in the Section 232 program submit audited financial statements to HUD, and added the requirement that operators of Section 232 facilities also submit financial statements to HUD on a quarterly and annual basis. However, the September 7, 2012, rule placed operators on a different submission deadline than that required of owners. This interim rule revises the financial reporting deadlines for operators to bring them in-line with the reporting periods prescribed in HUD's Uniform Financial Reporting Standards, to which owners and borrowers are subject.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowances2014-Aug-282014-20535We are extending the expiration date of our rule that authorizes State agency disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations without the approval of a State agency medical or psychological consultant in claims that we consider under our quick disability determination (QDD) and compassionate allowance (CAL) processes. The current rule will expire on November 14, 2014. In this final rule, we are changing the November 14, 2014 expiration or ``sunset'' date to November 13, 2015, extending the authority for 1 year. We are making no other substantive changes.
Agriculture Department -- Reserve Account2014-Aug-132014-19086Through this action, the Rural Housing Service (RHS) is proposing to amend its regulation to change the requirements of the Reserve Account for the Section 515 Rural Rental Housing (RRH) program. The intended effect of this action is to address the reserve account requirement of an Agency countersignature with the borrower when a Section 538 guaranteed loan is involved, and to also clarify that reserve account funds cannot be used to pay for fees associated with the Section 538 guaranteed loan program.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Date for Temporary Pilot Program Setting the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge; Correction2014-Jul-312014-17976The Social Security Administration published a final rule document in the Federal Register on July 18, 2014 (79 FR 41881), extending the expiration date for the Temporary Pilot Program Setting the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge. That document inadvertently had a timing issue with Sec. 405.315(e) not being codified by the July 18, 2014 publication. Section 405.315(e) was codified on July 25, 2014. This document corrects the final regulation by revising the now codified Sec. 405.315(e).
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Date for Temporary Pilot Program Setting the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge2014-Jul-182014-16782We are extending for one year our pilot program that authorizes the agency to set the time and place for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Extending the pilot program continues our commitment to improve the efficiency of our hearing process and provide accurate, high-quality decisions for claimants. The current pilot program will expire on August 9, 2014. In this final rule, we are extending the expiration date to August 10, 2015. We are making no other substantive changes.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Streamlining Requirements Applicable to Formation of Consortia by Public Housing Agencies2014-Jul-112014-16151This proposed rule would revise HUD's public housing agency (PHA) consortium regulations. These regulations provide the procedures by which PHAs may choose to administer their public housing and Section 8 programs. The changes proposed are intended to increase administrative efficiencies associated with forming a consortium and to help ensure maximum family choice in locating suitable housing. The proposed rule focuses mainly on establishing a new category of consortia for administration of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. This type of consortium would be comprised of multiple PHAs that would become a single PHA, with a single jurisdiction and a single set of reporting and audit requirements, for purposes of administering the Section 8 HCV program. This type of consortium would be in addition to the consortium structure established in current consortium regulations which the Department is referring to as multiple-ACC consortium in this proposed rule. The proposed rule would also revise the categories of Section 8 programs eligible to be administered under a consortium, and establish new requirements regarding the timeframes for the establishment and dissolution of a consortium. Further, HUD has taken the opportunity afforded by this proposed rule to make several technical, nonsubstantive changes to improve the clarity and organization of the consortia regulations. HUD has also taken the opportunity afforded by this proposed rule to amend the definition of ``public housing agency'' to be consistent with amendments to the United States Housing Act of 1937 (1937 Act), as provided for in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014.
Social Security Administration -- Electronic Substitutions for SSA-5382014-Jun-262014-14914This final rule adopts, without change, the final rule with request for comments we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 41685) on July 15, 2011. We are revising our regulations to reflect our use of electronic case processing at the initial and reconsideration levels of our administrative review process. We are not changing the requirement that State agency medical and psychological consultants must affirm the accuracy and completeness of their findings of fact and discussion of the supporting evidence, only the manner in which they may provide the required findings and affirmation. This revision will improve our efficiency by increasing our use of electronic resources.
National Credit Union Administration -- Appraisals-Availability to Applicants and Requirements for Transactions Involving an Existing Extension of Credit2014-Jun-262014-14889As part of NCUA's Regulatory Modernization Initiative, the NCUA Board (Board) is proposing to revise two of NCUA's regulations regarding appraisals. Firstly, the Board is proposing to amend NCUA's regulations to eliminate the now duplicative requirement that federal credit unions (FCUs) make available, to any requesting member/ applicant, a copy of the appraisal used in connection with that member's application for a loan secured by a first lien on a dwelling. A recent amendment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Regulation B requires that all creditors, including FCUs, now automatically provide applicants with free copies of all appraisals and other written valuations developed in connection with an application for a loan to be secured by a first lien on a dwelling. Secondly, the proposed rule would amend NCUA's appraisal regulations by expanding the current exemption for certain transactions involving an existing extension of credit. Under the expanded exemption, federally insured credit unions (FICUs) would be able to refinance or modify a real estate-related loan held by the FICU, without having to obtain an appraisal, if there is no advancement of new monies or if there is adequate collateral protection, even with the advancement of new monies. The proposal would also make a minor technical amendment to the definition of the term ``application.'' These changes will modernize NCUA's regulations by better aligning them with the modern marketplace, while also reducing costs for FICUs and their members, and removing outdated regulatory requirements.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA): Changes to the Section 8 Tenant-Based Voucher and Section 8 Project-Based Voucher Programs2014-Jun-252014-14632HERA, enacted into law on July 30, 2008, made comprehensive and significant reforms to several HUD programs, including HUD's Public Housing, Section 8 Tenant-Based Voucher, and Project-Based Voucher programs. On November 24, 2008, HUD published a notice that provided information about the applicability of certain HERA provisions to these programs. The notice identified: those statutory provisions that are self-executing and required no action on the part of HUD for the program changes made by HERA to be implemented; and those statutory provisions that require new regulations or regulatory changes by HUD for the HERA provisions to be implemented. The notice also offered the opportunity for public comment on the guidance provided. HUD followed the November 2008 notice with a May 15, 2012, rule that proposed to establish, in regulation, the reforms made by HERA solely to the Section 8 Tenant-Based Voucher and Project-Based Voucher programs as discussed in the November 2008 notice, to make other related changes to the regulations, and to further solicit public comment. This final rule conforms the regulations of the Section 8 Tenant-Based Voucher and Project-Based Voucher programs to the statutory program changes made by HERA, makes other related changes to these regulations as discussed in the May 2012 proposed rule, and makes further changes to the two voucher program regulations as a result of issues raised by public comment or as a result of further consideration by HUD of issues pertaining to these programs.
Social Security Administration -- Changes to Scheduling and Appearing at Hearings2014-Jun-252014-14793These final rules explain how a claimant may object to appearing at a hearing via video teleconferencing, or to the time and place of a hearing. These final rules adopt, with further clarification regarding our good cause exception, the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that we published in the Federal Register on June 27, 2013. We expect that these final rules will have a minimal impact on the public, help ensure the integrity of our programs, and allow us to administer our programs more efficiently.
