From Social Security Disability Practice by Thomas E. Bush, copyright James Publishing. 

 

Appendix 1: Guide to Important Social Security Rulings and Acquiescence Rulings

 

 

This index consists of two parts.  The first part is organized following the sequential evaluation process.  The second part deals with other issues arranged alphabetically.  All current rulings and Acquiescence Rulings dealing with disability issues are included. 

 

Note that an Acquiescence Ruling, identified AR, applies only in the circuit in which the court decision was made.  The circuit number appears in parentheses following the number of the Acquiescence Ruling.

 

Part 1: The Sequential Evaluation Process

 

General:

·  SSR 82-53 Basic Disability Evaluation Guides

·  SSR 86-8 The Sequential Evaluation Process

Note:  In both of the above rulings, discussion of determination of disability for SSI children no longer applies and discussion of widow(er)s’ entitlement to Title II benefits has been superseded by SSR 91-3p.

 

Age 65 or Older:

·  SSR 03-3p Evaluation of Disability and Blindness in Initial Claims for Individuals Age 65 or Older

 

Young Adults:

·  SSR 11-2p Documenting and Evaluating Disability in Young Adults

 

Onset and Duration:

·  SSR 82-52 Duration of the Impairment

·  SSR 83-20 Onset of Disability

 

Step 1:  Is the claimant engaged in substantial gainful activity?

 

·  SSR 76-4a Rebuttal of Presumption of Ability to Engage in Substantial Gainful Activity

·  SSR 83-33 Determining Whether Work is Substantial Gainful Activity-Employees

·  SSR 83-34 Determining Whether Work is Substantial Gainful Activity-Self Employed Persons

·  SSR 83-35 Averaging of Earnings in Determining Whether Work is Substantial Gainful Activity

·  SSR 84-24 Determination of Substantial Gainful Activity for Persons Working in Special Circumstances – Work Therapy Programs in Military Service – Work Activity in Certain Government Sponsored Programs

·  SSR 84-26 Deducting Impairment Related Work Expenses From Earnings in Determinations as to Substantial Gainful Activity Under Titles II and XVI and As To Countable Earned Income Under Title XVI

·  SSR 94-1c Dotson v. Shalala, 1 F.3d 571 (7th Cir. 1993) – Illegal Activity as Substantial Gainful Activity

·  SSR 05-02 Determination of Substantial Gainful Activity if Substantial Work Activity is Discontinued or Reduced – Unsuccessful Work Attempt

·  SSR 12-1p Determining Whether Work Performed in Self-Employment by Persons Who Are Blind is Substantial Gainful Activity and Treatment of Income Resulting from the Randolph-Sheppard Act and Similar Programs

  

Step 2:  Is the claimant’s impairment “severe”?

 

·  SSR 85-28 Medical Impairments That Are Not Severe

·  SSR 88-3c Bowen v. Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137 (1987) – Validity of the Severity of Impairment Regulation

·  SSR 96-3p Considering Allegations of Pain and Other Symptoms in Determining Whether a Medically Determinable Impairment is Severe

·  SSR 96-4p Symptoms, Medically Determinable Physical and Mental Impairments, and Exertional and Nonexertional Limitations

 

Step 3:  Does the claimant’s impairment(s) meet or equal an impairment in the Listing of Impairments?

 

Medical Equivalence:

·  SSR 90-5c Adams v. Bowen, 872 F.2d 926 (9th Cir. 1989), cert. denied 110 S.Ct. 151 (1989) – Sections 216(i)1)(B) and 223(c)(1) and (d)(1)(B) of the Social Security Act – Interpreting the Statutory Blindness Provision

·  SSR 96-6p Consideration of Administrative Findings of Fact by State Agency Medical and Psychological Consultants and Other Program Physicians and Psychologists at the Administrative Law Judge and Appeals Council Levels of Administrative Review; Medical Equivalence

 

Specific Impairments (Most of the following discuss RFC as well as the requirements for meeting the Listings):

·  SSR 82-57 Loss of Speech

·  SSR 90-5c Blindness Adams v. Bowen, 872 F.2d 926 (9th Cir. 1989) cert. denied, 493 U.S. 851 (1989)

·  SSR 02-1p Evaluation of Obesity

·  SSR 03-1p Development and Evaluation of Disability Claims Involving Postpolio Sequelae

·  SSR 03-2p Evaluating Cases Involving Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome/ Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

