TN 2 (06-08)

DI 27505.020 Change of Ruling or Legal Precedent (Change of Position)

A. Change of Position

A change of position occurs when a policy or legal precedent previously used to adjudicate cases, which was correct and reasonable when made, is changed as a result of amendments to the Social Security Act, the regulations, the publication of Social Security Rulings, or new policy considerations. See Reopenings – Change in Ruling or Legal Interpretation – Change of Position (GN 04001.100).

B. Operating Policy

1. Change of Position and Reopenings

Where there is a change of position, reopen and revise a determination under the 1-year rule only if the result is favorable to the claimant.

As a general rule, benefits payable because of a change of position are paid no earlier than the date of the change of position. Specific instructions regarding each change of position address the beginning date for each change.

NOTE: Unless otherwise specified in implementing instructions, a change in the listings (or other administrative change in disability criteria) resulting from amendments to the regulations applies to the entire period at issue in the claim being adjudicated in the determination, revised determination, decision, or revised decision.

2. Applicability of a Change of Position

A change of position is applicable as of its effective date in the following cases (unless the implementing instructions specify otherwise):

a. Pending Cases

All pending initial, reconsideration, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing, and Appeals Council (AC) review cases where the appeal request was timely filed or the time for filing has been extended, and cases remanded by the courts; and

b. Reopening Under 1-Year Rule

For reopening under DI 27505.020B.1., all cases where the claimant or SSA/DDS (or both) questioned the determination in writing within 1 year of the date of notice of the initial determination where:

  • the question occurred after the change of position; or

  • the question was not disposed of at the time the change of position occurred.

(Instructions issued at the time of the change of position advise what constitutes a question in writing by SSA/DDS in that particular change of position situation.)

3. Reopening Precluded and New Application Filed

When a reopening of a determination or decision on a prior claim is precluded, but the disability criteria have since changed and provide a basis for establishing disability on a new title II application, onset of disability on the new claim may be established within the period adjudicated in the prior determination or decision, if supported by all evidence.

NOTE: The component authorizing payment bases the retroactivity of benefits on the new application.

See Also

  • Reopening and Revising a Determination or Decision – Additional Policy Reminders for Processing Cases When Reopening Does or Does Not Apply – (DI 27501.005C.2.c.)

  • Subsequent Applications - Adjudicators Will Limit Consideration on Subsequent Claims (DI 27510.005A.)

  • Subsequent Applications – When a Prior Unfavorable Title II Determination or Decision Cannot Be Reopened (DI 27510.005D.2.)


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0427505020
DI 27505.020 - Change of Ruling or Legal Precedent (Change of Position) - 06/05/2008
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:06/05/2008