Social Security Administration -- Technical Corrections to Regulations2014-Jun-122014-13803We are making technical corrections to several of our regulations. In some cases, we are correcting outdated cross-references in light of revisions we made to other rules. We are also revising the maximum dollar amount of overpayments subject to compromise based on other changes in the law, and we are adjusting the formula we use to calculate the maximum benefits payable in the first and second installment payments of large past-due benefits for the same reason. In addition, we are updating references to the coverage status of affected non-temporary employees of the government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. These changes do not alter the substance of the regulations or effect the rights of claimants or any other parties. We expect that the changes will make our rules more internally consistent and make them easier to use.
Social Security Administration -- Obtaining Evidence Beyond the Current “Special Arrangement Sources”2014-Jun-122014-13802We are amending our regulations to state that we will obtain evidence from any appropriate source. Our current regulations provide that we will obtain information from ``special arrangement sources'' for those infrequent situations when we are in a better position than our State agency partners to obtain evidence. Due to improved evidence collection through our increased use of health information technology (health IT), we are obtaining evidence electronically with increasing frequency. We expect that, over time, the electronic exchange of medical records will become our primary means for obtaining medical evidence. As we increase our use of health IT, the designation of ``special arrangement sources'' will no longer adequately describe from whom we collect evidence.
National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities -- Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Age in Federally Assisted Programs or Activities2014-May-092014-10644In this final rule, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is issuing Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (the Act or the Age Act) regulations. These regulations implement provisions of the Act and the general, government-wide age discrimination regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These regulations are designed to guide the actions of recipients of Federal financial assistance from NEH and incorporate the basic standards set forth in the general, government-wide regulations for determining what constitutes age discrimination. These regulations also discuss the responsibilities of NEH recipients and the investigations, conciliation, and enforcement procedures NEH has been using and will continue to use to ensure compliance with the Act.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Health Care Facilities2014-Apr-162014-08602This proposed rule would amend the fire safety standards for Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals, critical access hospitals (CAHs), long-term care facilities, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF-IID), ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), hospices which provide inpatient services, religious non-medical health care institutions (RNHCIs), and programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE) facilities. Further, this proposed rule would adopt the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code (LSC) and eliminate references in our regulations to all earlier editions. It would also adopt the 2012 edition of the Health Care Facilities Code, with some exceptions. We are providing the LSC citation, a description of the 2012 requirement, and an explanation of its benefits for health care facilities, patients, staff, and visitors over the 2000 version in each occupancy section.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- Waivers of Rights and Claims in Settlement of a Charge or Lawsuit Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Corrections2014-Mar-112014-05274The EEOC is correcting a cross-reference in its regulation concerning the requirements for a valid waiver of an individual's right to file a lawsuit under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) amendments to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This is a technical correction.
Social Security Administration -- Medicare Determinations and Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts to Medicare Part B Premiums; Conforming Changes to Regulations2014-Mar-032014-04610This final rule adopts, without change, the interim final rule with request for comments we published in the Federal Register on September 18, 2013. The interim final rule modified our rules regarding Medicare Part B income-related monthly adjustment amounts to conform to changes made to the Social Security Act (Act) and Internal Revenue Code by the Affordable Care Act. We also removed provisions that phased in income-related monthly adjustment amounts between 2007 and 2009 and updated a citation to reflect the transfer of authority for hearing appeals under title XVIII of the Act from the Social Security Administration to the Department of Health and Human Services.
National Credit Union Administration -- Prompt Corrective Action-Risk-Based Capital2014-Feb-272014-01702The NCUA Board (Board) is proposing to amend NCUA's regulations regarding prompt corrective action (PCA) to restructure the part, and make various revisions, including replacing the agency's current risk-based net worth requirements with new risk-based capital requirements for federally insured ``natural person'' credit unions. The proposed risk-based capital requirements would be more consistent with NCUA's risk-based capital measure for corporate credit unions and the regulatory risk-based capital measures used by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and Office of the Comptroller of Currency (Other Federal Banking Regulatory Agencies). In addition, the proposed revisions would revise the risk- weights for many of NCUA's current asset classifications; require higher minimum levels of capital for federally insured natural person credit unions with concentrations of assets in real estate loans, member business loans (MBLs) or higher levels of delinquent loans; and set forth the process for NCUA to require an individual federally insured natural person credit union to hold higher levels of risk-based capital to address unique supervisory concerns raised by NCUA. The proposed revisions would also eliminate several of NCUA's provisions, including provisions relating to regular reserve accounts, risk- mitigation credits, and alternative risk-weights.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection and for Evaluating Functional Limitations in Immune System Disorders2014-Feb-262014-04124We propose to revise the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). We also propose to revise the introductory text of the listings that we use to evaluate functional limitations resulting from immune system disorders. The proposed revisions reflect our program experience, advances in medical knowledge, recommendations from a commissioned report and comments from medical experts and the public.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Dates for Several Body System Listings2014-Feb-262014-04123We are extending the expiration dates of the following body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations: Growth Impairment, Musculoskeletal System, Respiratory System, Cardiovascular System, Digestive System, Skin Disorders, and Neurological. We are making no other revisions to these body systems in this final rule. This extension will ensure that we continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Neurological Disorders2014-Feb-252014-02659We propose to revise the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate disability claims involving neurological disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). The proposed revisions reflect our program experience; advances in medical knowledge, treatment, and methods of evaluating neurological disorders; comments we received from medical experts and the public at an outreach policy conference; and responses to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM).
Social Security Administration -- Submission of Evidence in Disability Claims2014-Feb-202014-03426We propose to clarify our regulations to require you to inform us about or submit all evidence known to you that relates to your disability claim, subject to two exceptions for certain privileged communications. This requirement would include the duty to submit all evidence obtained from any source in its entirety, unless subject to one of these exceptions. We also propose to require your representative to help you obtain the information or evidence that we would require you to submit under our regulations. These modifications to our regulations would better describe your duty to submit all evidence that relates to your disability claim and enable us to have a more complete case record on which to make more accurate disability determinations and decisions.
