Section 527, Division G of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 (known as the
“Ensign Amendment”), prohibited SSA from using any fiscal year 2008 (FY 08) funding
under Title II to process claims for credit for quarters of coverage (QC) based on
work performed under a Social Security Number (SSN) that did not belong to the claimant
in cases where the SSN was used by the claimant with the intent to deceive. This was
an offense prohibited under Section 208(a) (7)(B) of the Social Security Act.
For FY 2009, this was modified by Section 522, title V, Division F of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, P.L. 111-8. This section prohibits the Commissioner from using funds appropriated in this Act to process any claim for credit for a QC based on work
performed under a SSN that is not the claimant's number and the performance of such
work under such number formed the basis for a conviction of the claimant of a violation
of section 208(a)(6) or (7) of the Social Security Act. The "Ensign Amendment" for
FY 2009 applies to claims filed on or after March 11, 2009.
This new language, while similar to the previous language, requires that the applicant
be convicted under the Social Security Act of certain SSN-related offenses – it is not necessary
to make a determination of “intent to deceive” regarding use of an SSN. We will continue
to refer to the language as the “Ensign Amendment.”
This requirement remains in effect until further notice. The FY 09 “Ensign Amendment”
provisions have been included in every appropriations funding bill since FY 09. Any
reference to the FY 09 Ensign Amendment Provisions incorporates the Ensign Amendment
Provisions in the Appropriations Acts for all subsequent years.