Vocational Factors of Age, Education, and Work Experience in the Adult Disability Determination Process, 55050-55052 [2015-22839]

Download as PDF 55050 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 177 / Monday, September 14, 2015 / Proposed Rules Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014. FAA Order 7400.9Y is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule. FAA Order 7400.9Y lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points. The Proposal The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to modify the descriptions of jet routes J–6, J–97 and J–222; and VOR Federal airways V–196 and V–489, due to the planned decommissioning of the Plattsburgh, NY, VORTAC. The proposed route changes are outlined below. J6 Jet route J–6 extends from Salinas, CA, across the United States to Albany, NY, then terminates at Plattsburgh, NY. The FAA proposes to terminate the route at Albany, eliminating the segment between Albany and Plattsburgh. J–97 Jet route J–97 extends between the SLATN fix and Plattsburgh, NY. The FAA proposes to terminate the route at Boston, MA, eliminating the segment between Boston and Plattsburgh. J–222 Jet route J–222 extends between Robbinsville, NJ, and Plattsburgh, NY. The FAA proposes to terminate the route at Cambridge, NY, eliminating the segment between Cambridge and Plattsburgh. V–196 VOR Federal airway V–196 extends from Utica, NY, to Saranac Lake, NY to Plattsburgh, NY. The FAA proposes to terminate the route at the intersection of the Saranac Lake, NY 058°(T) and the Burlington, VT 296°(T) radials, eliminating the segment between that intersection and Plattsburgh. V–489 VOR Federal airway V–489 extends between the intersection of the Sparta, NJ 300°(T) and the Huguenot, NY 196°(T) radials and Plattsburgh, NY. The FAA proposes to terminate the route at Glens Falls, NY, eliminating the segment between Glens Falls and Plattsburgh. Except for VOR Federal airway V– 196, all radials in the route descriptions below are stated in True degrees. Both True and Magnetic degrees are used to describe the intersecting radials in V– 196 since this intersection would be added to the airway description. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Sep 11, 2015 Jkt 235001 Jet routes are published in paragraph 2004, and VOR Federal airways are published in paragraph 6010(a), respectively, of FAA Order 7400.9Y dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The jet routes and VOR Federal airways listed in this document would be subsequently published in the Order. Regulatory Notices and Analyses The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this proposed regulation: (1) is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Environmental Review This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures’’ prior to any FAA final regulatory action. effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 2004 Jet Routes * * * * * J–6 [Amended] From Salinas, CA, via INT Salinas 145° and Avenal, CA, 292° radials; Avenal; INT Avenal 119° and Palmdale, CA, 310° radials; Palmdale; Hector, CA; Needles, CA; Drake, AZ; Zuni, AZ; Albuquerque, NM; Tucumcari, NM; Panhandle, TX; Will Rogers, OK; Little Rock, AR; Bowling Green, KY; Charleston, WV; INT Charleston 076° and Martinsburg, WV, 243° radials; Martinsburg; Lancaster, PA; Broadway, NJ; Sparta, NJ; to Albany, NY. J–97 [Amended] From lat. 39°07′00″ N., long. 67°00′00″ W. via Nantucket, MA; to Boston, MA. J–222 [Amended] From Robbinsville, NJ; INT Robbinsville 039° and Kennedy, NY, 253° radials; Kennedy; INT Kennedy 022° and Cambridge, NY, 179° radials; to Cambridge. * * * Paragraph 6010(a) Airways * * Domestic VOR Federal V–196 [Amended] From Utica, NY, Saranac Lake, NY; to INT Saranac Lake 058°(T)/072°(M) and Burlington, VT 296°(T)311°(M) radials. V–489 [Amended] From INT Sparta, NJ, 300° and Huguenot, NY, 196° radials; Huguenot; INT Huguenot 008° and Albany, NY, 209° radials; Albany; to Glens Falls, NY. Issued in Washington, DC, on September 3, 2015. Gary A. Norek, Manager, Airspace Policy and Regulations Group. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71 Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air). [FR Doc. 2015–22876 Filed 9–11–15; 8:45 am] The Proposed Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows: SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION BILLING CODE 4910–13–P 20 CFR Part 404 and 416 [Docket No. SSA–2014–0081] RIN 0960–AH74 PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959–1963 Comp., p. 389. § 71.1 [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014 and ■ PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Vocational Factors of Age, Education, and Work Experience in the Adult Disability Determination Process Social Security Administration. Advance notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: We are soliciting public input about