DI 52750.001 General Information on the Martinez Acquiescence Ruling
This subchapter provides case instructions to be applied in implementing Acquiescence Ruling (AR) 86-3(5) Martinez v. Heckler 735 F. 2d 795 (5th Circuit 1984). When a United States Court of Appeals issues a decision pertaining to a Social Security, Supplemental Security Income claim that is in conflict with established SSA policy, a Social Security Acquiescence Ruling is issued by SSA. These rulings provide a description of the case and explain how SSA will apply the decision within the circuit. Some of these acquiescence rulings apply within the appropriate circuit at all administrative levels of adjudication.
AR 86-3(5) was issued on January 23, 1986, to explain how the decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Martinez will be applied within the circuit.
The court's ruling in Martinez applies only to cases in which the individual resides in Texas, Mississippi or Louisiana at the time of the determination or decision at any level of administrative review (i.e., initial, reconsideration, administrative law judge hearing or Appeals Council review). For such individuals seeking disability benefits or continuation of disability benefits under Title II or Title XVI, when illiteracy and inability to communicate in English are alleged or appear to be in question, findings with respect to both issues must be made. Where individuals limited to sedentary work, age 18 to 44 with unskilled or no work history are found to be both illiterate and unable to communicate in English, Rule 201.23 cannot be applied under the Martinez Ruling. The grid may be used only as guidance for decision-making, i.e., used as a framework such as for cases for which a specific grid rule does not direct a decision.
In addition, under the Court's decision, Rule 202.16, which applies to individuals limited to light work, cannot be applied to individuals who are both illiterate and unable to communicate in English. Again, the grid may be used only as guidance (i.e., as a framework) for decision-making.