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Final Rules on Evaluating Respiratory Disorders to Take Effect October 7, 2016

Thursday, June 9, 2016  
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Please see recent memo from SSA below:


We are writing to advise you that we published final rules in the Federal Register on June 9, 2016 for evaluating respiratory disorders.  The rules take effect on October 7, 2016 and will remain in effect for 3 years unless we extend the effective date.  The electronic version of the rules is available in the Federal Register.


The final rules reflect our program experience and advances in medical knowledge since we last comprehensively revised the listings for this body system in 1993, and comments we received from medical experts and the public at an outreach policy conference in 2005, in response to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), and in response to the 2013 NPRM.


These final rules:

  • Revise the listings for cystic fibrosis (CF) to recognize that people with CF are disabled at a comparatively higher level of lung function than people who do not have CF.
  • Revise current listing criteria, and add listing criteria, for CF to provide medically appropriate requirements on which we will find listing-level impairment.
  • Provide separate spirometry values for listing-level impairment based on gender to recognize the differences in predicted normal values for females and males.
  • Provide separate spirometry tables for people age 18 to the attainment of age 20 to account for the continuing physical maturation process for such young adults, and separate spirometry tables for children age 13 to the attainment of age 18 based on gender to recognize the differences in predicted normal values that start at puberty.
  • Revise the adult and child listings for asthma to include criteria for evaluating disability based on three hospitalizations and to include a 1-year period of disability from the discharge date of the last hospitalization.
  • Add adult and child listings for respiratory failure to recognize the medical severity of respiratory disorders that lead to respiratory failure.
  • Revise the period for which we will consider people who receive lung transplants disabled from 1 year to 3 years.


If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Disability Policy at (410) 965-1020.

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