When a United States Court of Appeals issues a decision pertaining to a Social Security
Supplemental Security Income claim which is in conflict with established SSA policy,
SSA will “acquiesce;” i.e., apply the circuit court law by issuing a Social Security Acquiescence Ruling
(AR). These rulings describe the case and explain how SSA will apply the decision
within the circuit.
Some Social Security AR's stating circuit court law will apply within the appropriate
circuit at all administrative levels of adjudication while others may be limited in
application within the appropriate circuit to the administrative law judge (ALJ) hearing
and the Appeals Council (AC) levels of adjudication. Each ruling clearly states the
adjudicative levels at which it applies.
The instructions in the following sections advise adjudicators how to handle claims
which may be affected by the ruling.