Proposed Rule Re: Step 4

SSA has promulgated a proposed rule that would allow adjudicators to skip step 4 if there is “insufficient evidence” to determine the claimant’s past relevant work (PRW).  See 76 Fed.Reg. 56357.  At first blush, the proposed regulation would appear to beneficial to claimants; however, upon closer inspection, the Rule would simply allow adjudicators to deny the claim at step 5 without the necessity of determining the claimant’s PRW.  If a denial is not proper at step 5, the adjudicator must go back and develop the record with regard to step 4.  For information regarding potentials problems with the proposed rule, please visit