Disability, SSI

Social Security to Simplify Disability Evaluation Process – Agency to Reduce Work History Period to 5 Years  

June 26, 2024 • By

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Last Updated: June 26, 2024

Social Security Administration LogoWhen people become disabled under the statutory definition the Social Security Administration must follow, the agency helps them meet their basic needs and sustain a higher quality of life. Social Security administers disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Under both programs, the agency follows a five-step process to determine if an adult has a qualifying disability.

In response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government, the agency is proud to announce changes that will reduce administrative burdens for applicants and help more people with disabilities receive government benefits and services if they are eligible. On April 18, 2024, Social Security published a final rule, “Intermediate Improvement to the Disability Adjudication Process, Including How We Consider Past Work.”

The final rule announces updates that will improve the application process for disability benefits and reduce the time applicants wait for a decision.

The new rule simplifies step four of the process, which assesses whether a person applying for disability benefits can perform any of their “past relevant work.”

“This new rule will lessen the burden and time our applicants face when filling out information about their work history and will make it easier for them to focus on the most current and relevant details about their past work,” said Martin O’Malley, Commissioner of Social Security. “It also improves the quality of the information our frontline workers receive to make decisions, improving customer service, and reducing case processing time and overall wait times.”

Under the final rule, beginning June 22, 2024, when determining past relevant work, the agency will review only five years of past work. The previous policy required people to provide detailed information about 15 years of work history, which was difficult for individuals to remember and often led to incomplete or inaccurate reporting. Also, the agency will no longer consider past work that started and stopped in fewer than 30 calendar days. The new rule makes it easier for people applying for benefits by focusing on their most recent relevant work activity while still providing enough information to continue making accurate determinations.

This final rule is one of several regulation updates Social Security is publishing to improve its disability program. The agency recently announced it will reduce barriers to access the SSI program by updating the definition of a public assistance household. The agency also announced it will exclude the value of food from SSI benefit calculations. Additionally, the agency announced it will expand its rental subsidy exception, currently only in place for SSI applicants and recipients residing in seven States, as a nationwide policy.

The agency continuously examines programmatic policy and makes regulatory and sub-regulatory changes as appropriate. For more information on the SSDI and SSI programs – including who is eligible, how to apply, and how Social Security makes a disability determination – visit Disability and SSI.

To read the final rule, visit the Federal Register: Intermediate Improvement to the Disability Adjudication Process, Including How We Consider Past Work.

 

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  1. hemarsoft

    Social Security’s new disability evaluation rules streamline processes, reducing paperwork and improving access to benefits efficiently.

    Reply
    • James d.

      I have been disabled for 20 years and now they tell me I’m not medically disabled any more.

      Reply
      • S.D.

        We’re sorry to hear about your situation, James. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. If you disagree with a decision we’ve made, you can appeal online. If you are unable to file your appeal online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. If you want us to continue paying you benefits while we review your appeal, contact us right away. For more information about how to request benefit continuation, watch our YouTube video. To learn more about disability reviews, read our blog and visit Your Continuing Eligibility page. We hope this helps.

        Reply
        • Linda H.

          Why did I not get my back pay someone got it.Nashville office told me that.Donot get Cigna insurance or fool with Advantage 2000 they crooks.Been waiting 10 yrs for my back pay no letter or verification of where it went I appeal and wrote letters someone covering it up and had pay Irs money for money I didn’t get???

          Reply
  2. Kylie

    And…I’m sure there’s also plenty of disabled after those with who have “long haul” covid health issues and/or the vaccines that were either taken out of fear, voluntarily and to maintain employment/military.

    Start researching all the injured/deaths from the Covid vaccines.

    Start with the VAERS system and a r website called react19.org and various social media accounts on all platforms

    Maybe it’s all just a coincidence….so many of those over the past several years

    Reply
    • Lisa

      You are 100% correct. And in addition, Social Security is the new welfare program. What it was originally designed for has been morphed into an unrecognizable program.

      Reply
      • Tony

        Hi, Jerry

        Who would agree 100% with you. You’re a nut case.

