SSA Regulations and Rulings and Federal Court Cases
I bet you are wondering how the Social Security Administration (SSA) makes there decisions. What sources provide the authority for supporting the administration's determination of disability in the several SSDI and SSI cases they decide each year? There are several areas of guidance the social security administration (SSA) consults. If you have a basic understanding of the type of information available to the social security administration (SSA), the relative weight each source carries, where you can find this information, and the frequency of use by the social security administration (SSA), you will be ahead of the majority of claimants that file for disability each year.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the administrative law judge (ALJ), where applicable, utilize the following sources of information. They are listed generally in order of importance, starting with the most important:
1. Social Security Regulations (20 C.F.R. chapters 400-499);
2. Social Security Rulings. These are published by the social security administration (SSA) and can be found at the administration's website;
3. Certain social security manuals including Program Operations Manual System (POMS) and Hearings, Appeals, Litigation and Law Manual (HALLEX);
4. Other sources such as a medical dictionary, medical textbooks, and a vocational dictionary called DOT;
5. Acquiescence Rulings which deal with federal court cases found at the administration's website; and
6. Federal Court decisions.
Note that while easier said than done, going through all of the information listed above and understanding that information is a difficult job. Many of the material found above is complex, dry, and requires time that many SSDI and SSI claimants cannot afford to give up. It is not necessary to understand the information listed above in order to successfully win your case. That job is reserved for your social security disability attorney. This list is not here as a homework assignment to you in order to file your claim. Many SSDI and SSI claimant who are successful could not begin to tell you anything found in this list of sources. The list above is here merely to give you an idea of the sources the social security administration (SSA) goes to for guidance. Their decisions are not random. For the most part, they conform to the information found in the list mentioned above. If you have any questions you should of course consult a social security disability attorney or talk with your local social security field office.