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SSA Provides Notice of SSR 16-3p

Wednesday, March 30, 2016  
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SSR 16-3p Evaluation of Symptoms in Disability Claims

 

SUMMARY: We are providing notice of SSR 16-3p. This Ruling supersedes SSR 96-7p. This Ruling provides guidance about how we evaluate statements regarding the intensity, persistence, and limiting effects of symptoms in disability claims under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act) and blindness claims under Title XVI of the Act.

 

DATES: Effective Date: March 16, 2016.

 

Policy Interpretation Ruling

 

Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Symptoms in Disability Claims

 

               This SSR supersedes SSR 96-7p: Policy Interpretation Ruling Titles

II and XVI: Evaluation of Symptoms in Disability Claims: Assessing the

Credibility of an Individual's Statements.

 

Purpose:

 

               We are rescinding SSR 96-7p: Policy Interpretation Ruling Titles II and XVI Evaluation of Symptoms in Disability Claims: Assessing the Credibility of an Individual's Statements and replacing it with this Ruling. We solicited a study and recommendations from the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) on the topic of symptom evaluation. Based on ACUS's recommendations \1\ and our adjudicative experience, we are eliminating the use of the term ``credibility'' from our sub-regulatory policy, as our regulations do not use this term. In doing so, we clarify that subjective symptom evaluation is not an examination of an individual's character. Instead, we will more closely follow our regulatory language regarding symptom evaluation.

              

               Consistent with our regulations, we instruct our adjudicators to consider all of the evidence in an individual's record when they evaluate the intensity and persistence of symptoms after they find that the individual has a medically determinable impairment(s) that could reasonably be expected to produce those symptoms. We evaluate the intensity and persistence of an individual's symptoms so we can determine how symptoms limit ability to perform work-related activities for an adult and how symptoms limit ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively in an age-appropriate manner for a child with a title XVI disability claim.



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