how we should consider the vocational factors of age, education, and work experience in adult disability claims under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (Act). There have been significant changes in technology SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\14SEP1.SGM 14SEP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 177 / Monday, September 14, 2015 / Proposed Rules use and workforce demographics since we first adopted our vocational factor regulations in 1978. We are requesting public comments, along with any supporting data, to assist in our efforts to streamline, simplify, and ensure the ongoing relevance of our disability determination programs. DATES: To be sure that we consider your comments, we must receive them no later than November 13, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of three methods—Internet, fax, or mail. Do not submit the same comments multiple times or by more than one method. Regardless of which method you choose, please state that your comments refer to Docket No. SSA–2014–0081, so that we may associate your comments with the correct regulation. Caution: You should be careful to include in your comments only information that you wish to make publicly available. We strongly urge you not to include in your comments any personal information, such as Social Security numbers or medical information. 1. Internet: We strongly recommend that you submit your comments via the Internet. Please visit the Federal eRulemaking portal at http:// www.regulations.gov. Use the Search function to find docket number SSA– 2014–0081. The system will issue a tracking number to confirm your submission. You will not be able to view your comment immediately because we must post each comment manually. It may take up to a week for your comment to be viewable. 2. Fax: Fax comments to (410) 966– 2830. 3. Mail: Address your comments to the Office of Regulations and Reports Clearance, Social Security Administration, 3100 West High Rise Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235–6401. Comments are available for public viewing on the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov or in person, during regular business hours, by arranging with the contact person identified below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Quatroche, Office of Disability Policy, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235–6401, (410) 966–4794. For information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1–800–772–1213 or TTY 1– 800–325–0778, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http:// www.socialsecurity.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Sep 11, 2015 Jkt 235001 Background The Act defines ‘‘disability’’ for titles II and XVI as the ‘‘inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.’’ 1 The Act also states that ‘‘[a]n individual shall be determined to be under a disability only if his physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy, regardless of whether such work exists in the immediate area in which he lives, or whether a specific job vacancy exists for him, or whether he would be hired if he applied for work. For purposes of the preceding sentence (with respect to any individual), ‘‘work which exists in the national economy’’ means work which exists in significant numbers either in the region where such individual lives or in several regions of the country.2 We use a five-step sequential evaluation process to determine whether an adult is disabled under the Act.3 If we can make a determination or decision whether a claimant is disabled or not disabled at a step, we do not go on to the next step.4 If we cannot make a determination or decision at a step, we continue to the next step in the sequential evaluation process.5 The vocational factors of age, education, and work experience are relevant at step 5 when we consider a claimant’s capacity to adjust to other work. Specifically, at step 5 we consider whether a claimant’s impairment(s) prevents him or her from doing any other work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy, considering his or her residual functional capacity (RFC) 6 and the vocational factors of age,7 education,8 and work experience.9 If we find that 1 42 U.S.C. 423(d)(1)(A) and 1382c(a)(3)(A); see also 20 CFR 404.1505(a) and 416.905(a). 2 42 U.S.C. 423(d)(2)(A) and 1382c(a)(3)(B). 3 20 CFR 404.1520(a)(4) and 416.920(a)(4). 4 Id. 5 Id. 6 The RFC is the individual’s maximum remaining ability to do sustained work activities in an ordinary work setting on a regular and continuing basis. See 20 CFR 404.1545 and 416.945. 7 See 20 CFR 404.1520(a)(4)(v), 404.1563, 416.920(a)(4)(v), and 416.963. 8 See 20 CFR 404.1520(a)(4)(v), 404.1564, 416.920(2)(4)(v), and 416.964. 9 See 20 CFR 404.1520(a)(4)(v), 404.1565, 416.920(a)(4)(v), and 416.965. