When will I know if disability does an on the record review?

Will I get an on the record review and be able to skip going to a disability hearing?

While you can contact your local Social Security hearing office to request an OTR, or on the record decision, you most likely would not be able to write your own brief regarding (summation of what qualifies you for disability) and gather the medical evidence to support the request in a way that would be conducive to your getting an OTR approval. You as a regular person are not likely to know about Social Security Disability law or guidelines, consequently disability attorneys and Social Security representatives initiate most OTR requests.

They will not initiate an OTR unless they think your disability case has additional compelling medical evidence to support the severity of your disabling conditions. Once they request the OTR, it goes to an ALJ for review. They may contact your attorney or you during their evaluation if they have questions.

Once the ALJ has reviewed your file, they make their determination. There are times, however, when your representative did not request an OTR, but your disability claim is referred for an OTR. Generally this happens when an attorney adjudicator, employed by Social Security to review disability claims, determines a decision might be able to be made by the ALJ without a hearing.

Attorney adjudications are doing this to reduce hearings office workloads and to shorten overall wait times for disability hearings. There is no need to worry that an OTR review will compromise your chances of being approved for Social Security Disability. If the ALJ is not able to approve your disability claim with an OTR, your disability case will still be scheduled for a hearing at a later date.

No matter who initiates the on the record review, you and your representative will be notified of their decision. If you are approved through your OTR, you will not have to attend a disability hearing. If you are not approved this way, you will be scheduled for a disability hearing when the ALJ hearing schedule permits.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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