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  What is a Social Security Ruling?
  What is a Social Security Ruling (SSR) or Acquiescence Rulings (ARs)?

Social Security Rulings (SSRs) are policy statements on precedential decisions relating to the Federal old-age, survivors, disability, supplemental security income, and black lung benefits programs. SSRs may be based on case decisions made at all administrative levels of adjudication, Federal court decisions, Commissioner's decisions, opinions of the Office of the General Counsel, and policy interpretations of the law and regulations.

Although SSRs do not have the same force and effect as the statute or regulations, they are binding on all components of the Social Security Administration, in accordance with 20 CFR 402.35(b), and are to be relied upon as precedents in adjudicating cases.

ARs explain how SSA will apply a holding by a United States Court of Appeals that is at variance with our national policies for adjudicating claims. We apply the holding to other cases in the same circuit when the issues involved are the same. Our rules about applying circuit law are found at 20 CFR 404.985 and 416.1485.

ARs are published in the Federal Register under the authority of the Commissioner of Social Security and are effective upon publication.

ARs do not have the force and effect of the law or regulations; however, they are binding on all components of SSA unless superceded, rescinded, or modified by another ruling.

Both ARs and SSRs may be found online.

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