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 55051 the claimant does not have the capacity to adjust to other work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy, we find the claimant disabled. If we find that the claimant has the capacity to adjust to other work, we find the claimant not disabled. We do not consider an individual’s ability to obtain work.10 To help make our step 5 determination, we use both the medicalvocational profiles (the profiles) 11 and the medical-vocational guidelines (the guidelines) when appropriate.12 The profiles and the guidelines are based on several assumptions: • We consider aging to be a limiting factor in a person’s ability to adjust to other work. • We consider higher levels of education and certain types of recent education to enhance a person’s ability to adjust to other work. • We consider that an individual who has done skilled or semi-skilled work may have acquired skills and abilities from that past work. Those acquired skills and abilities may be transferable to other work. Under our rules, unskilled work does not convey transferable skills to an individual. What is the purpose of this ANPRM? We are soliciting public comments along with supporting research and data about how vocational factors such as age, education, and work experience affect an individual’s ability to adjust to other work that exists in the national economy. In addition to seeking public input on the specific questions below, we are also asking for public assistance to help identify research and data to assist us. What will we consider when we decide whether to propose revisions? We will consider the public comments in addition to other input, research, and data that we obtain through other methods. This ANPRM is one component of the our larger effort to collect information about how we consider the vocational factors of age, education, and work experience when we determine whether an individual can adjust to other work. We commissioned several studies and are examining how the vocational factors influence an individual’s ability to adjust to doing new work. For your consideration while preparing your comments to this ANPRM, these studies are included in the References section of 10 See 20 CFR 404.1566(c) and 416.966(c). 20 CFR 404.1562 and 416.962 and POMS DI 25010.001. 12 See 20 CFR part 404 Subpart P Appendix 2. 11 See E:\FR\FM\14SEP1.SGM 14SEP1 55052 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 177 / Monday, September 14, 2015 / Proposed Rules this notice, and are included in the docket folder for this rule at http:// www.regulations.gov. In addition, we are undertaking outreach efforts to engage federal and private stakeholders, including the scientific community. We will consider the results of these information-gathering efforts collectively when we evaluate how to consider the vocational factors in determining whether an individual can adjust to other work. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS What should you comment about? When we determine whether an individual can adjust to other work, we consider an individual’s functional capacities and limitations, the occupational base in the national economy, and the vocational factors of age, education, and work experience. We have ongoing activities related to each of these considerations. Although complementary, our activities related to functional limitations and the occupational base are independent and are occurring on separate timeframes from our effort on the vocational factors. Accordingly, we are narrowing the scope of this ANPRM to solicit public comments on only the vocational factors. We are not soliciting public comments on how we assess an individual’s functional limitations. We are also not soliciting public comments in this notice on sources of occupational data we use at step 5, such as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, because we are working with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to test the collection of updated occupational information that we intend to use to develop a new occupational information system.13 Specifically, given today’s work environment and advances in technology and medicine, we are seeking public input, research, and data about the following: 1. Is the factor of age predictive in determining an individual’s ability to work or to adjust to other work? If it is predictive, what are the vocationally significant age milestones we should consider? If it is not predictive, what data support that assertion? 2. When determining if age affects an individual’s ability to work or to adjust to other work, what other factors or combination of factors should we consider? 3. Does an individual’s educational level affect an individual’s ability to do work or to adjust to other work? If so, 13 You can find more information on this effort on the BLS Web site at http://www.bls.gov/ors/, and on our Web site at http://www.ssa.gov/ disabilityresearch/occupational_info_systems.html. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Sep 11, 2015 Jkt 235001 how? What data support the conclusion that an individual’s educational level does or does not affect an individual’s ability to do work or to adjust to other work? How does literacy affect an individual’s ability to do work or adjust to other work? 4. Does the skill level of an individual’s past work affect his or her ability to adjust to other work? If so, how? What data support the conclusion that the skill level of an individual’s past work does or does not affect an individual’s ability to do work or to adjust to other work? How does the skill level of an individual’s past work considered along with an individual’s educational level affect this adjustment? 5. Are there other vocational factors or combinations of vocational factors that we should consider when determining an individual’s ability to do work or to adjust to other work? List of Subjects 20 CFR Part 404 Administrative practice and procedure, Blind, Disability benefits, Old-age, Survivors and Disability Insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Social security. 20 CFR Part 416 Administrative practice and procedure, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Social security. Dated: July 30, 2015. Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. [FR Doc. 2015–22839 Filed 9–11–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191–02–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Will we respond to your comments? We will consider all relevant public comments we receive about this notice, but we will not respond directly to them. If we decide to propose specific revisions to the vocational factors we consider when we determine an individual’s ability to do work or to adjust to other work, we will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register, and you will have a chance to comment on any revisions we propose. References Library of Congress, ‘‘Vocational Factors in the Social Security Disability Decision Process: A Review of the Literature’’ (December 1998). American Institutes for Research, ‘‘The Impact of Age, Education, and Work Experience on Determining Eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance: A Synthesis of Recent Literature’’ (2000). American Institutes of Research, ‘‘Investigation of Non-Medical Factors Used in SSA’s Medical-Vocational Process: A Research Review of Age, Education, and Skills as Related to SSA’s Disability Determination Process’’ (August 2002). Mathematica Center for Studying Disability Policy, ‘‘Vocational Factors in the Social Security Disability Determination Process: A Literature Review’’ (July 2014) (available at: http:// www.mathematica-mpr.com/∼/media/ publications/pdfs/disability/drc_wp_ 2014–07_voc_factors_ determinations.pdf) Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, ‘‘Evidence Synthesis: The Use of Vocational Factors in the Disability Determination Process’’ (September 2014). PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 33 CFR Part 334 Gulf of Mexico, Apalachicola Bay, East Bay, St. Andrew Bay and St. Andrew Sound at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida; Restricted Areas U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Defense. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comments. AGENCY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is proposing to amend its regulations by revising an existing restricted area regulation and establishing a new restricted area along portions of the Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) facility shoreline that will be activated on a temporary basis. The duration of temporary restricted area activations will be limited to those periods where it is warranted or required by specific and credible security threats and will be inactive at all other times. The restricted area will be partitioned using 23 pairs of coordinates to facilitate quick geographic recognition. Tyndall AFB is surrounded on three sides by water with approximately 129 miles of unprotected coastline. This includes several areas where the lack of security or lack of restriction on access to these areas leaves Tyndall AFB personnel and resources vulnerable to unauthorized activities. This amendment is necessary to implement an enhanced threat security plan for Tyndall AFB which will allow temporary activation of one or more portions of the restricted area as necessary to provide the appropriate level of security required to address the specific and credible threat triggering SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\14SEP1.SGM 14SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 177 (Monday, September 14, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 55050-55052]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-22839]


