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The Disability Guys
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This article is brought to you by the New York accident lawyers at Markhoff & Mittman P.C.

Introduction to New Changes in Disability Adjudication

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced the finalization of its proposed regulation to enhance the disability adjudication process, specifically by amending the criteria for evaluating past relevant work (PRW). Effective from June 8, 2024, the new rule shortens the consideration period for PRW from 15 years to 5 years, and excludes any employment lasting fewer than 30 days from PRW assessment. This adjustment aims to simplify the disability determination process, reflecting more accurately the evolution of job responsibilities and the skills decay over time. Additionally, this change is expected to alleviate the burden on disability claimants, expedite processing times, and elevate the level of customer service, along with other minor regulatory revisions.

Why the SSA is Updating the Disability Adjudication Process

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has identified the need to update the disability adjudication process to more accurately reflect the current job market dynamics and the realistic applicability of job skills over time. The shift in the relevant work period from 15 years to just 5 years aligns with the updated cycles of occupational surveys and data, providing a more relevant frame of reference for assessing changing occupational requirements. This change acknowledges that job skills and requirements evolve, diminishing the relevance of past work experiences as time passes.

The implementation of a 30-day minimum period for past work to be considered relevant focuses on more recent and significant employment, thus reducing the burden on individuals recalling and reporting older, less relevant job experiences. This adjustment is expected to enhance the accuracy and completeness of the information received from disability claimants, reducing the need for follow-ups and additional information requests from SSA staff.

Overall, these changes are designed to improve adjudicative efficiency and customer service. By reducing the time spent on filling out detailed work history forms and the overall wait times for determinations, the SSA expects to provide a better customer experience for applicants and a more efficient processing system, ultimately benefiting the public by enabling quicker and more accurate disability benefit determinations.


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Understanding the New SSA Regulations and Their Impact on Your Disability Claim

As the Social Security Administration (SSA) revises the rules governing the disability adjudication process, particularly at steps four and five of the sequential evaluation process where past relevant work (PRW) is considered, it’s crucial for disability claimants to understand these changes and their potential impact. The new regulation shortens the timeframe for considering PRW from the previous 15 years to just 5 years and requires that any work counted toward PRW must have lasted at least 30 days. These modifications are designed to make the evaluation process more efficient and reflective of current job market conditions, thus potentially affecting how disability claims are adjudicated.

At Markhoff & Mittman P.C., a law firm specializing in disability claims, we recognize the importance of staying informed about such regulatory changes. This update could significantly impact the legal standing of individuals applying for disability benefits by reducing the complexity of proving their inability to work.

We advise all our clients and readers to read the full article to understand better how this might affect their specific situations. If you believe these new rules could impact your disability claim, or if you need guidance on navigating your claim under the revised rules, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Markhoff & Mittman P.C. for expert legal assistance and support.

Source:

Intermediate Improvement to the Disability Adjudication Process, Including How We Consider Past Work

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