Rescinded 1986

SSR 81-6: Titles II and XVI: Continuance or Cessation of Disability or Blindness

SSR 81-6


To state the policy for determining whether disability or blindness under titles II and XVI continues or ceases.


Sections 221 and 1631 of the Social Security Act; Regulations No. 4, sections 404.1579, 404.1586 and 404.1594; Regulations No. 16, section 416.994.


Under operating guides which have been in effect for approximately 3 years, disability or blindness is found to have ceased when current evidence shows that the individual does not meet the definition of disability or blindness under which his or her claim was allowed; it is not necessary to show that the individual's medical condition has "improved" since the prior determination. However, prior regulations had been interpreted by some to mean that before cessation of disability or blindness could be found, there must have been a positive showing of medical improvement. Such an interpretation precluded a finding of cessation in cases where current evidence showed that the individual was not disabled or blind, but it could not be shown that actual "improvement" had taken place. The regulations have now been revised to clarify this issue.


Where the evidence obtained at the time of a continuing disability investigation (CDI) establishes that the individual is not currently disabled or blind, a finding of cessation is appropriate. It will not be necessary to determine whether or how much the individual's condition has medically improved since the prior favorable determination.


Final regulations covering this policy were effective August 20, 1980, the date of publication in the Federal Register (45 FR 55566).


Program Operations Manual System section 2864; Claims Manual section 6700ff; Disability Operating Manual section 500ff.

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