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Social Security published a final rule in today’s Federal Register, reducing the period for past relevant work (PRW) from 15 years to 5 years. The rule becomes effective June 8, 2024.

Step 4 of the disability sequential evaluation considers a person’s ability to perform their past relevant work (both as actually performed and as generally performed in the national economy). At Step 5, Social Security considers whether a person has acquired job skills from past relevant work that would transfer to a significant range of other jobs. The new rule will narrow the jobs included in PRW to just the past 5 years. It is a signifant change in the rules.

Additionally, the final rule states that Social Security will not consider past work that started and stopped in fewer than 30 calendar days to be PRW.