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Social Security released EM-24026, entitled: Isolated Occupations We Will Not Use to Support a “Not Disabled” Finding at Step Five of the Sequential Evaluation Process and EM-24027, entitled: Guidance Regarding the Citation of Certain Occupations at Step Five of the Sequential Evaluation Process.

These two Emergency Messages are steps toward addressing the

New Ruling 24-1p addresses three medical-vocational “profiles” that are occasionally applicable in disability claims. The profiles are considered at Step 5 of the sequential evaluation. If you meet the criteria of the profile at Step 5, you will be found disabled under Social Security’s rules. This new Ruling recinds and replaces Ruling 82-63.

The first

On April 18, 2024, Social Security published a final rule revising the period for Past Relevant Work (PRW) from 15 years to 5 years. That published rule contained an implementation date of June 8, 2024.

A notice in today’s Federal Register delayed implementation of the new rule by two weeks. The new rule will now

There is an interesting wrinkle on the issue of missed days at work in the Second Circuit case of Sczepanski v. Saul, 946 F. 3d 152 (2nd Cir. 2020). That case probably merits wider attention.

During the ALJ hearing in that case, the vocational witness was asked about tolerated levels of missed days, specifically

Often at a Social Security disability hearing, there is testimony from the claimant and the vocational witness about missed days at work.

Many disability claims at the hearing level are decided on the basis of missed work days. This is because a claimant’s symptoms and limitations often do not fit neatly into Social Security’s physical

Last Fall the Social Security published a proposed rule change that would reduce the period of PRW from 15 years to 5 years. As I have said before, I strongly support that change, which would reduce the paperwork burden of disability claims and lead to more realistic determinations.

The Federal Register published today its semiannual