Agriculture Department -- Environmental Policies and Procedures2014-Feb-042014-00220Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture comprised of the Rural Housing Service (RHS), Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereafter referred to as the Agency, is proposing to unify and update environmental policies and procedures covering all Agency programs by consolidating two existing Agency regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable environmental requirements. These rules supplement the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), associated environmental statutes, Executive orders and Departmental Regulations. The majority of the proposed changes relate to the categorical exclusion provisions in the Agency's procedures for implementing NEPA. These proposed changes are intended to better align the Agency's regulations, particularly for those actions listed as categorical exclusions, to the Agency's current activities and recent experiences and to the CEQ's Memorandum for Heads of Federal Departments and Agencies entitled ``Establishing, Applying, and Revising Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act'' issued on November 23, 2010, and to consolidate the provisions of the Agency's two current NEPA rules at 7 CFR parts 1794 and 1940, subpart G.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicaid Program; State Plan Home and Community-Based Services, 5-Year Period for Waivers, Provider Payment Reassignment, and Home and Community-Based Setting Requirements for Community First Choice and Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers2014-Jan-162014-00487This final rule amends the Medicaid regulations to define and describe state plan section 1915(i) home and community-based services (HCBS) under the Social Security Act (the Act) amended by the Affordable Care Act. This rule offers states new flexibilities in providing necessary and appropriate services to elderly and disabled populations. This rule describes Medicaid coverage of the optional state plan benefit to furnish home and community based-services and draw federal matching funds. This rule also provides for a 5-year duration for certain demonstration projects or waivers at the discretion of the Secretary, when they provide medical assistance for individuals dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare benefits, includes payment reassignment provisions because state Medicaid programs often operate as the primary or only payer for the class of practitioners that includes HCBS providers, and amends Medicaid regulations to provide home and community-based setting requirements related to the Affordable Care Act for Community First Choice State plan option. This final rule also makes several important changes to the regulations implementing Medicaid 1915(c) HCBS waivers.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers2013-Dec-272013-30724This proposed rule would establish national emergency preparedness requirements for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating providers and suppliers to ensure that they adequately plan for both natural and man-made disasters, and coordinate with federal, state, tribal, regional, and local emergency preparedness systems. It would also ensure that these providers and suppliers are adequately prepared to meet the needs of patients, residents, clients, and participants during disasters and emergency situations. We are proposing emergency preparedness requirements that 17 provider and supplier types must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Since existing Medicare and Medicaid requirements vary across the types of providers and suppliers, we are also proposing variations in these requirements. These variations are based on existing statutory and regulatory policies and differing needs of each provider or supplier type and the individuals to whom they provide health care services. Despite these variations, our proposed regulations would provide generally consistent emergency preparedness requirements, enhance patient safety during emergencies for persons served by Medicare- and Medicaid-participating facilities, and establish a more coordinated and defined response to natural and man- made disasters.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)2013-Dec-172013-30088We propose to revise the criteria in parts A and B of the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate cases involving cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases) in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). These proposed revisions reflect our adjudicative experience, advances in medical knowledge, and recommendations from medical experts we consulted, as well as public comments we received on methods of evaluating cancer.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Date for Mental Disorders Body System Listings2013-Dec-032013-28836We are extending the expiration date of the Mental Disorders body system in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations. We are making no other revisions to this body system in this final rule. This extension will ensure that we continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate mental disorders at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.
Social Security Administration -- Electronic Interim Assistance Reimbursement Program2013-Nov-252013-28034We reimburse States that provide interim assistance to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants under our interim assistance reimbursement (IAR) program. We provide this reimbursement from the SSI recipient's initial retroactive SSI payment. On November 20, 2010, we began using an electronic Interim Assistance Reimbursement system (eIAR) to streamline the way we process reimbursements to the States. The eIAR process replaced our prior paper-based process with an electronic one, and greatly reduced our and the State's involvement in manually processing IAR cases. This electronic system did not change the amount of payments we make to States and SSI recipients. We propose to revise our rules about how we administer the IAR process to reflect the electronic process. We also made minor language changes and reorganized the sections for clarity.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Hematological Disorders2013-Nov-192013-27514We propose to revise the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate cases involving hematological disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). The proposed revisions reflect advances in medical knowledge, our adjudicative experience, and information we received from medical experts and the public.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowances2013-Nov-062013-26524We are extending the expiration date of our rules that authorizes State agency disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations without the approval of a State agency medical or psychological consultant in claims that we consider under our quick disability determination (QDD) and compassionate allowance (CAL) processes. The current rules will expire on November 12, 2013. In this final rule, we are changing the November 12, 2013 expiration or ``sunset'' date to November 14, 2014, extending the authority for 1 year. We are making no other substantive changes, although we are making minor, nonsubstantive editorial changes to the rule for clarity.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X), and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2013-Oct-012013-22752This final rule amends some of the final mortgage rules issued by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) in January 2013. These amendments focus primarily on loss mitigation procedures under Regulation X's servicing provisions, amounts counted as loan originator compensation to retailers of manufactured homes and their employees for purposes of applying points and fees thresholds under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act and the Ability-to-Repay rules in Regulation Z, exemptions available to creditors that operate predominantly in ``rural or underserved'' areas for various purposes under the mortgage regulations, application of the loan originator compensation rules to bank tellers and similar staff, and the prohibition on creditor-financed credit insurance. The Bureau also is adjusting the effective dates for certain provisions of the loan originator compensation rules. In addition, the Bureau is adopting technical and wording changes for clarification purposes to Regulations B, X, and Z.
Social Security Administration -- Medicare Determinations and Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts to Medicare Part B Premiums; Conforming Changes to Regulations2013-Sep-182013-22445We are modifying our regulations regarding Medicare Part B income-related monthly adjustment amounts (IRMAA) in order to conform to changes made to the Social Security Act (Act) by the Affordable Care Act. This rule freezes the modified adjusted gross income threshold and ranges from 2011 through 2019 and removes the requirement that beneficiaries consent to our release of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the purpose of adjudicating any appeal of an IRMAA to the Part B premium subsidy. We are also removing provisions that phased in IRMAA between 2007 and 2009 and updating a citation to reflect the transfer of authority for hearing appeals under Title XVIII of the Act from the Social Security Administration to HHS.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Approval of Lending Institutions and Mortgagees: Streamlined Reporting Requirements for Small Supervised Lenders and Mortgagees2013-Sep-172013-22583This rule streamlines the FHA financial statement reporting requirements for lenders and mortgagees who are supervised by federal banking agencies and whose consolidated assets do not meet the thresholds set by their supervising federal banking agencies for submission of audited financial statements (currently set at $500 million in consolidated assets). HUD's regulations currently require all supervised lenders and mortgagees to submit annual audited financial statements as a condition of FHA lender approval and recertification. Through this rule, in lieu of the annual audited financial statements, small supervised lenders and mortgagees would be required to submit their unaudited financial regulatory reports that align with their fiscal year ends and are required to be submitted to their supervising federal banking agencies. Small supervised lenders and mortgagees would only be required to submit audited financial statements if HUD determines that the supervised lenders or mortgagees pose heightened risk to the FHA insurance fund. This rule does not impact FHA's annual audited financial statements submission requirement for nonsupervised and large supervised lenders and mortgagees. The rule also does not impact those supervised lenders and mortgagees with consolidated assets in an amount that requires that lenders or mortgagees submit audited financial statements to their respective supervising federal banking agencies. Additionally, this final rule, consistent with the proposed rule, makes three technical changes to current regulations regarding reporting requirements for FHA-approved supervised lenders and mortgagees.