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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Office of Hearings and Appeals

HALLEX
Volume I

Transmittal No. I-5-3-7

Division 5: Temporary Instructions

Subject: Express Written Acknowledgment of the Shifting Burden at the Last Step of the Sequential Evaluation Process

Background

We issued HALLEX temporary Instruction No. 5-307 (previously Interim Circular No. 201) on March 30, 1988 to remind adjudicators that when a claimant is found to be unable to perform past relevant work, the burden of showing that he can perform other work shifts to the Secretary. That Temporary Instruction (TI) further required that all decisions made at the last step of the sequential evaluation process include a statement acknowledging this shift in burden.

After issuing the Temporary Instruction, we received inquiries concerning whether the burden shifts to the Secretary when the adjudicator finds that the claimant has never worked or has no relevant work experience. In such situations, the claimant is found unable to perform past relevant work on the basis of lack of relevant work experience, not on the basis of his medical condition.

Explanation of Content and Changes

We have revised TI 5-307 to instruct adjudicators that the burden of showing that a claimant can perform other work shifts to the Secretary whenever the claimant meets the burden of demonstrating that he cannot perform past relevant work. The burden shifts regardless of whether the claimant demonstrates a residual functional capacity which is inadequate to perform the functional demands of his past work or shows that he has no relevant work experience at all.

Remove

From the binder for Temporary Instructions, TI 5-307 (previously Interim Circular No. 201), Specific Written Acknowledgment of the Shifting Burden at the Last Step of the Sequential Evaluation Process in Unfavorable Decisions, dated March 30, 1988.

Insert

In the binder for Temporary Instructions, attached TI 5-307, Express Written Acknowledgment of the Shifting Burden at the Last Step of the Sequential Evaluation Process.

Date: December 7, 1988