        Reply
        • JERRY M.

          Tony: You are the true nut, and you are wasting our Social Security money, SSI money, U.S. tax money, welfare program benefits! You need a cotton field to hoe, then pick when boles open! And, you can carry and load all the watermelons in Texas, Oklahoma, Californian, AZ and Florida, so those farmers will not need to pay for labor! You need to work for free, work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, eating only once per day so the cost to the farmer, and to our welfare state country is very low! Good luck trying to stay on SSI and welfare benefits! They are all going away!

          Reply
          • Don D.

            Jerry, people like you are why conservatism is aging like an egg salad sandwich on a hot summer day. The next two generations will not put up with being told what to do with their bodies and which God, if any, to pray to.

      • Don

        Lisa, you do not know what you are talking about, it is much harder to get on SSDI than SSI, your medical problems need to be much worse.

        Reply
  3. Kylie

    Last 5 years of employment?

    So if you’ve haven’t worked that much during that period but worked many years prior to that, those years don’t count towards the dollar amount you get reducing your eligible amount or getting denied all together.

    Did I understand that correctly ?

    And let’s say you need disability a year or so before you are eligible for SSI, if you are still on disability when you file for SSI, they use as your SSI amount. Which means if you earned considerably less in the 5 years pre- disability, that’s what you will get for your SSI the rest of your life !

    Did I understand that correctly ?

    How long before they pass the same law with SSI?

    And what a time to roll this out, during the period after the Covid lockdowns and restrictions in which many people either were out of work, became disabled, lost their business, maybe had to change employment with a reduced pay!

    This was a ploy to get out of paying full amounts to USA citizens in need and retirees!

    Reply
    • S.D.

      Hi, Kylie. Thanks for reading our blog and for your questions. Your monthly disability benefit is based on your average lifetime earnings. For more information, visit our Disability Benefits webpage. Our new rule about past relevant work does not change how we calculate the amount of your disability benefit. We hope this helps. 

      Reply
      • Charles M.

        I am reading all of these comments & questions..& yes..he had a good question & you had a very good answer
        ..that was very helpful..I am happy to see that you are taking these comments seriously..some people are
        unable to read & understand as well as others & sometimes
        we all read too fast..reducing
        paperwork is always helpful..&
        filling out forms is stressful for some also..since not everyone has room to store their documents pertaining to their past work history.
        O

        Reply
      • Regina N.

        Is this new 5 year past relavent work rule going to help people over 50 get approved for SSI disability???

        Reply
      • Regina N.

        I would really love to know a answer to this question I’m about to ask because it seems like absolutely NOBODY can give me the right answer not even the SSA office when I called them….. If I’m over 50 years old and have ABSOLUTELY NO WORK HISTORY FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS, HOW DOES THE SSA/DDS MAKE THE DECISION WHAT KIND OF WORK YOU GUYS THINK I CAN DO, IF I HAVE NO WORK HISTORY IN THE PAST 5 YEARS??????

        Reply
        • S.D.

          Hi, Regina. Thanks for reading our blog and for your questions. Social Security pays disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or end in death. Visit How We Decide If You Are Disabled to learn about the medical review process. We will look at any of your past work that we consider relevant and contact you if we need more information. We hope this helps.

           

          Reply
      • Eve S.

        Will the 5 year rule apply to application for last year application? My app is at 61%

        Reply
  4. Monica W.

    It seems paying attention and reading the whole policy means little to the complaining posts made, since they’re only skiming and seeing the big scary words like “relevant history to use in determining if past “relevant work can be done” and it also states that it’s not going to include anything that was under 30 days in time worked. Those are better steps than previous ones, especially the use of “relevant ” sometimes people have done so much irrelevant jobs they think they’re being asked to be a nothing worker when they’re actually trying to keep you in the same if not better options so as not to demean the worker themselves. Since there are training options to get people back in the workforce by helping set them up to succeed with newer skills than previously equipped with which in turn benefit the worker and society as a whole. Nobody (minus a few) wants to feel useless for the rest of their life because they are broken, put on a fixed income that barely covers cereal, definitely doesn’t cover rent or any amenities, and get tossed aside like garbage. Most would graciously accept training to be independent again.

