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SSA RIN: 0960-AG38 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Musculoskeletal Disorders (3318P) 

Sections 1.00 and 101.00, Musculoskeletal System, of appendix 1 to subpart P of part 404 of our regulations describe those musculoskeletal system disorders that we consider severe enough to prevent a person from doing any gainful activity, or that cause marked and severe functional limitations for a child claiming Supplemental Security Income payments under title XVI. We are proposing to revise the criteria in these sections to ensure that the medical evaluation criteria are up-to-date and consistent with the latest advances in medical knowledge and treatment.

Agency: Social Security Administration(SSA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 20 CFR 404.1500, app 1   
Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 402    42 U.S.C. 405(a)    42 U.S.C. 405(b)    42 U.S.C. 405(d) to 405(h)    42 U.S.C. 416(i)    42 U.S.C. 421(a)    42 U.S.C. 421(i)    42 U.S.C. 423    42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5)    42 U.S.C. 1381a    42 U.S.C. 1382c    42 U.S.C. 1383    42 U.S.C. 1383b   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

We propose to revise the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (listings) that we use to evaluate claims involving musculoskeletal disorders in adults and children under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). These proposed revisions reflect our adjudicative experience, advances in medical knowledge and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, recommendations from medical experts, and comments we received in response to a final rule with request for public comments that we published in November 2001.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Administrative--not required by statute or court order.


We considered continuing to use our current criteria. However, we believe these proposed revisions are necessary because of medical advances, technology, and treatment since we last revised these rules.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

Currently being determined.


We expect the public and adjudicators to support the removal and clarification of ambiguous terms and phrases, and the addition of specific, demonstrable functional criteria for determining listing-level severity of all musculoskeletal disorders.


We expect adjudicators to support the change in the framework of the text because it makes the guidance in the introductory text and listings easier to access and understand.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  06/00/2017 
Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 13563.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Cheryl A. Williams
Social Security Administration
Office of Medical Policy, 6401 Security Boulevard,
Baltimore, MD 21235-6401
Phone:410 965-1020

Nancy Miller
Social Insurance Specialist
Social Security Administration
Office of Medical Policy, 6401 Security Boulevard,
Baltimore, MD 21235-6401
Phone:410 966-1573

Brian J. Rudick
Social Insurance Specialist, Regulations Writer
Social Security Administration
Office of Regulations and Reports Clearance, 6401 Security Boulevard,
Baltimore, MD 21235-6401
Phone:410 965-7102