Federal Register Announcement: Social Security Ruling, SSR 20-01p: How We Determine an Individual's Education Category



Starting on April 27, 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will be implementing SSR 20-01p. The purpose of this ruling is to explain how SSA determines an individual's education category in adult initial disability decisions, determinations, redeterminations, and continuing disability reviews, under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act.

SSA follows a five-step, sequential evaluation process when determining an individual’s level of disability. One of the final stages in this evaluation, the fifth step, determines the person’s Residual Functional Capacity (RFC), if a finding of disability cannot be made during the first four steps. As part of this fifth step, vocational factors such as age, education, and work experience, are taken into account.  

This Social Security Ruling (SSR) provides the details of how SSA will evaluate an individual’s education within the sequential evaluation process. One of the main changes relates to the education category of illiteracy. In the past, a person’s ability to communicate in English was a factor. Under this new SSR, the evaluation criteria has been updated.  

SSA states, “we consider an individual illiterate if he or she cannot read or write a simple message, such as instructions or inventory lists, even though the individual can sign his or her name. We will assign an individual to the illiteracy category only if the individual is unable to read or write a simple message in any language.”

For a full copy of this notification and more details regarding the ruling, please visit the Federal Register – Social Security Administration index for 2020

Tags: , , ,

Categories:SSA Announcement | SSA Final Rules