·  AR 03-1(7) Blakes v. Barnhart, 331 F.3d 565 (7th Cir. 2003) – Court Cases Involving Sections 12.05 and 112.05 of the Listing of Impairments That Are Remanded for Further Proceedings

·  SSR 06-1p Evaluating Cases Involving Tremolite Asbestos-Related Impairments

·  SSR 07-1p Evaluating Visual Field Loss UsingAutomated Static Threshold Perimetry

·  SSR 12-2p Evaluation of Fibromyalgia

·  SSR 14-1p Evaluating Cases Involving Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

·  SSR 14-2p Evaluating Diabetes Mellitus

·  SSR 14-3p Evaluating Endocrine Disorders Other Than Diabetes Mellitus

·  SSR 15-1p Evaluating Cases Involving Interstitial Cystitis (IC)

·  SSR 16-4p Using Genetic Test Results to Evaluate Disability

·  AR 15-1(4) Radford v. Colvin, 734 F.3d 288 (4th Cir. 2013): Standard for Meeting Section     1.04A of the Listing of Impairments - Disorders of the Spine with Evidence of Nerve Root Compression

 

Between Steps 3 and 4:  RFC Assessment

 

Determining Residual Functional Capacity:

·  SSR 85-16 Residual Functional Capacity for Mental Impairments

·  SSR 96-8p Assessing Residual Functional Capacity in Initial Claims

·  SSR 16-3p Evaluation of Symptoms in Disability Claims

  

Step 4:  Is the claimant capable of past relevant work?

 

Past Relevant Work:

·  SSR 82-40 The Vocational Relevance of Past Work Performed in a Foreign Country

·  SSR 82-61 Past Relevant Work The Particular Job or The Occupation As Generally Performed

·  SSR 82-62 A Disability Claimant’s Capacity To Do Past Relevant Work, In General

·       SSR 05-01c Barnhart v. Thomas, 540 U.S. 20 (2003) - Whether Past Relevant Work Must Exist in significant Numbers in the Economy

 

Step 5:  Does the claimant’s impairment prevent performance of any other work?

 

Use of Medical-Vocational Guidelines:

·  SSR 83-5a Medical-Vocational Guidelines – Conclusiveness of Rules

·  SSR 83-10 Determining Capability To Do Other Work – The Medical-Vocational Rules of Appendix 2

·  SSR 83-11 Capability To Do Other Work – The Exertionally Based Medical-Vocational Rules Met

·  SSR 83-12 Capability To Do Other Work – The Medical-Vocational Rules as a Framework for Evaluating Exertional Limitations Within a Range of Work or Between Ranges of Work

·  SSR 83-14 Capability To Do Other Work – The Medical-Vocational Rules as a Framework for Evaluating a Combination of Exertional and Non-Exertional Impairments

·  SSR 83-46c Heckler v. Campbell, 461 U.S. 458 (1983) – Validity of Medical-Vocational Guidelines

·  SSR 85-15 Capability To Do Other Work – The Medical-Vocational Rules as a Framework for Evaluating Solely Non-Exertional Impairments

·  AR 86-3(5) Martinez v. Heckler, 735 F.2d 795 (5th Cir. 1984) – Individuals Who Are Illiterate and Unable to Communicate in English

·  AR 01-1(3) Sykes v. Apfel, 228 F.3d 259 (3d Cir. 2000) – Using the Grid Rules as a Framework for Decisionmaking When an Individual’s Occupational Base is Eroded by a Nonexertional Limitation

·  AR 14-1(8) Brock v. Astrue, 674 F.3d 1062 (8th Cir. 2012): Requiring Vocational Specialist (VS) or Vocational Expert (VE) Evidence When an Individual has a Severe Mental Impairment(s) 

 

Use of Vocational Expert:

·  SSR 00-4p Use of Vocational Expert and Vocational Specialist Evidence, and Other Reliable Occupational Information in Disability Decisions

 

RFC for Less Than a Full Range of Sedentary Work:

·  SSR 96-9p Determining Capability To Do Other Work – Implications of a Residual Functional Capacity for Less Than A Full Range of Sedentary Work

 

Transferability of Work Skills:

·  SSR 82-41 Work Skills and Their Transferability As Intended By the Expanded Vocational Factors Regulations Effective February 26, 1979

 

The “Worn Out Worker” and the Aged Non-worker with Limited Education:

·  SSR 82-63 Medical-Vocational Profiles Showing An Inability to Make An Adjustment To Other Work

 

Failure to Follow Prescribed Treatment:

