Public Law 90-248 (Social Security Amendments of 1967) broadened subsection 223(c)(1)(B) of the Social Security Act, effective with benefits beginning February 1968. The amended subsection provides that an individual who filed an application in or after January 1968, is insured for disability insurance benefits in any month if,
Prior to enactment of P.I., 90-248, the alternative insured status provided by subpart (ii) above, applied only to workers disabled by blindness. The amendments extended the alterative insured status to include all workers disabled before attainment of age 31.
A question has been raised as to the applicability of the alterative insured status provision where a younger disable worker meets both the regular 20 out of 40 quarters of coverage insured status provision and the special insured status provision at an earlier date. In the case of a younger disabled worker who filed an application for benefits in January 1968, and then 20/40 quarter provision for benefits prior to February 1968 or late, a question was raised whether his benefits could be computed based on the 10/40 quarters provision for benefits prior to February 1968, and then recomputed based on the special provision for benefits payable for February 1968 or if it necessary that he file a new application.
The legislative history indicates that younger worker who becomes disabled before age 31 may qualify for disability benefits if he worked in one-half the calendar quarters between the time he attained age 21 and up to and including the quarter he becomes disabled, with a minimum of 6 quarters of coverage; or (if the number of quarters in such period is less than 12) not less than 6 of the quarters in the 12-quarter period ending with the quarter in which he was under a disability. The provision is an alternative to the regular requirement that a disable worker must have acquired 20 quarters of coverage in the 40-quarter period ending with the quarter in which he was under a disability.
The history of the 1967 amendments also indicates the special insured status provision is not restricted to those younger disabled workers who may have filed application after the effective date of the amendments. This interpretation appears in keeping with the liberalizing effect of the amendments. See House Report No. 544, pp,. 7, 26, and 27; and Senate Report No. 744, pp. 15, 45, and 46, 90th Cong., 1st Sess.
Accordingly, it is held that a younger disabled worker who is entitled to and receiving benefits for months before February 1968 under the regular 20/40 quarters insured status provision and who meets the special age 21 to 31 insured status provision may be entitled to benefits beginning February 1968 and later under the 1967 amendments,upon filing a new application in or after January 1968. A younger disabled worker not previously entitled to benefits who files in or after January 1968 may be entitled to benefits payable retroactively for not more than 12 months. The benefit amount for months before February 1968 is computed under the law in effect before the 1967 amendments and it is computed for months beginning February 1968 and later under the 1967 amendments.
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