SSA published a series of changes to the POMS on January 6, 2020. A number of the changes claim to be “quick actions” that merely correct or update provisions. But some appear more significant. According to SSA, they are the “result of several multi-component workgroups” convened to gather suggestions on clarifying and improving procedures.
Of note, SSA has updated guidance on Completing Interview Forms and Adult Disability Reports [POMS DI 11005.022]; Development of Consultative Examinations (CEs) [POMS DI 22510.016]; and Development of Medical Evidence of Record (MER) [POMS DI 22505.014]. These provisions detail the procedures, time frames, etc., that adjudicators must follow. Several changes have been made to POMS governing “Failure to Cooperate and Whereabouts Unknown.” See DI 23007.000 et seq.
It will be important for advocates to review these POMS to ensure that adjudicators are following correct procedures, especially in cases that are denied based on failure to cooperate.