·  SSR 82-59 Failure to Follow Prescribed Treatment

 

Part 2: Other Issues

 

ALJ Bias:

·  SSR 13-1p Agency Processes for Addressing Allegations of Unfairness, Prejudice, Partiality, Bias, Misconduct, or Discrimination by Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) 

 

Americans with Disabilities Act:

·  SSR 00-1c Cleveland v. Policy Management Systems Corporation, 526 U. S. 795, 119 S.Ct. 1597 (1999) – Claims Filed Under Both the Social Security Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act

 

Appeals Council Review:

·  SSR 82-13 Program for Ongoing Review of Hearing Decisions Pursuant to Section 304(g) of Public Law (P.L.) 96-265 – Appeals Council’s Review Authority

·  SSR 95-2c Harper v. Secretary, 978 F.2d 260 (6th Cir. 1992) – Authority of Appeals Council to Dismiss a Request for Hearing for a Reason for which the Administrative Law Judge Could Have Dismissed the Request–Res Judicata

·  SSR 11-1p Procedures for Handling Requests to File Subsequent Applications for Disability Benefits

 

Attorneys Fees:

·  SSR 65-33c United States v. Lewis and Hicks, 235 F. Supp. 220 (E.D. Tenn. 1964) –Representation of Claimant – Fees for Services –Violation

·  SSR 66-19c Watson and Plank v. Celebrezze, 246 F. Supp. 764 (E.D. Tenn. 1967) – Judicial Review – Attorney’s Fees Fixed by Administration

·  SSR 67-54c Gardner v. Menendez, 373 F.2d 488 (1st Cir. 1965) – Representation of Claimant–Fixing Amount of Attorney’s Fees– Administrative and Court Proceedings

·  SSR 68-47c Randolph v. U.S.A. – Representation of Claimant – Attorney’s Fees– Authority to Regulate and Approve Amount

·  SSR 68-61c Hopkins v. Cohen, 390 U.S. 530 (1968) – Past-due Benefits for Calculation of Attorney Fees Include Amount of Benefits Paid to Auxiliaries

·  SSR 72-14c Schneider v. Richardson, 441 F.2d 1320 (6th Cir. 1971) – Representation of Claimant –Determination of Attorney’s Fees – Administrative Proceedings

·  SSR 72-31c Whitehead v. Richardson, 466 F.2d 126 (6th Cir. 1971) – Representation of Claimant – Favorable Award of Benefits to Claimant – Determination of Attorney’s Fees

·  SSR 80-20c Whitt v. Califano, 601 F.2d 160 (4th Cir. 1979) – Black Lung Benefits – Representation of Claimant – Fixing Amount of Attorney’s Fees – Administrative and Court Proceedings

·  SSR 82-19c Rahman v. Harris, 490 F. Supp. 376 (E.D. Mich. 1980), CCH Unemp. Ins. Rep §17,212 – Judicial Review – Attorney’s Fees Fixed by Administrative Review – Constitutionality

·  SSR 82-39 Use of Trust or Escrow Accounts in Collection of Attorneys Fees

·  SSR 90-3c Weisbrod v. Sullivan, 875 F.2d 526 (5th Cir. 1989) – Validity of Regulation for Determining Attorney Fees

·  SSR 94-3c Shalala v. Schaefer, 509 U.S. 292 (1993) – Timely Filing for Attorney’s Fees Under the Equal Access to Justice Act

 

Childhood Disability Claims:

·  SSR 98-1p Determining Medical Equivalence in Childhood Disability Claims When a Child Has Marked Limitation in Cognition and Speech

·  SSR 05-3p Title XVI: Determining Continuing Disability at Step 2 of the Medical Improvement Review Standard Sequential Evaluation Process for Children Under Age 18 – Functional Equivalence

·  SSR 09-1p Title XVI: Determining Childhood Disability Under the Functional Equivalence Rule — The “Whole Child” Approach

·  SSR 09-2p Title XVI: Determining Childhood Disability – Documenting a Child's Impairment-Related Limitations

·  SSR 09-3p Title XVI: Determining Childhood Disability – The Functional Equivalence Domain of “Acquiring and Using Information”

·  SSR 09-4p Title XVI: Determining Childhood Disability – The Functional Equivalence Domain of “Attending and Completing Tasks”

·  SSR 09- 5p Title XVI: Determining Childhood Disability – The Functional Equivalence Domain of “Interacting and Relating with Others”