    Reply
    • JERRY M.

      Monica W. That is why we must have a much more honest government, much more honesty from U.S. citizens, and complete honesty from all applicants for SS, SSI, welfare benefits, jobs, any type of government assistance paid for by the 50% of U.S. citizens who are actually paying some Federal income taxes! The people who have paid Social Security taxes for many years, are those who are still paying SS taxes, including many retired person, should not have crooked politicians, government agency leaders, government employees, or other U.S. citizens allowing deceit and corruption in the process of distribution of Social Security funds, or taxpayer public funds! Encouraging people to apply of any type of Social Security disability funds, SSI, SSI-DI free Medicaid, welfare benefits, any type of government assistance is opening doors to all those who are more than willing to lie, cheat and steal to get their living and existence from Social Security money, government money, which only comes from a few U.S. citizens who are actually paying significant taxes so everyone on illicit welfare type programs can live free in a working U.S. population!

      What the U.S. must do is get all our factories, plants, money, investments, investors, non-union jobs, jobs, workers, retirement funds, small businesses, companies, and honest people back into the United States of America. That will GREATLY GROW the middle class where we can have completely full employment, allow U.S. citizens to go into all the small businesses, take good paying jobs, raise the STANDARD OF LIVING to MIDDLE CLASS and allow them to get out of the lower class and the service jobs where there is little hope for real prosperity for most people!

      By bringing all these things back to America we can, easily, develop real good jobs, and we certainly can develop many, many very specialized jobs, with the needed special accomadtions, for the handicapped, the disabled who are disabled physically and/or mentally! We must do this to improve our USA, or otherwise we are at a full-blown stalemate, where people will continue to choose lying, cheating and stealing welfare benefits, SSI, etc. as a means to remain in the lower class of citizens, along with the dirty illegal aliens, immigrants we have allowed into what once was a clean and honest USA! We must eliminate all types of welfare programs, all SSI, all welfare and SSI recipients and replace their subsistence with the very highly specialized jobs, vocations, and their sources of living with meaningful, honest means of supporting themselves! Smart working people can do all these things, but the welfare benefits believing class must stop being dishonest and realize money does not go on trees, nor is there an endless supply of money from the 50% of U.S. citizens paying the taxes! Right now, the U.S. government and many of our citizens are in a corrupt state of mind! We can overcome that as we did in World War II, or we can deteriorate further and end-up, soon, in a very bad World War III, and a very bad recession at the same time, which the USA would never recover from!

      Reply
      • E. H.

        Almost correct Jerry. Short of 2 issues.
        1. We are a nation of immigrants. We are not 1st. Peoples, Natives. We are native immigrants to this part of; thee AMERICA’S. A continnent. You may be filthy, dirty and illegal in your behavior as a legal citizen, but not everyone.
        2. Your plan too put us back on the rails is needed, and looks good Jerry, had it been applied and started 30 years ago. But that challege today,, is almost beyond the scope of doing now in a timely, dedicated finacially fisable way. It will add more national debt for the created bureas of more paper shufflers to be hired and more added Taxation for thee IRS too collect. In all being no quitter myself, I think we are in ruin and must start over.
        I’m 68 now, soon to be 69 if I live that long. Genetics, No one prior as far back as my Great Grand dad lived past 70. I am the last one. I hate what our so called leadership has done to this once Great Nation. Leadership? I’ve had a pretty good life of responsible INDEPENDENCE oweing honor only too; my mother and God.
        Leadership is nothing more than conned enslavement to a puppet master sucking the life out of the; “now young walking dead.”

        Reply
    • Shereesue G.

