Combs v. Comm Social Security
Eastern District of Kentucky at Lexington
ROGERS, Circuit Judge. This case presents the question of whether a change in a rule governing the adjudication of social security disability benefits claims that is applied as of its effective date to all pending cases has an impermissibly retroactive effect. In 1999 the Social Security Administration required more detailed proof of disability from obese claimants by eliminating a presumption of disability for obesity. Such presumptions govern the process of administrative adjudication. Changes to such rules, therefore, have their primary effect on claimants’ applications when the claimants appear before the agency to have their claims decided on the merits. The change in the rule is thus not impermissibly retroactive.