Current Program Rules

Our current program rules include the law; regulations; Commissioner rulings; and, employee operating instructions.

The Law

Compilation of Social Security Laws --
Volume I contains the full text of the Social Security Act, as amended, and selected provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (Order a hardcopy?)

Volume II of the Compilation --
Contains provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and other public laws and statutes cited in, and affecting administration of, the Social Security Act.

Legislation --
Recent legislation affecting Social Security benefits

The Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations for Social Security --
Revised as of April 1, 2012 (Order a hardcopy?)

How does SSA have the authority to issue regulations?

All Social Security documents published in the Federal Register can be found by accessing the Federal eRulemaking web portal. On the homepage, select the "Advanced Search" link, and the select "Social Security Administration" from the agency drop-down menu.

Recent Regulatory Actions

SSI Law and Regulations Finder --
Specific references to Supplemental Security Income law and regulations

The Rulings

Complete Social Security Rulings and Acquiescence Rulings --
Includes rulings for 1960 to date

What is a Social Security Ruling (SSR)?

What is an Acquiescence Ruling (AR)?

Recent Social Security Rulings and Acquiescence Rulings

Employee Operating Instructions

Program Operations Manual System (POMS) --
Instructions used by employees and agents of SSA to carry out the law, regulations, and rulings

Recent changes to the Program Operations Manual System (POMS) -- Recent updates that have been incorporated into the Program Operations Manual System (POMS). The individual transmittals include a Background and a Summary of Changes

Emergency Messages -- Emergency changes to operations instructions for SSA employees

Chief Judge Bulletins -- Chief Administrative Law Judge bulletins provide information to SSA employees involved in the hearings process. They may include such things as workload changes, system enhancements, or serve as notification of imminent or recently-approved revisions in the HALLEX (Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law Manual). They may also provide reminder items on a variety of topics.

Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) Manual -- Instructions used by employees of SSA's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in processing and adjudicating claims at the hearing, Appeals Council review, and civil actions levels of appeal.

Announcement of New Puerto Rico CDI Unit (U1Z) and e8551 Fraud Referral Process Reminders -- The purpose of this Disability Program Note is to announce the creation of a new Cooperative Disability Investigation (CDI) Unit in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and to provide tips and reminders about the fraud (e8551) referral process.


Social Security Handbook

Program Home Pages


Supplemental Security Income

Other Sources For Program Rules Information

On our Program Rules Resources page, we list the various handbooks we have developed for use by the public.

Comment on Developing Rules

You are invited to comment on developing rules before they become final. Please visit the,, for further information. Included are requests for public comments published in the Federal Register (e.g., requests for comments on proposed changes in our regulatory rules).