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation -- Regulatory Capital Rules: Regulatory Capital, Implementation of Basel III, Capital Adequacy, Transition Provisions, Prompt Corrective Action, Standardized Approach for Risk-weighted Assets, Market Discipline and Disclosure Requirements, Advanced Approaches Risk-Based Capital Rule, and Market Risk Capital Rule2013-Sep-102013-20536The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is adopting an interim final rule that revises its risk-based and leverage capital requirements for FDIC-supervised institutions. This interim final rule is substantially identical to a joint final rule issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) (together, with the FDIC, the agencies). The interim final rule consolidates three separate notices of proposed rulemaking that the agencies jointly published in the Federal Register on August 30, 2012, with selected changes. The interim final rule implements a revised definition of regulatory capital, a new common equity tier 1 minimum capital requirement, a higher minimum tier 1 capital requirement, and, for FDIC-supervised institutions subject to the advanced approaches risk-based capital rules, a supplementary leverage ratio that incorporates a broader set of exposures in the denominator. The interim final rule incorporates these new requirements into the FDIC's prompt corrective action (PCA) framework. In addition, the interim final rule establishes limits on FDIC-supervised institutions' capital distributions and certain discretionary bonus payments if the FDIC-supervised institution does not hold a specified amount of common equity tier 1 capital in addition to the amount necessary to meet its minimum risk-based capital requirements. The interim final rule amends the methodologies for determining risk-weighted assets for all FDIC-supervised institutions. The interim final rule also adopts changes to the FDIC's regulatory capital requirements that meet the requirements of section 171 and section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The interim final rule also codifies the FDIC's regulatory capital rules, which have previously resided in various appendices to their respective regulations, into a harmonized integrated regulatory framework. In addition, the FDIC is amending the market risk capital rule (market risk rule) to apply to state savings associations. The FDIC is issuing these revisions to its capital regulations as an interim final rule. The FDIC invites comments on the interaction of this rule with other proposed leverage ratio requirements applicable to large, systemically important banking organizations. This interim final rule otherwise contains regulatory text that is identical to the common rule text adopted as a final rule by the Federal Reserve and the OCC. This interim final rule enables the FDIC to proceed on a unified, expedited basis with the other federal banking agencies pending consideration of other issues. Specifically, the FDIC intends to evaluate this interim final rule in the context of the proposed well- capitalized and buffer levels of the supplementary leverage ratio applicable to large, systemically important banking organizations, as described in a separate Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) published in the Federal Register August 20, 2013. The FDIC is seeking commenters' views on the interaction of this interim final rule with the proposed rule regarding the supplementary leverage ratio for large, systemically important banking organizations.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Dates for Two Body System Listings2013-Sep-062013-21845We are extending the expiration dates of the following body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations: Genitourinary Impairments and Hematological Disorders. We are making no other revisions to these body systems in this final rule. These extensions will ensure that we continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Hearing Loss and Disturbances of Labyrinthine-Vestibular Function2013-Aug-302013-21143We are requesting your comments on whether and how we should revise the criteria in our Listing of Impairments (listings) for evaluating hearing loss and disturbances of labyrinthine-vestibular function in adults and children. We are requesting your comments as part of our ongoing effort to ensure that our listings reflect current medical knowledge. If we propose specific revisions, we will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Streamlining Requirements Governing the Use of Funding for Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Programs; Correction2013-Aug-152013-19856On June 20, 2013, HUD published a final rule that amended regulations for the purpose of streamlining the requirements applicable to mixed finance developments in the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly (Section 202) and the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities (Section 811) programs and amending certain regulations governing all Section 202 and Section 811 developments. This publication corrects an error in the final rule regarding the duration of the fund reservations for capital advances.
Social Security Administration -- Change in Terminology: “Mental Retardation” to “Intellectual Disability”2013-Aug-012013-18552This final rule adopts, without change, the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) we published in the Federal Register on January 28, 2013. We are replacing the term ``mental retardation'' with ``intellectual disability'' in our Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving mental disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act) and in other appropriate sections of our rules. This change reflects the widespread adoption of the term ``intellectual disability'' by Congress, government agencies, and various public and private organizations.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Effective Date for Temporary Pilot Program Setting the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge2013-Jul-292013-18143We are extending our pilot program that authorizes the agency to set the time and place for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This final rule will extend the pilot program for 1 year. The extension of the pilot program continues our commitment to improve the efficiency of our hearing process and maintain a hearing process that results in accurate, high-quality decisions for claimants. The current pilot program will expire on August 9, 2013. In this final rule, we are extending the effective date to August 9, 2014. We are making no other substantive changes.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Sunset Date for Attorney Advisor Program2013-Jul-292013-18145We are extending for 2 years our rule authorizing attorney advisors to conduct certain prehearing procedures and to issue fully favorable decisions. The current rule will expire on August 9, 2013. In this final rule, we are extending the sunset date to August 7, 2015. We are making no other substantive changes.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- HOME Investment Partnerships Program: Improving Performance and Accountability; Updating Property Standards2013-Jul-242013-17348HUD's HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME program or HOME) provides formula grants to states and units of local government to fund a wide range of activities directed to producing or maintaining affordable housing, including homebuyer and homeowner housing and rental housing. This final rule amends the HOME regulations to address many of the operational challenges facing participating jurisdictions, particularly challenges related to recent housing market conditions and the alignment of federal housing programs. The final rule also clarifies certain existing regulatory requirements and establishes new requirements designed to enhance accountability by States and units of local government in the use of HOME funds, strengthen performance standards and require more timely housing production. The final rule also updates property standards applicable to housing assisted by HOME funds.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing2013-Jul-192013-16751Through this rule, HUD proposes to provide HUD program participants with more effective means to affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act, which is Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The Fair Housing Act not only prohibits discrimination but, in conjunction with other statutes, directs HUD's program participants to take steps proactively to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities for all. As acknowledged by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and many stakeholders, advocates, and program participants, the current practice of affirmatively furthering fair housing carried out by HUD grantees, which involves an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice and a certification that the grantee will affirmatively further fair housing, has not been as effective as had been envisioned. This rule accordingly proposes to refine existing requirements with a fair housing assessment and planning process that will better aid HUD program participants fulfill this statutory obligation and address specific comments the GAO raised. To facilitate this new approach, HUD will provide states, local governments, insular areas, and public housing agencies (PHAs), as well as the communities they serve, with data on patterns of integration and segregation; racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty; access to education, employment, low-poverty, transportation, and environmental health, among other critical assets; disproportionate housing needs based on the classes protected under the Fair Housing Act; data on individuals with disabilities and families with children; and discrimination. From these data, program participants will evaluate their present environment to assess fair housing issues, identify the primary determinants that account for those issues, and set forth fair housing priorities and goals. The benefit of this approach is that these priorities and goals will then better inform program participant's strategies and actions by improving the integration of the assessment of fair housing through enhanced coordination with current planning exercises. This proposed rule further commits HUD to greater engagement and better guidance for program participants in fulfilling their obligation to affirmatively further fair housing. With this new clarity through guidance, a template for the assessment, and a HUD-review process, program participants should achieve more meaningful outcomes that affirmatively further fair housing.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X), and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)2013-Jul-022013-15466This rule proposes amendments to certain mortgage rules issued by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) in January 2013. These proposed amendments focus primarily on clarifying, revising, or amending provisions on loss mitigation procedures under Regulation X's servicing provisions, amounts counted as loan originator compensation to retailers of manufactured homes and their employees for purposes of applying points and fees thresholds under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act and the qualified mortgage rules in Regulation Z, exemptions available to creditors that operate predominantly in ``rural or underserved'' areas for various purposes under the mortgage regulations, application of the loan originator compensation rules to bank tellers and similar staff, and the prohibition on creditor-financed credit insurance. The Bureau also is proposing to adjust the effective dates for certain provisions of the loan originator compensation rules. In addition, the Bureau is proposing technical and wording changes for clarification purposes to Regulations B, X, and Z.