      As a mentally disabled person with documentation of my disabilities by 30 teachers from 1968 1969 and 1970. A troubled teenager running out of the restaurant in the middle of lunch on my first job because I was so overwhelmed. Drug use never good enough for my mother and I was adopted that compounded my self worth. I had a son and moved to Florida after my mom died when I was 17 2 months after I got out of rehab and had my first apartment. She was a binge drinker and I thought I could help her but I didn’t get the chance. Moved to Florida after doing what my mom told me to MARRY A RICH MAN AND LEARN TO LOVE HIM. Moved to Florida got 2 DUIs in 1983 and saved in jail to go on to graduate with honors to be bullied after waiting 9yrs years for the job without any write-ups. In 1996 I had 2 suicide attempts while employed at the hospital I stayed at. In 1997 I went full time. No doubt about my disability. In 2005 I got the job as a microbiologist and bullied for 2yrs straight seeing EAP and it started at training. When I went to the head supervisor with my assistant supervisor to tell the head supervisor, his response was THEY WON’T TRAIN YOU. After 2yrs straight I developed insomnia and PTSD I went to HR. They did an investigation and found my head supervisor to be at fault but the damage was done. He fired me a year later. I was denied unemployment lost my retirement, house and instead of another suicide attempt I got a dui. Someone else would have committed suicide or stay homeless and the state of Florida and the Florida Healthcare System could care less. However with the grace of God and the fortitude to overcome He refined me. I was fired from 5 hairstylist jobs between 2008-2015 and I finally got a job at Bio-Reference as a microbiologist. The lab director who hired me was made aware of my PTSD and attention deficit disorder, and the depression was obvious but I always showed up. Now being bullied by my supervisor. In 2019 January I had a knee replacement and my supervisor called me on a Saturday saying she needed me to come back earlier than scheduled because she was having a knee replacement and people needed vacations. I didn’t know I could say no. I started having complications within 3wks and couldn’t get time off and my knee was swelling and leaking fluid. When she came back I asked to work part-time or to work slower days and I was denied. I had to have 2 more surgeries that year. My supervisor was bullying me about overtime and I told her I was doing my best and she replied YOUR BEST ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH. I went in early the next morning to complain AGAIN to the lab director and God intervened again, she wasn’t in her office SHE WAS IN MICROBIOLOGY SAYING HOW SHE ALMOST GOT FIRED FOR CALLING SOMEONE ON FMLA. I WAS FIRED 2 WEEKS AFTER MY FMLA RAN OUT. IN THE MIDDLE OF REFINANCING THE HOUSE AND ON THE UNEMPLOYMENT APPLICATION IT STATES.
      MY DR SAID 4HRS A DAY AND THE SUPERVISOR SAID THAT’S NOT GOING TO WORK COULD YOU WORK 8HRS EVERY OTHER DAY. I WAS SUFFERING AND EVERYONE COULD SEE THAT. I FEEL THAT I WAS FIRED FOR FINDING OUT THAT I WASN’T GOOD TO CALL ME ON FMLA AND FOR MY ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER AND I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK FURTHER ABOUT THIS.
      THIS IS ME SPEAKING FURTHER ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW

      Reply
  5. Tammy j.

    I want to know if they are going to refigure mine and others to focus only on our past 5 years. They went 15 for mine and the last it would have been Register Nurse pay!

    Reply
    • Kylie

      I’m the opposite due to a lot of unforeseen circumstances the past 5 years I worked on and off at measly paying jobs.

      Prior to that I owned a Business in which I paid 100’s of thousands in taxes personally and professionally.

      I don’t understand how they calculate it in the first place, could you direct me ?

      So now that I need temporary disability which they haven’t agreed or denied yet, it will be reduced significantly or denied is my understanding.

      And if anyone who needs it is nearing SSI eligibility will get the SDI amount currently getting instead of the SSI amount they would have normally received is my understanding

      Reply
      • S.D.

        Hi, Kylie. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. Your monthly disability benefit is based on your average lifetime earnings. For more information, visit our Disability Benefits webpage. To learn how we decide if you have a qualifying disability, visit here. Our new rule about past relevant work does not affect how we calculate the amount of your disability benefit. As of June 22, 2024, when determining whether you have past relevant work, we consider only 5 years of past work, not 15. We hope this helps.

        Reply
        • Regina N.

          You people can’t answer my question??????

