TN 11 (11-12)
DI 25501.420 Field Office and Disability Adjudicator Responsibilities for Developing Work Issues and Established Onset Dates (EODs)
A. Work issues and the established onset date (EOD)
The field office (FO) is responsible for developing work activity and other non-medical factors affecting the EOD. The disability adjudicator is responsible for considering the information provided by the FO and establishing the EOD.
B. Component roles and responsibilities concerning work issues and onset date
1. Field office
The FO is responsible for resolving or explaining any inconsistencies in work activity or other non-medical factors affecting the EOD. The onset date EOD should be internally consistent on the Modernized Claims System (MCS)/MSSICS (Modernized Supplemental Security Income Claims System) and the forms used in disability claims, such as:
the Electronic Disability Collect System (EDCS)/SSA-3367 (Disability Report – Field Office),
SSA-3368 (Disability Report – Adult),
SSA-820 (Work Activity Report – Self-Employed Person), and
SSA-821 (Work Activity Report – Employee),
SSA-823 (Report of SGA Determination).
2. Disability Determination Services (DDS)
The adjudicator is responsible for establishing the EOD, including consideration of whether a period of work was an unsuccessful work attempt (UWA). The disability adjudicator must:
be alert to evidence of work issues not developed by the FO, including work activity identified in the medical records or other information in the case folder that may affect the EOD.
NOTE: If the only issue you need to resolve is whether the claimant is or was engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA), the FO has jurisdiction of the claim. If the FO cannot adjudicate the claim solely on work issues, the adjudicator is responsible for resolving the medical-vocational issues related to the question of the claimant’s ability to engage in SGA (see DI 24001.005).
request FO assistance if you need additional work activity development. For cases requiring FO development, see DI 11010.620A.2.
provide a personalized disability explanation (PDE) if we establish the EOD after the alleged onset date (AOD) and it is not fully favorable to the claimant. This includes when we establish an EOD after the AOD because of SGA.
C. Component instructions concerning work issues
1. Field office (FO)
Perform the following activities and document your actions on the EDCS 3367 or Form SSA-3367, and SSA-820 or SSA-821, as well as an SSA-823 (Report of SGA Determination), when appropriate.
Resolve and explain any inconsistencies in work activity or other non-medical factors affecting the EOD on EDCS-3367 or Form SSA-3367.
Document work activity after onset by completing Forms SSA-820 or 821, and an SSA-823, as appropriate.
Investigate work activity between the date the claimant says a medical condition first bothered him or her (SSA-3368, Section 4, Item F) and the date the claimant alleges becoming unable to work because of a medical condition (SSA-3368, Section 4, Item C). If appropriate, prepare an unsuccessful work attempt (UWA) recommendation, and document it on the EDCS 3367.
In statutory blindness cases, determine whether work before or after AOD, or age 55, is SGA. When you need two EODs, alert the DDS to the potential onset date (POD) for a blindness freeze (claimant must allege blindness and be fully insured and engaging in SGA) and the POD for cash benefits. (The POD for cash benefits is the earliest point when the claimant is insured, not engaging in SGA, and meets all non-medical requirements.)
Develop and resolve evidence of work activity provided by the DDS, by completing Forms SSA-820 or SSA-821 and an SSA-823, as appropriate.
Explain any discrepancies between days worked and the AOD.
Document a POD in item 3 of the EDCS-3367 or Form SSA-3367.
2. Disability Determination Services (DDS)
Perform the following activities and document your actions and findings:
Report evidence of work issues not previously developed to the FO, including work activity identified in the medical records or other information in the case folder that might affect the EOD. The FO will determine when SGA ceased and recommend possible UWA(s). See DI 11010.620C for information on DDS development requests.
Consider any indication of past or present work activity and the possible effect it has on the EOD.
Determine if work activity during a period when disability was alleged is a UWA.
Consider an EOD earlier than the AOD, if supported by the evidence. However, request assistance from the FO to determine if there was a period of SGA before the AOD.
Request assistance from the FO if you need additional documentation of work activity. For cases requiring FO development, see DI 11010.620C.1.
After completing the actions above, use the non-medical information provided by the FO and the medical evidence of record to establish the earliest possible EOD the totality of the evidence supports.
Consider the possibility of a UWA and explain your decision to establish or not to establish a UWA period, on an SSA-5002 or on the “Technical Issues” page in eCat.
Provide a personalized disability explanation (PDE) if the EOD is after the AOD and is not fully favorable to the claimant. Send the PDE with an SSA-L1157–DI or SSA-L1157–SI.
REMINDER: If SGA ceased after the AOD, and you are establishing an EOD on the date SGA ceased, provide a PDE that states we cannot establish an EOD before SGA ceases. (See DI 25501.280 Notifying Claimants of Partially Favorable Allowances.)