SSA issues temp final rule on flexibility in evaluating ‘close proximity of time’ due to COVID-19 
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Thursday, August 5, 2021

SSA issues temp final rule on flexibility in evaluating ‘close proximity of time’ due to COVID-19 

By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff

The SSA is issuing a rule to temporarily revise its requirement in the Listing of Impairments that, for purposes of applying several of the musculoskeletal disorder listings, all relevant medical criteria be present simultaneously or “within a close proximity of time,” which the agency will define as being “within a consecutive 4-month period.” While this rule is in effect, the SSA will find that the evidence of a musculoskeletal disorder is present “within a close proximity of time” if the available evidence establishes such a condition within a consecutive 12-month period. The agency expects that this temporary change to its rules will allow it to make findings of disability in appropriate cases in which individuals have experienced barriers to access to healthcare because of the COVID-19 national public health emergency. The rule became effective on July 23, 2021, and comments are due by September 21, 2021. 

For more information . For further information, contact Edward Sosar, Office of Regulations and Reports Clearance, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, (410) 966-2341. See 86 Fed. Reg. 38920, July 23, 2021. 

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