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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

20 CFR Part 404 and 416

[Docket No. SSA-2014-0081]
RIN 0960-AH74


Vocational Factors of Age, Education, and Work Experience in the 
Adult Disability Determination Process

AGENCY: Social Security Administration.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We are soliciting public input about how we should consider 
the vocational factors of age, education, and work experience in adult 
disability claims under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act 
(Act). There have been significant changes in technology

[[Page 55051]]

use and workforce demographics since we first adopted our vocational 
factor regulations in 1978. We are requesting public comments, along 
with any supporting data, to assist in our efforts to streamline, 
simplify, and ensure the ongoing relevance of our disability 
determination programs.

DATES: To be sure that we consider your comments, we must receive them 
no later than November 13, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of three methods--
Internet, fax, or mail. Do not submit the same comments multiple times 
or by more than one method. Regardless of which method you choose, 
please state that your comments refer to Docket No. SSA-2014-0081, so 
that we may associate your comments with the correct regulation.
    Caution: You should be careful to include in your comments only 
information that you wish to make publicly available. We strongly urge 
you not to include in your comments any personal information, such as 
Social Security numbers or medical information.
    1. Internet: We strongly recommend that you submit your comments 
via the Internet. Please visit the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Use the Search function to find docket number 
SSA-2014-0081. The system will issue a tracking number to confirm your 
submission. You will not be able to view your comment immediately 
because we must post each comment manually. It may take up to a week 
for your comment to be viewable.
    2. Fax: Fax comments to (410) 966-2830.
    3. Mail: Address your comments to the Office of Regulations and 
Reports Clearance, Social Security Administration, 3100 West High Rise 
Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401.
    Comments are available for public viewing on the Federal 
eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov or in person, during 
regular business hours, by arranging with the contact person identified 
below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Quatroche, Office of Disability 
Policy, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, 
Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, (410) 966-4794. For information on 
eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 
1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our Internet site, 
Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Act defines ``disability'' for titles II and XVI as the 
``inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of 
any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be 
expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to 
last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.'' \1\ The Act 
also states that ``[a]n individual shall be determined to be under a 
disability only if his physical or mental impairment or impairments are 
of such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work but 
cannot, considering his age, education, and work experience, engage in 
any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national 
economy, regardless of whether such work exists in the immediate area 
in which he lives, or whether a specific job vacancy exists for him, or 
whether he would be hired if he applied for work. For purposes of the 
preceding sentence (with respect to any individual), ``work which 
exists in the national economy'' means work which exists in significant 
numbers either in the region where such individual lives or in several 
regions of the country.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 42 U.S.C. 423(d)(1)(A) and 1382c(a)(3)(A); see also 20 CFR 
404.1505(a) and 416.905(a).
    \2\ 42 U.S.C. 423(d)(2)(A) and 1382c(a)(3)(B).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We use a five-step sequential evaluation process to determine 
whether an adult is disabled under the Act.\3\ If we can make a 
determination or decision whether a claimant is disabled or not 
disabled at a step, we do not go on to the next step.\4\ If we cannot 
make a determination or decision at a step, we continue to the next 
step in the sequential evaluation process.\5\
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    \3\ 20 CFR 404.1520(a)(4) and 416.920(a)(4).
    \4\ Id.
    \5\ Id.
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    The vocational factors of age, education, and work experience are 
relevant at step 5 when we consider a claimant's capacity to adjust to 
other work. Specifically, at step 5 we consider whether a claimant's 
impairment(s) prevents him or her from doing any other work that exists 
in significant numbers in the national economy, considering his or her 
residual functional capacity (RFC) \6\ and the vocational factors of 
age,\7\ education,\8\ and work experience.\9\ If we find that the 
claimant does not have the capacity to adjust to other work that exists 
in significant numbers in the national economy, we find the claimant 
disabled. If we find that the claimant has the capacity to adjust to 
other work, we find the claimant not disabled. We do not consider an 
individual's ability to obtain work.\10\
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    \6\ The RFC is the individual's maximum remaining ability to do 
sustained work activities in an ordinary work setting on a regular 
and continuing basis. See 20 CFR 404.1545 and 416.945.
    \7\ See 20 CFR 404.1520(a)(4)(v), 404.1563, 416.920(a)(4)(v), 
and 416.963.
    \8\ See 20 CFR 404.1520(a)(4)(v), 404.1564, 416.920(2)(4)(v), 
and 416.964.
    \9\ See 20 CFR 404.1520(a)(4)(v), 404.1565, 416.920(a)(4)(v), 
and 416.965.
    \10\ See 20 CFR 404.1566(c) and 416.966(c).
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    To help make our step 5 determination, we use both the medical-
vocational profiles (the profiles) \11\ and the medical-vocational 
guidelines (the guidelines) when appropriate.\12\ The profiles and the 
guidelines are based on several assumptions:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ See 20 CFR 404.1562 and 416.962 and POMS DI 25010.001.
    \12\ See 20 CFR part 404 Subpart P Appendix 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     We consider aging to be a limiting factor in a person's 
ability to adjust to other work.
     We consider higher levels of education and certain types 
of recent education to enhance a person's ability to adjust to other 
work.
     We consider that an individual who has done skilled or 
semi-skilled work may have acquired skills and abilities from that past 
work. Those acquired skills and abilities may be transferable to other 
work. Under our rules, unskilled work does not convey transferable 
skills to an individual.

What is the purpose of this ANPRM?

    We are soliciting public comments along with supporting research 
and data about how vocational factors such as age, education, and work 
experience affect an individual's ability to adjust to other work that 
exists in the national economy. In addition to seeking public input on 
the specific questions below, we are also asking for public assistance 
to help identify research and data to assist us.

What will we consider when we decide whether to propose revisions?