·  SSR 09-6p Title XVI: Determining Childhood Disability – The Functional Equivalence Domain of “Moving About and Manipulating Objects”

·  SSR 09- 7p Title XVI: Determining Childhood Disability – The Functional Equivalence Domain of “Caring for Yourself”

·  SSR 09- 8p Title XVI: Determining Childhood Disability – The Functional Equivalence Domain of “Health and Physical Well-Being”

 

Child Relationship:

·  SSR 06-02p Adjudicating Child Relationship Under Section 216(h)(2) of the Social Security Act When DNA Test Shows Sibling Relationship Between Claimant and a Child of the Worker Who is Entitled Under Section 216(h)(3) of the Social Security Act

 

Cross Examination:

·  AR 91-1(5) Lidy v. Sullivan, 911 F.2d 1075 (5th Cir. 1990) – Claimant Has an Absolute Right to Subpoena and Cross Examine an Examining Physician

 

      Drug Addiction and Alcoholism:

·  SSR 13-2p Evaluating Cases Involving Drug Addiction and Alcoholism (DAA) 

 

Federal Court Decisions:

·  SSR 96-1p Application by the Social Security Administration of Federal Circuit Court and District Court Decisions

 

Federal Court Review:

·  SSR 73-45c Ensey v. Richardson, 469 F.2d 664 (9th Cir. 1972) – Admimnistrative Appeals Rights -- Request for Hearing -- Time Limitation

·  AR 99-4(11) Bloodsworth v. Heckler, 703 F.2d 1233 (11th Cir. 1983) – Appeals Council Dismissal of an Untimely Request for Review is a Final Decision Conferring Federal Court Jurisdiction

·  AR 16-1(7) Boley v. Colvin, 761 F.3d 803 (7th Cir. 2014): Judicial Review of an Administrative Law Judge's Order Finding No Good Cause for a Late Hearing Request and Dismissing the Request as Untimely 

 

Felony Conviction:

·  SSR 83-21 Person Convicted of Felony

Note:  The part of this ruling that deals with suspension of Social Security benefits for imprisoned felons is outdated.  Currently a Title II beneficiary who is incarcerated for 30 days or more following conviction of any crime, including a misdemeanor, will have his or her benefits suspended.

 

 

Fraud or Similar Fault:

·  SSR 16-1p Fraud and Similar Fault Redeterminations Under Sections 205(u) and 1631(e)(7) of the Social Security Act

·  SSR 16-2p Evaluation of Claims Involving the Issue of Similar Fault in the Providing of Evidence

 

Freedom of Information Action (FOIA)/ Privacy Act:

·  SSR 92-1p Request under the Privacy the Act or the Freedom of Information Act for Access to Records and for Disclosure of Material Maintained by the Office of Hearings and Appeals

 

Fugitive Felons:

·  AR 06-1(2) Fowlkes v. Adamec, 432 F.3d 90 (2d Cir. 2005) – Determining Whether an Individual is a Fugitive Felon Under the Social Security Act – Titles II and XVI of the Act

 

Medical Equivalence:

·  SSR 17-2p Evidence Needed by Adjudicators at the Hearings and Appeals Council Levels of the Administrative Review Process to Make Findings about Medical Equivalence

 

Medical Opinions -- These rulings are rescinded for claims filed on or after 3/27/2017 per 82 Fed. Reg. 15263 (2017):

·  SSR 96-2p Giving Controlling Weight to Treating Source Medical Opinions

·  SSR 96-5p Medical Source Opinions on Issues Reserved to the Commissiioner

·  SSR 06-3p Considering Opinions and Other Evidence from Sources Who Are Not "Acceptable Medical Sources" in Disability Claims; Considering Decisions on Disability by Other Governmental and Nongovernmental Agencies  

 

Overpayments:

·  AR 92-5(9) Quinlan v. Sullivan, 916 F.2d 524 (9th Cir. 1990) – A Finding That Recovery of an Overpayment is “Against Equity and Good Conscience” Is Not Limited to the Specific Circumstances Set Forth in the Regulations

 

Reopening:

·  SSR 61-60 Computing Time Period for Reopening Determination

·  SSR 67-22 Finality of Decision – Reopening on Basis of New and Material Evidence – Good Cause

·  SSR 85-6c Munsinger v. Schweiker, 790 F.2d 1212 (8th Cir. 1983) - Disability - Reduction of Benefits Due to Receipt of a Lump Sum Workers' Compensation Settlement - Finality of Decision - Reopening for Error of Law