Social Security Administration -- Changes to Scheduling and Appearing at Hearings2013-Jun-272013-14894We propose to revise our rules to protect the integrity of our programs and preserve limited resources. Prior to scheduling a hearing, we will notify the claimant that his or her hearing may be held by video teleconferencing. The claimant will have an opportunity to object to appearing by video teleconferencing within 30 days after the date he or she receives the notice. We also propose changes that allow us to determine that a claimant will appear via video teleconferencing if he or she changes residences while his or her request for hearing is pending, regardless of whether or not the claimant previously declined a hearing by video teleconferencing. Additionally, we propose changes that require a claimant to notify us, in writing, of an objection to the time and place of hearing at the earliest opportunity, but not later than 5 days before the date set for the hearing, or, if earlier, 30 days after receiving the notice of the hearing. We also propose to revise our rules so that an administrative law judge (ALJ) can direct a claimant and any other party to a hearing to appear by telephone in extraordinary circumstances. We anticipate that these proposed changes will have a minimal impact on the public, and will help ensure the integrity of our programs and allow us to administer our programs more efficiently.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Streamlining Requirements Governing the Use of Funding for Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Programs2013-Jun-202013-14721This final rule amends HUD's regulations governing the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program (Section 202) and the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program (Section 811) to streamline the requirements applicable to Section 202 and Section 811 mixed-finance developments. This rule removes restrictions on the portions of developments not funded through capital advances, lifts barriers on participation in the development of the projects, and eliminates burdensome funding requirements. These changes are anticipated to attract private capital and the expertise of the private developer community to create attractive and affordable supportive housing developments for the elderly and for persons with disabilities. Through this rule, HUD also brings up-to-date certain regulations governing all Section 202 and Section 811 developments, not solely mixed-finance developments. Overall, the changes made by this rule permit greater flexibility in the design of Section 202/811 units, and extend the duration of the availability of capital advance funds. This final rule is part of a larger effort to reform the Section 202 and Section 811 programs, which will include implementation of the changes made to these programs by the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010 and the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Act of 2010. A subsequent rule, which will focus on the statutory changes that require rulemaking for implementation, is expected to be published in 2013.
Health and Human Services Department -- State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program2013-Jun-182013-14325The Administration on Aging (AoA) of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, with request for comments, to implement provisions of the Older Americans Act, the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. This proposed rule replaces AoA's 1994 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Since 1992, the functions of this program have been delineated in the Older Americans Act; however, regulations have not been promulgated for any Title VII program. In the absence of regulatory guidance, there has been significant variation in the interpretation and implementation of these provisions among States. Recent inquiries from States and an AoA compliance review in one State have highlighted the difficulty of determining State compliance in carrying out the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program functions. This rulemaking provides the first regulatory guidance for States' Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs to provide clarity about implementation. HHS estimates that a number of states may need to update their statutes, regulations, policies and/or practices in order to operate the program consistent with federal law and this proposed regulation. The effective date of the rule is anticipated to be one year after publication of any final rule to allow States appropriate time for such changes, if needed. AoA anticipates little or no financial impact on the providers of long-term care ombudsman services, the consumers served by the program, or long-term care providers through implementation of the proposed rules. AoA believes that consumers (particularly residents of long-term care facilities) and long-term care providers will benefit from the implementation of these proposed rules. Consumers and other complainants across the country will receive services from the Long- Term Care Ombudsman program with less variation in the quality, efficiency, and consistency of service delivery. Long-term care ombudsmen and States will also benefit from the implementation of these proposed rules in the establishment and operation of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program at the State and local levels. For years, States and long-term care ombudsmen at every level have reported to AoA that they have found some provisions of the Act confusing to implement. The proposed rule seeks to provide the clarity that program stakeholders have requested.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Pet Ownership for the Elderly or Persons With Disabilities in Multifamily Rental Housing; Accumulation of Deposits for Costs Attributable to Pets2013-May-242013-12456HUD regulations governing multifamily rental housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities allow for the residents of such housing to own common household pets, subject to the residents' paying a refundable pet deposit. Currently, the regulations require that owners of HUD-assisted multifamily rental housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities collect the deposit and any increases in the deposit from the pet owner only through gradual accumulation; that is, an initial payment followed by subsequent monthly payments. This requirement does not exist for public housing agencies (PHAs) and owners of other HUD-assisted multifamily rental housing. Rather, HUD regulations provide PHAs and owners of other HUD-assisted multifamily rental housing discretion to determine whether to gradually accumulate a pet deposit and any increases to the pet deposit. This proposed rule would provide owners of HUD-assisted multifamily rental housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities, now subject to the gradual-accumulation pet deposit requirement, with the same flexibility, thereby bringing consistency to the pet deposit requirements for HUD programs and better enabling owners of such housing to handle the costs associated with pet ownership by tenants. This proposed rule only applies to policies for pets and not to service or assistance animals for persons with disabilities.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Listings for Growth Disorders and Weight Loss in Children2013-May-222013-11601Several body systems in our Listing of Impairments (listings) contain listings for children based on impairment of linear growth or weight loss. We propose to replace those listings with new listings, add a listing to the genitourinary body system for children, and provide new introductory text for each listing explaining how to apply the new criteria. The proposed revisions to our listings reflect our program experience, advances in medical knowledge, comments we received from medical experts and the public at an outreach policy conference, and comments we received in response to a notice of intent to issue regulations and request for comments (request for comments) and an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM). We are also proposing conforming changes in our regulations for title XVI of the Social Security Act (Act).
Social Security Administration -- Rules on Determining Hearing Appearances2013-May-212013-11932This final rule is another step in our continual efforts to handle workloads more effectively and efficiently. We are publishing final rules for portions of the rules we proposed in October 2007 that relate to persons, other than the claimant or any other party to the hearing, appearing by telephone. We are also clarifying that the administrative law judge (ALJ) will allow the claimant or any other party to a hearing to appear by telephone under certain circumstances when the claimant or other party requests to make his or her appearance in that manner. We expect that these final rules will make the hearings process more efficient and help us continue to reduce the hearings backlog. In addition, we made some minor editorial changes to our regulations that do not have any effect on the rights of claimants or any other parties.
