TN 12 (06-14)

DI 25501.460 Determining Onset for Non-traumatic Static and Progressive Impairments

This section explains our policy for determining an onset date in cases with non-traumatic static and progressive impairments.

REMINDERS:

  • The onset date is the first day the claimant meets the definition of disability or statutory blindness as defined in the Act and regulations.

  • The established onset date (EOD) is the date that a claimant’s physical or mental impairment(s) meets the definition of disability and all the relevant entitlement or eligibility factors.

A. Onset for non-traumatic static and progressive impairments

1. Definition of a non-traumatic static impairment

A non-traumatic static impairment is an impairment that does not change in severity over an extended period. For example, intellectual disability or static encephalopathy are conditions that we do not expect to change over time.

2. Definition of progressive impairment

A progressive impairment is an impairment that gradually becomes more severe over time. For example, muscular dystrophy is a progressive genetic muscle disorder causing weakness and wasting with characteristic microscopic changes in the muscle.

3. Onset policy for non-traumatic static and progressive impairments

With non-traumatic static and progressive impairments, it is sometimes impossible to obtain medical evidence establishing the precise date the impairment became disabling. When determining onset for these impairments, consider:

  • the nature of the impairment and what medical presumptions can reasonably be made about the course of the condition,

  • the longitudinal history including the alleged onset date (AOD), and

  • the claimant’s allegations regarding new or worsening signs and symptoms.

B. Component roles for determining onset for non-traumatic static and progressive impairments

1. Field office (FO)

The FO does not have a role in administering this policy.

2. Disability determination services (DDS)

The DDS evaluates the medical evidence using the instructions found in DI 25501.460C, in this section.

C. DDS instructions for determining onset for non-traumatic static and progressive impairments

Always consider the medical evidence, vocational history, and other evidence concerning the severity of the impairment(s). Do not routinely consider the first day the claimant was seen by a medical provider as the onset date for a non-traumatic impairment. When determining onset of a non-traumatic static or progressive impairment, also consider:

  • the nature of the impairment and what medical presumptions you can reasonably make about the course of the condition, and

  • the longitudinal history of the impairment, including the AOD, along with the claimant’s allegations regarding new or worsening signs and symptoms.

REMINDER: You must assess the severity of the claimant’s condition from the AOD or potential onset date (POD), if one exists, through the present period. If the EOD is later than