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Social Security Rulings (SSR)

The Social Security Disability laws are constantly changing and evolving. The SSRs, or Social Security Rulings, are an important part of this process.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a Social Security Ruling is “a series of precedential decisions relating to the programs administered by the SSA and are published under the authority of the Commissioner of Social Security.”

Social Security Rulings can be made at all administrative levels of SSA adjudication including Federal court decisions, opinions of the Office of the General Counsel, Commissioner’s decisions and interpretations of the laws and regulations pertaining to Social Security Disability.

It is important to note that Social Security Rulings do not have the same force as actual laws or regulations. They are, however, binding on all components of the SSA and are used to adjudicate Social Security Disability cases.

Social Security Rulings are public records. These records are published in the “Notices” section of the Federal Register. Once a Social Security Ruling has been published, it is immediately effective. This means that if a Social Security Ruling is published under the Notices section of the Federal Register, that ruling is in effect and can apply to an applicant’s Social Security Disability case.

Social Security Rulings are often used as a standard that can be used in other similar Social Security Disability cases. For example, if a denied disability applicant successfully appeals a denial of their disability claim and a ruling is created due to that appeal, that Social Security Ruling can be applied to similar Social Security Disability cases in the future.