National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities -- Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Age in Federally Assisted Programs or Activities2013-May-152013-10844The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is issuing Age Discrimination Act of 1975 regulations at 45 CFR part 1172. These regulations implement provisions of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and the general, government-wide age discrimination regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These regulations are designed to guide the actions of recipients of Federal financial assistance from NEH and incorporate the basic standards set forth in the general, government-wide regulations for determining what constitutes age discrimination. The regulations also discuss the responsibilities of NEH recipients and the investigations, conciliation, and enforcement procedures NEH has been using and will continue to use to ensure compliance with the Act.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Approval of Lending Institutions and Mortgagees: Streamlined Reporting Requirements for Small Supervised Lenders and Mortgagees2013-Apr-182013-09131This proposed rule would streamline the FHA financial statement reporting requirements for lenders and mortgagees who are supervised by federal banking agencies and whose consolidated assets do not meet the thresholds set by their supervising federal banking agencies for submission of audited financial statements (currently set at $500 million in consolidated assets). HUD's regulations currently require all supervised lenders and mortgagees to submit annual audited financial statements as a condition of FHA lender approval and recertification. Through this proposed rule, in lieu of the annual audited financial statements, small supervised lenders and mortgagees would be required to submit the unaudited financial regulatory reports that align with their fiscal year ends and are required to be submitted to their supervising federal banking agencies. Small supervised lenders and mortgagees would only be required to submit audited financial statements if HUD determines that the supervised lenders or mortgagees pose heightened risk to the FHA insurance fund. This rule does not impact FHA's annual audited financial statements submission requirement for nonsupervised and large supervised lenders and mortgagees. The rule also does not impact those supervised lenders and mortgagees with consolidated assets in an amount that requires that lenders or mortgagees submit audited financial statements to their respective supervising federal banking agencies. Finally, HUD has taken the opportunity afforded by this proposed rule to make three technical changes to current regulations regarding reporting requirements for FHA-approved supervised lenders and mortgagees.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Visual Disorders2013-Mar-282013-06975We are revising and reorganizing the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate cases involving visual disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). The revisions reflect our program experience and guidance we have issued in response to adjudicator questions we have received since we last revised these criteria in 2006. These revisions will provide clarification about how we evaluate visual disorders and ensure more timely adjudication of claims in which we evaluate visual disorders that result in a loss of visual acuity or field.
Agriculture Department -- Child Nutrition Programs: Nondiscretionary Amendments Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 20102013-Feb-282013-04116This final rule implements several nondiscretionary provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, including those related to categorical eligibility for foster children, removal of limits on private nonprofit sponsors, outreach to eligible families, simplification of area eligibility for day care homes, application of school food safety requirements, and permanent agreements for institutions and sponsors. These provisions will make it easier for children to get nutritious meals when they are away from home, while requiring State and local agencies to make relatively minor changes in the procedures they use to operate the National School Lunch Program, Special Milk Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Genitourinary Disorders2013-Feb-042013-02166We propose to revise the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving genitourinary disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). The proposed revisions reflect our program experience, advances in methods of evaluating genitourinary disorders, and comments we received in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM).
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Congenital Disorders That Affect Multiple Body Systems2013-Feb-042013-02169We are revising the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate cases involving impairments that affect multiple body systems in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). The revisions reflect our program experience and address adjudicator questions we have received since we last comprehensively revised this body system in 2005. We do not expect any decisional differences due to the revisions in this body system.
Social Security Administration -- Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Respiratory System Disorders2013-Feb-042013-02165We propose to revise the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving respiratory disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). The proposed revisions reflect our program experience, advances in medical knowledge, and comments we received from medical experts and the public at an outreach policy conference and in response to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM).
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Disclosure and Delivery Requirements for Copies of Appraisals and Other Written Valuations Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B)2013-Jan-312013-01384The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is amending Regulation B, which implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and the Bureau's official interpretations of the regulation, which interpret and clarify the requirements of Regulation B. The final rule revises Regulation B to implement an ECOA amendment concerning appraisals and other valuations that was enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd- Frank Act). In general, the revisions to Regulation B require creditors to provide to applicants free copies of all appraisals and other written valuations developed in connection with an application for a loan to be secured by a first lien on a dwelling, and require creditors to notify applicants in writing that copies of appraisals will be provided to them promptly.
Social Security Administration -- Change in Terminology: “Mental Retardation” to “Intellectual Disability”2013-Jan-282013-01522We propose to replace the term ``mental retardation'' with ``intellectual disability'' in our Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving mental disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act) and in other appropriate sections of our rules. This change would reflect the widespread adoption of the term ``intellectual disability'' by Congress, government agencies, and various public and private organizations.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Inflation Adjustment of Civil Money Penalty Amounts2013-Jan-182013-01070This final rule amends HUD's civil money penalty and civil penalty regulations by making inflation adjustments that are required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (28 U.S.C. 2461 note) (FCPIA Act). The FCPIA Act mandates the adjustments and the formula used to calculate them. Also in this final rule, HUD is taking the opportunity to update an outdated cross-reference in its civil money penalty regulations.
Agriculture Department -- Civil Monetary Penalties2013-Jan-042012-31712The Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) proposes to implement two civil monetary penalty provisions. First, RHS proposes to amend its regulations to create a new section, for imposing civil monetary penalties under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 1490s (section 543 of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (Act)) (Housing Act CMP). Second, RHS proposes to adopt the USDA civil monetary penalty provisions for the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986 (PFCRA) in a revision to an existing section (PFCRA CMP). The new section will include an amended version of the existing Housing Act CMP provision together with additional language providing procedural guidance.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2008: Amendments to Program Regulations2012-Dec-032012-29133This final rule revises the regulations governing the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program and the Title VI Loan Guarantee program. HUD negotiated this rule with active tribal participation under the procedures of the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990, pursuant to the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2008. These regulatory changes implement statutory amendments and reflect the consensus decisions reached by HUD and the tribal representatives.
Health and Human Services Department -- RIN 0938-AQ632012-Nov-062012-26507This final rule implements Medicaid payment for primary care services furnished by certain physicians in calendar years (CYs) 2013 and 2014 at rates not less than the Medicare rates in effect in those CYs or, if greater, the payment rates that would be applicable in those CYs using the CY 2009 Medicare physician fee schedule conversion factor. This minimum payment level applies to specified primary care services furnished by a physician with a specialty designation of family medicine, general internal medicine, or pediatric medicine, and also applies to services rendered by these provider types paid by Medicaid managed care plans contracted by states to provide the primary care services. It also provides for 100 percent federal financial participation (FFP) for any increase in payment above the amounts that would be due for these services under the provisions of the approved Medicaid state plan, as of July 1, 2009. In other words, there will not be any additional cost to states for payments above the amount required by the 2009 rate methodology. In this final rule, we specify which services and types of physicians qualify for the minimum payment level in CYs 2013 and 2014, and the method for calculating the payment amount and any increase for which increased federal funding is due. In addition, this final rule will update the interim regional maximum fees that providers may charge for the administration of pediatric vaccines to federally vaccine-eligible children under the Pediatric Immunization Distribution Program, more commonly known as the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.
Corporation for National and Community Service -- Criminal History Check Requirements for AmeriCorps State/National, Senior Companions, Foster Grandparents, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, and Other National Service Programs; Final Rule2012-Oct-052012-24467To implement the Serve America Act, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) proposed amendments to its National Service Criminal History Check regulation on July 6, 2011. This final rule adopts the proposed amendments, clarifies several requirements, and makes minor technical corrections. The amendments require CNCS grantees to conduct and document a National Service Criminal History Check that includes a fingerprint-based FBI criminal history check on individuals in covered positions who begin work, or who start service, on or after April 21, 2011, and who have recurring access to children 17 years of age or younger, to persons age 60 and older, or to individuals with disabilities. Individuals in covered positions include Senior Companions (SCP), Foster Grandparents (FGP), AmeriCorps State and National participants, and other participants, volunteers, or staff funded under a CNCS grant.