          Reply
  6. Kerin58

    This is totally wrong! Those of us who had to work years for the full credits to collect SSDI, deserve more money monthly then! Why should you only make someone work for half of the time that I had to, and be entitled to those same benefits? Plus, the SSA will run out of funds even sooner then we are previously being told, at which point nobody will receive benefits, or they’ll be cut drastically. Get people that can work working their full years! Totally illogical decision that makes absolutely no sense!

    Reply
    • Retired

      This has nothing to do with quarters of coverage. Full credits are still required. It has to do with denying a claim because a person can still perform a job they did 14 years ago, even if they can’t perform their most recent job. Now that job will not be relevant. More applicants will likely be granted SSD.

      Reply
    • JERRY M.

      Thank you for your logical approach and your honesty! You are very right! This 5 year plan with, essentially, no real restrictions to getting approved for SS-DI, SSI-DI, SSI is nothing but a Social Security Fund stealing move to entice gulible people into making even more false and bogus claims for benefits! The USA has become corrupt in some of our actions! We will stop the corruption! Thank you for being such a great U.S. citizen! We certainly do not need any illega aliens or immigrants getting any of our SS, SSI, SSI-DI or welfare benefits either, but every one of them illegally stepping across our boreders are applying to get every government benefits available in our United States of America! We must close borders, stop all immigration and deport every illegal alien and foreigner out of USA. We can see all the very negative results of our open borders policy! All we have is an open borders policy; do not believe anything anybody says indicating we are controlling illegal immigration! We are allowing dirty people to enter the USA, who are ignorant, uneducated and who cannot support themselves. They will over run our public facilities and schools for years, costing all our governments, at all levels, for many years, just because segments of USA want to change America from a free independent country to a full-blown Marxist-Communist country where confiscation of our incomes, assets, homes, businesses, etc is allowed so they can be re-distributed to the illicit segments of U.S. who are on welfare programs, or want to be living off U.S. tax paying citizens, rather than working for their own subsistence!

      Reply
      • Lisa

        You are 100% correct.

        Reply
      • Joel

        Good Lord man! Do they still make you? Xenophobic much!

        Reply
  7. Kathy S.

    Looks good on paper, but is more prohibitive than it first appears. Most people filing for SSDI have been out of work for a while. Either trying to get better, or believing they must wait to be completely broke before applying. By limiting the work history to five years, there will be, on average, 2-3 years prior to application where the applicant has been unable to work, so there is not much work history, and a drastically reduced SSDI Allotment. Nicely done, O’Malley, you silver tongued devil, you!

    Reply
    • Kylie

      Absolutely agree here !!

      Reply
    • Elaine

      Yes I agree they come into the USA and don’t pay taxes here we work hard all ourselves and have to pay high taxes on everything than at the end of the year we have to pay income taxes. This is not fair to us the immigrants comes here they go to school for free they get welfare, food stamp and I get this lil disability check and retirement and barley can feed myself. My husband die and social security telling me I can’t get two pension this is bull crap what is social security doing with his social security money that my husband work for? I asked the social security office what yall doing with the money if I can’t get it? They told me the money just sit there Really. I know damm where that money is not just sitting there this is BS. The government or legislator need to do something about this because it’s not fair I can’t liv on this lil money. 😡 I been dealing with this crap for years I’m glad I don’t have a house note to pay or rent to pay I probably would be harmless.Thank you Jesus

      Reply
  8. Lisa

    My husband retired at 65 on work and ss benefits. He is 94 now. He had a stroke 5 years ago and was still recovering but now he can barely walk without help. Our daughter has cerebral palsy and I am the only caregiver with several health limitations. It’s painful to clean house, cook, laundry, etc. we have to pay for yard work for a large property. Is my husband eligible for SSDI and help with our household duties. Would he receive more than regular ss? We both worked for state government and they deduct WEP from our ss checks, which is unfair and Congress has not changed that law for years

    Reply
    • T.Y.

      Hi, Lisa. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. Since your husband has already reached full retirement age, he is receiving the highest amount that he is due from Social Security. Once a person reaches full retirement age, they can’t apply for or receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. We hope this helps.

      Reply

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