·  SSR 88-1c Monger v. Bowen, 817 F.2d 15 (4th Cir. 1987) – Judicial Review – Appeal from Administration’s Refusal to Reopen prior Final Decision

·  SSR 91-5p Mental Incapacity and Good Cause for Missing the Deadline to Request Review

·  SSR 95-1p Finding Good Cause for Missing the Deadline to Request Administrative Review Due to Statements in the Notice of Initial or Reconsideration Determination Concerning the Right to Request Administrative Review and the Option to File a New Application

·  SSR 16-2p Evaluation of Claims Involving the Issue of Similar Fault in the Providing of Evidence

·  AR 90-4(4) Culbertson v. Secretary, 859 F.2d 319 (4th Cir. 1988); Young v. Bowen, 858 F.2d 951 (4th Cir. 1988) – Waiver of Administrative Finality in Proceedings Involving Unrepresented Claimants Who Lack the Mental Competence to Request Administrative Review

·  AR 92-7(9) Gonzalez v. Sullivan, 914 F.2d 1197 (9th Cir. 1990) – When Denial Determination Fails to Give Adequate Notice of Implications of Failure to Appeal, Administrative Finality Doctrine Will Not Apply

 · SSR 17-1p Reopening Based on Error on the Face of the Evidence – Effect of a Decision by the Supreme Court of the United States Finding a Law That We Applied To Be Unconstitutional

 

Res Judicata:

·  SSR 63-41 Section 205(b); 221(d) – Right to Hearing

·  SSR 68-12a Sections 205(a), 216(i) and 223 – Finality of Decision – New and Material Evidence of Disability – Res Judicata

·  SSR 71-32c Easley v. Finch, 431 F.2d 1351 (4th Cir. 1970) – Sections 205(g) and 221(d) – Judicial Review – Res Judicata

·  SSR 86-16a Finality of Decision - New and Material Evidence of Paternity – Res Judicata

·  AR 97-4(9) Chavez v. Bowen, 844 F.2d 691 (9th Cir. 1988) – Effect of a Prior Final Decision That a Claimant is Not Disabled, And of Findings Contained Therein, On Adjudication of a Subsequent Disability Claim Arising Under the Same Title of the Social Security Act

·  AR 98-3(6) Dennard v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 907 F.2d 598 (6th Cir. 1990) – Effect of a Prior Finding of the Demands of Past Work on Adjudication of a Subsequent Disability Claim Arising Under the Same Title of the Social Security Act

·  AR 98-4(6) Drummond v. Commissioner of Social Security, 126 F.3d 837 (6th Cir. 1997) – Effect of Prior Findings on Adjudication of a Subsequent Disability Claim Arising Under the Same Title of the Social Security Act

·  AR 00-1(4) Albright v. Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, 174 F.3d 473 (4th Cir. 1999) – Effect of Prior Disability Findings on Adjudication of a Subsequent Disability Claim

 

Termination of Benefits:

·  SSR 82-66 Establishing the Cessation Date in a Continuing Disability Case

·  AR 86-4(3) Paskel v. Heckler, 768 F.2d 540 (3d Cir. 1985) – Necessity of a Determination Under Sections 225(b) and/or 1631(a)(6) of the Social Security Act for a Disability Benefits Recipient Engaged in an Approved Vocational Rehabilitation Program Prior to Cessation of His/Her Benefits Based on Medical Recovery

·  AR 86-5(9) Leschniok v. Heckler, 713 F.2d 520 (9th Cir. 1983) – Necessity of a Determination Under Sections 225(b) and/or 1631(a)(6) of the Social Security Act for a Disability Benefits Recipient Engaged in an Approved Vocational Rehabilitation Program Prior to Cessation of His/Her Benefits Based on Medical Recovery

·  SSR 13-3p Title II: Appeal of an Initial Medical Disability Cessation Determination or Decision

 

Waiver of Hearing:

·  SSR 79-19 Waiver of Personal Appearance at a Hearing

 

Widow’s Disability Evaluation:

·  SSR 91-3p Determining Entitlement to Disability Benefits for Months Prior to January 1991 for Widows, Widowers and Surviving Divorced Spouses Claims

 

Workers’ Compensation Offset:

·  SSR 97-3 Reduction of Disability Insurance Benefits Due to Receipt of State Workers’ Compensation – Validity of an Amended Stipulation on a Prior Workers’ Compensation Settlement and Award – Minnesota

 

 

 

(Revised as of 4/10/2017)