Transportation Department -- Technical, Organizational, and Conforming Amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations2012-Oct-012012-23758This final rule makes technical corrections throughout title 49 CFR subtitle B, chapter III. The Agency is making minor editorial changes to add revised delegations of authority from the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary), correct errors and omissions, and improve clarity. This rule does not make any substantive changes to the affected parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Section 232 Healthcare Facility Insurance Program-Strengthening Accountability and Regulatory Revisions Update2012-Sep-072012-21982In 2010 through 2011, HUD commenced and completed the process of revising regulations applicable to, and closing documents used in, FHA insurance of multifamily rental projects, to reflect current policy and practices in the multifamily mortgage market. This final rule results from a similar process that was initiated in 2011 for revising and updating the regulations governing, and the transactional documents used in, the program for insurance of healthcare facilities under section 232 of the National Housing Act (Section 232 program). HUD's Section 232 program insures mortgage loans to facilitate the construction, substantial rehabilitation, purchase, and refinancing of nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, board and care homes, and assisted-living facilities. This rule revises the Section 232 program regulations to reflect current policy and practices, and improve accountability and strengthen risk management in the Section 232 program.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Federal Housing Administration: Strengthening Risk Management Through Responsible FHA-Approved Lenders2012-Aug-242012-20924As part of HUD's efforts to strengthen the risk management practices of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), HUD published a final rule on April 20, 2010, revising its regulations pertaining to the FHA-approval of mortgage lenders. The April 20, 2010, final rule increased the net worth requirement for FHA-approved lenders and mortgagees, eliminated HUD's approval of loan correspondents, and amended the general approval standards for lenders and mortgagees. This final rule makes several nonsubstantive clarifications and corrections to the provisions of the April 20, 2010, final rule. The changes will improve the clarity of HUD's regulatory requirements and, thereby, facilitate program participant compliance and improve HUD's ability to monitor and enforce its risk management regulations.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B)2012-Aug-212012-20422The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is proposing to amend Regulation B, which implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and the official interpretation to the regulation, which interprets the requirements of Regulation B. The proposed revisions to Regulation B would implement an ECOA amendment concerning appraisals that was enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). In general, the proposed revisions to Regulation B would require creditors to provide free copies of all written appraisals and valuations developed in connection with an application for a loan to be secured by a first lien on a dwelling. The proposal also would require creditors to notify applicants in writing of the right to receive a copy of each written appraisal or valuation at no additional cost.
Social Security Administration -- Regulations Regarding Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts to Medicare Beneficiaries' Prescription Drug Coverage Premiums2012-Jul-252012-17935This final rule adopts, without change, the interim final rule with request for comments we published in the Federal Register on December 7, 2010, at 75 FR 75884. The interim final rule contained the rules that we apply to determine the income-related monthly adjustment amount for Medicare prescription drug coverage (also known as Medicare Part D) premiums. This new subpart implemented changes made to the Social Security Act (Act) by the Affordable Care Act. The interim final rule allowed us to implement the provisions of the Affordable Care Act related to the income-related monthly adjustment amount for Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums when they went into effect on January 1, 2011.
Social Security Administration -- Expedited Vocational Assessment Under the Sequential Evaluation Process2012-Jul-252012-17934We are revising our rules to give adjudicators the discretion to proceed to the fifth step of the sequential evaluation process for assessing disability when we have insufficient information about a claimant's past relevant work history to make the findings required for step 4. If an adjudicator finds at step 5 that a claimant may be unable to adjust to other work existing in the national economy, the adjudicator will return to the fourth step to develop the claimant's work history and make a finding about whether the claimant can perform his or her past relevant work. We expect that this new expedited process will not disadvantage any claimant or change the ultimate conclusion about whether a claimant is disabled, but it will promote administrative efficiency and help us make more timely disability determinations and decisions.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity2012-Jul-252012-18134The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (``EEOC'' or ``Commission'') is issuing this final rule to revise its regulations for processing equal employment opportunity complaints by federal sector employees and job applicants. The revisions implement those recommendations of the Commission's Federal Sector Workgroup which require regulatory changes. The revisions include: reaffirming the existing statutory requirement that agencies comply with EEOC regulations, Management Directives, and Bulletins; providing for EEOC notices to non-compliant agencies; permitting pilot projects for EEO complaint processing; requiring agencies to issue a notice of rights to complainants when the investigation will not be timely completed; requiring agencies to submit complaint files and appeals documents to EEOC in digital formats; and making administrative judge decisions on the merits of class complaints final with both parties having the right to appeal to EEOC. The Commission is engaged in further review of the Federal sector EEO complaint process in order to improve its quality and efficiency. The current rulemaking constitutes the Commission's initial step in that review. The Commission will consider additional reforms, including, but not limited to, regulatory changes.
Social Security Administration -- Extension of Expiration Dates for Several Body System Listings2012-Jun-132012-14407We are extending the expiration dates of the following body systems in the Listing of Impairments (listings) in our regulations: Growth Impairment, Musculoskeletal System, Respiratory System, Cardiovascular System, Digestive System, Hematological Disorders, Skin Disorders, Neurological, and Mental Disorders. We are making no other revisions to these body system listings in this final rule. This extension will ensure that we continue to have the criteria we need to evaluate impairments in the affected body systems at step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA): Changes to the Section 8 Tenant-Based Voucher and Section 8 Project-Based Voucher Programs2012-May-152012-11638HERA, enacted into law on July 30, 2008, made comprehensive and significant reforms to several HUD programs, including HUD's Public Housing, Section 8 Tenant-Based Voucher, and Project-Based Voucher programs. On November 24, 2008, HUD published a notice that provided information about the applicability of certain HERA provisions to these programs. The notice identified: (1) Those statutory provisions that are self-executing and required no action on the part of HUD for the program changes made by HERA to be implemented; and (2) those statutory provisions that require new regulations or regulatory changes by HUD for the HERA provisions to be implemented. The notice also offered the opportunity for public comment on the guidance provided. This proposed rule follows the November 24, 2008, notice for the purpose of establishing, in regulation, the reforms made to HERA as discussed in that notice, and to make other related regulatory changes. This proposed rule would make conforming changes to the regulations of the Section 8 Tenant-Based Voucher and Section 8 Project-Based Voucher programs to reflect the self-executing provisions of HERA, and would also amend the regulations required to implement those statutory provisions of HERA that are not self-implementing. Additionally, this rule would make such other changes for the purposes of updating certain regulations to reflect current practices, and clarifying other regulations which, based on experience, HUD determined would benefit from clarification. While the conforming and clarifying changes are not implementing new policy, HUD nevertheless welcomes comment on the clarity and comprehensibility of the language proposed to be codified. This rule also takes into consideration the two public comments received in response to issuance of the November 2008 notice, and solicits additional public comment. HERA changes affecting the public housing program are being addressed by separate rulemaking.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicaid Program; Payments for Services Furnished by Certain Primary Care Physicians and Charges for Vaccine Administration Under the Vaccines for Children Program2012-May-112012-11421This proposed rule would implement new requirements in sections 1902(a)(13), 1902(jj), 1932(f), and 1905(dd) of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (the Affordable Care Act). It implements Medicaid payment for primary care services furnished by certain physicians in calendar years (CYs) 2013 and 2014 at rates not less than the Medicare rates in effect in those CYs or, if greater, the payment rates that would be applicable in those CYs using the CY 2009 Medicare physician fee schedule conversion factor (CF). This minimum payment level applies to specified primary care services furnished by a physician with a specialty designation of family medicine, general internal medicine, or pediatric medicine, and also applies to services paid through Medicaid managed care plans. It would also provide for a 100 percent Federal matching rate for any increase in payment above the amounts that would be due for these services under the provisions of the State plan as of July 1, 2009. In this proposed rule, we specify which services and types of physicians qualify for the minimum payment level in CYs 2013 and 2014, and the method for calculating the payment amount and any increase for which increased Federal funding is due. In addition, this proposed rule would update the interim regional maximum fees that providers may charge for the administration of pediatric vaccines to federally vaccine-eligible children under the Pediatric Immunization Distribution Program, more commonly known as the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicaid Program; Community First Choice Option2012-May-072012-10294This final rule implements section 2401 of the Affordable Care Act, which establishes a new State option to provide home and community-based attendant services and supports. These services and supports are known as Community First Choice (CFC). While this final rule sets forth the requirements for implementation of CFC, we are not finalizing the section concerning the CFC setting.
