When Congress enacted the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) way back in 1990, it amended the standard used to determine disability for disabled widows’ [widowers’ and surviving divorced spouses’] benefits payable in months after December 1990. Section 5103 made the new standard identical to the standard used in other Title II disability claims. But between 1989 and 1991, several United States Courts of Appeals had found the pre-OBRA standard, which differed from the standard used in other title II disability claims, was under inclusive. As a result of those court decisions, SSA published SSR 91-3p, which directed adjudicators to apply the interpretation of the pre-OBRA standard set out in the SSR when determining disability for disabled widows’ benefits payable for months prior to January 1991.
Despite all the long waiting times at ODAR, SSA has determined there are finally no pending applications that involve entitlement to disabled widows’ benefits for months prior to January 1991. SSR 91-3p has thus been rescinded as obsolete, effective May 30, 2017. Fed. Reg., Vol. 82, No. 102 (May 30, 2017), p.24769, available online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] [FR Doc No: 2017-10962].