The evidence the DDS develops should be complete and detailed enough to permit an
independent determination about whether the claimant is disabled or blind, the date
disability or blindness began, and if applicable, the date disability or blindness
ended. Complete development includes information about all alleged and discovered
impairments, onset, duration, and vocational issues.
The evidence must allow the adjudicator to determine:
The nature and severity of the claimant's impairment(s);
Whether the 12-month duration requirement is met;
The claimant's residual functional capacity (RFC) when steps 4 and 5 of the sequential
evaluation process apply; and
How the claimant functions on a day-to-day basis.
Development is not complete if it contains a material conflict, inconsistency, or
ambiguity in the evidence, see DI 24501.016B4. However, the DDS can make a determination if the evidence is inconsistent but sufficient,
see DI 24501.016C4. For children's claims, see DI 25205.005.
1. Fully favorable determination supported
Adjudicators may process a fully favorable allowance determination without conducting
further development if, in the judgment of the adjudicative team, the additional evidence
would not affect the allowance determination. For details, see DI 24515.020 and DI 24505.030.
2. Fully favorable determination not supported
The DDS may also discontinue development of evidence in a claim that is not fully
favorable after completing each of the following:
Reviewing and copying available and relevant prior folder evidence to the file. See
Making every reasonable effort to obtain the available and relevant medical evidence.
See DI 22505.001A2.
Completing supplemental development, if needed. See DI 22505.008.
Completing vocational development, if needed. See DI 22515.000.
NOTE: If the claimant fails to cooperate under DI 23007.015, discontinue all development that requires claimant cooperation (i.e., scheduling
a CE, requests for evidence or action). After completing other required development
(i.e., following up on overdue medical evidence, developing a complete medical history
based on the sources of evidence in file, and supplemental development of evidence),
make a determination based on the evidence in file using the sequential evaluation
process. For further instructions, see DI 23007.000.