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Rules & Regulations

SSA’s administration of the SSDI and SSI disability programs is governed by regulations contained at 20 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R) §§404 and 416. ( On a regular basis, SSA proposes changes to existing regulations by publishing proposed regulations in the Federal Register and inviting public comments to proposed changes. After digesting comments, SSA then publishes final regulations in the Federal Register. This section includes proposed regulations, comment letters that the Empire Justice Center has submitted on proposed regulations, and final regulations implemented by SSA.

SSA also publishes its policies and practice in Social Security Rulings (SSRs), that are issued periodically and can be found at  Discussions of new SSRs are contained in this section, as are changes to SSA's internal rules and procedures found in the POMS (Program Operating Manual System!readform) and HALLEX (Hearings, Appeals, and Litigation Law Manual  Newly issued Emergency Messages and Chief ALJ Bulletins are also included. 

Finally, any changes made by Congress to the Social Security Act itself can be found in this section.



Emergency Message Clarifies Thrid Party Can Assist with Claims Filing
SSA issued Emergency Message (EM)-17032 on October 11, 2017. The EM clarifies that a third party can help a claimant file for disability benefits by completing an iClaim for DIB or DIB/SSI. Read More

HALLEX Sections Updated
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has made some changes to and added HALLEX sections. Read More

Attorney Advisor Program Extended
SSA extended the attorney advisor program for six months, with a new sunset date of February 5, 2018. Attorney advisors are authorized to conduct certain prehearing proceedings and to issue fully favorable decisions. Read More

Rules & Regulations: Articles


Empire Justice Comments on Vocational Factors in the Adult Disability Determination Process
Empire Justice Center comments to the Social Security Administration on proposed rulemaking on vocational factors of age, education, and work experience in the adult disability determination process. Read More

Empire Justice Comments to OTDA on Proposed Regulations regarding the State Supplement Program
Comments on the proposed regulations regarding the State Supplement Program (SSP), part of the monthly benefit paid to most Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, which will add a new Part 398 to 18 NYCRR and which also includes an amendment to 18 NYCRR 358-5.12. Read More


Disability Law News - October 2017 Issue
The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP Advocates. In this issue, we discuss the newly amended NYS Public Health Law Sections 17 & 18, and Mental Hygiene Law Section 33.16 that ensures free access to medical records for government benefits applications. Be sure to check out the newest regulations, administrative decisions and court decisions as well. Read More

Disability Law News - July 2017
The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP Advocates. In this issue, we summarize a policy change by SSA that exempts tax refund collection for old debts. Several new regulations, administrative decisions and court decisions are also discussed. Read More


Res Judicata, Reopening and Revival: The 3 Rs for Keeping Social Security Cases Alive (so they can be paid)
This training explores the ways in which the Social Security Administrations (SSAs) administrative finality and res judicata rules can be avoided. Read More