    We will consider the public comments in addition to other input, 
research, and data that we obtain through other methods. This ANPRM is 
one component of the our larger effort to collect information about how 
we consider the vocational factors of age, education, and work 
experience when we determine whether an individual can adjust to other 
work. We commissioned several studies and are examining how the 
vocational factors influence an individual's ability to adjust to doing 
new work. For your consideration while preparing your comments to this 
ANPRM, these studies are included in the References section of

[[Page 55052]]

this notice, and are included in the docket folder for this rule at 
http://www.regulations.gov. In addition, we are undertaking outreach 
efforts to engage federal and private stakeholders, including the 
scientific community. We will consider the results of these 
information-gathering efforts collectively when we evaluate how to 
consider the vocational factors in determining whether an individual 
can adjust to other work.

What should you comment about?

    When we determine whether an individual can adjust to other work, 
we consider an individual's functional capacities and limitations, the 
occupational base in the national economy, and the vocational factors 
of age, education, and work experience. We have ongoing activities 
related to each of these considerations. Although complementary, our 
activities related to functional limitations and the occupational base 
are independent and are occurring on separate timeframes from our 
effort on the vocational factors. Accordingly, we are narrowing the 
scope of this ANPRM to solicit public comments on only the vocational 
factors. We are not soliciting public comments on how we assess an 
individual's functional limitations. We are also not soliciting public 
comments in this notice on sources of occupational data we use at step 
5, such as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, because we are 
working with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to test the 
collection of updated occupational information that we intend to use to 
develop a new occupational information system.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ You can find more information on this effort on the BLS Web 
site at http://www.bls.gov/ors/, and on our Web site at http://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/occupational_info_systems.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Specifically, given today's work environment and advances in 
technology and medicine, we are seeking public input, research, and 
data about the following:
    1. Is the factor of age predictive in determining an individual's 
ability to work or to adjust to other work? If it is predictive, what 
are the vocationally significant age milestones we should consider? If 
it is not predictive, what data support that assertion?
    2. When determining if age affects an individual's ability to work 
or to adjust to other work, what other factors or combination of 
factors should we consider?
    3. Does an individual's educational level affect an individual's 
ability to do work or to adjust to other work? If so, how? What data 
support the conclusion that an individual's educational level does or 
does not affect an individual's ability to do work or to adjust to 
other work? How does literacy affect an individual's ability to do work 
or adjust to other work?
    4. Does the skill level of an individual's past work affect his or 
her ability to adjust to other work? If so, how? What data support the 
conclusion that the skill level of an individual's past work does or 
does not affect an individual's ability to do work or to adjust to 
other work? How does the skill level of an individual's past work 
considered along with an individual's educational level affect this 
adjustment?
    5. Are there other vocational factors or combinations of vocational 
factors that we should consider when determining an individual's 
ability to do work or to adjust to other work?

Will we respond to your comments?

    We will consider all relevant public comments we receive about this 
notice, but we will not respond directly to them. If we decide to 
propose specific revisions to the vocational factors we consider when 
we determine an individual's ability to do work or to adjust to other 
work, we will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal 
Register, and you will have a chance to comment on any revisions we 
propose.

References

Library of Congress, ``Vocational Factors in the Social Security 
Disability Decision Process: A Review of the Literature'' (December 
1998).
American Institutes for Research, ``The Impact of Age, Education, 
and Work Experience on Determining Eligibility for Social Security 
Disability Insurance: A Synthesis of Recent Literature'' (2000).
American Institutes of Research, ``Investigation of Non-Medical 
Factors Used in SSA's Medical-Vocational Process: A Research Review 
of Age, Education, and Skills as Related to SSA's Disability 
Determination Process'' (August 2002).
Mathematica Center for Studying Disability Policy, ``Vocational 
Factors in the Social Security Disability Determination Process: A 
Literature Review'' (July 2014) (available at: http://
www.mathematica-mpr.com/~/media/publications/pdfs/disability/
drc_wp_2014-07_voc_factors_determinations.pdf)
Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and 
Statistics, ``Evidence Synthesis: The Use of Vocational Factors in 
the Disability Determination Process'' (September 2014).

List of Subjects

20 CFR Part 404

    Administrative practice and procedure, Blind, Disability benefits, 
Old-age, Survivors and Disability Insurance, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Social security.

20 CFR Part 416

    Administrative practice and procedure, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Social security.

    Dated: July 30, 2015.
Carolyn W. Colvin,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security.
[FR Doc. 2015-22839 Filed 9-11-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4191-02-P