Health and Human Services Department -- Medicaid Program; State Plan Home and Community-Based Services, 5-Year Period for Waivers, Provider Payment Reassignment, and Setting Requirements for Community First Choice2012-May-032012-10385This proposed rule would revise Medicaid regulations to define and describe State plan home and community-based services (HCBS) under the Social Security Act (the Act) as added by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Affordable Care Act \1\). This proposed rule offers States new flexibility in providing necessary and appropriate services to elderly and disabled populations and reflects CMS' commitment to the general principles of the President's Executive Order released January 18, 2011, entitled ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.'' In particular, this rule does not require the eligibility link between HCBS and institutional care that exists under the Medicaid HCBS waiver program. This regulation would describe Medicaid coverage of the optional State plan benefit to furnish home and community-based services and receive Federal matching funds. As a result, States will be better able to design and tailor Medicaid services to accommodate individual needs. This may result in improved patient outcomes and satisfaction, while enabling States to effectively manage their Medicaid resources. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Section 232 Healthcare Facility Insurance Program-Strengthening Accountability and Regulatory Revisions Update2012-May-032012-10690In 2010 through 2011, HUD commenced and completed the process of revising regulations applicable to, and closing documents used in, FHA insurance of multifamily rental projects, to reflect current policy and practices in the multifamily mortgage market. The multifamily rental project regulations and closing documents had not been updated in more than 20 years. Through this proposed rule, HUD commences a similar process for its regulations governing insurance of healthcare facilities under section 232 of the National Housing Act, and the closing documents used in such transactions. HUD's Section 232 program insures mortgage loans to facilitate the construction, substantial rehabilitation, purchase, and refinancing of nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, board and care homes, and assisted-living facilities. This rule proposes amendments to update HUD's Section 232 regulations, to reflect current policy and practices, and to improve accountability and strengthen risk management.
Agriculture Department -- Child and Adult Care Food Program: Amendments Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 20102012-Apr-092012-8332This rule proposes to codify several provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 affecting the management of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The Department is proposing to require institutions to submit an initial CACFP application to the State agency and, in subsequent years, periodically update the information in lieu of submitting a new application; require sponsoring organizations to vary the timing of reviews of sponsored facilities; require State agencies to develop and provide for the use of a standard permanent agreement between sponsoring organizations and day care centers; allow tier II day care homes to collect household income information and transmit it to the sponsoring organization; modify the method of determining administrative payments to sponsoring organizations of day care homes by basing payments on a formula; and allow sponsoring organizations of day care homes to carry over up to 10 percent of their administrative funding from the previous fiscal year into the next fiscal year. This rule also proposes to incorporate several changes to the application and renewal process which are expected to improve the management of CACFP and to make a number of miscellaneous technical changes.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other Than Age Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act2012-Mar-302012-5896The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (``EEOC'' or ``Commission'') is issuing this final rule to amend its Age Discrimination in Employment Act (``ADEA'' or ``Act'') regulations concerning disparate-impact claims and the reasonable factors other than age defense (``RFOA''). The Commission published proposed rules in the Federal Register on March 31, 2008, and February 18, 2010, for sixty-day notice-and-comment periods. After consideration of the public comments, the Commission has revised portions of the proposed rules and is now issuing a final rule covering both proposals.
Housing and Urban Development Department -- Streamlining Requirements Governing the Use of Funding for Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Programs2012-Mar-282012-7316This proposed rule would amend HUD's regulations governing the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program (Section 202) and the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program (Section 811), by streamlining the requirements for mixed- finance Section 202 and Section 811 developments. This rule would streamline the requirements for mixed-finance developments by removing restrictions on the portions of developments not funded through capital advances, thereby lifting barriers on participation in the development of the projects, and eliminating burdensome funding requirements. These proposed amendments would attract private capital and the expertise of the private developer community to create attractive and affordable supportive housing developments for the elderly and for persons with disabilities. HUD is also taking this opportunity to improve and bring up to date certain regulations governing all Section 202 and Section 811 developments. These changes will permit broader flexibility in the design of Section 202/811 units, extend the duration of the availability of capital advance funds, and make a technical correction. This proposed rule is the first part of a larger regulatory effort to reform the Section 202 and Section 811 programs, which will include implementation of the changes made to these programs by the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010 and the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Act of 2010. A subsequent rule, which will focus on the statutory changes, is expected to be published later in 2012.
National Credit Union Administration -- Technical Amendments2012-Mar-212012-6835The NCUA Board (Board) is amending the sections of NCUA's regulations addressing nondiscrimination requirements, flood insurance and the description of NCUA to make minor, nonsubstantive technical corrections. The technical amendments update the regulations to reflect current agency practice and will not cause any substantive changes.
Energy Department -- Weatherization Assistance for Low-Income Persons: Maintaining the Privacy of Applicants for and Recipients of Services2012-Feb-282012-4643The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published an interim final rule on March 11, 2010, requiring that all States and other service providers that participate in the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) treat all requests for information concerning applicants and recipients of WAP funds in a manner consistent with the Federal Government's treatment of information requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). DOE published a final rule on June 7, 2010, adopting the interim final rule as final without change. This adoption inadvertently caused the sunset date of December 6, 2010, stated in the interim final rule to also be adopted as final. DOE is today adopting the amendments to 10 CFR part 440 of chapter II of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations set forth in the interim final rule without adopting the sunset date.
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